Today in church we had a wonderful lesson. I was privileged to be able to feel the sweet spirit testify to me of a few things that I think are important for all women to know, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or not. I hope that others who read this post may be touched and feel the same sweet feelings I felt by the spirit during the lesson today.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the church I attend I want to take a moment to explain. Church, which takes place every Sunday, consists of three meetings. The meetings for those who are graduated and older are Sacrament, Sunday school, and then either Relief Society or Priesthood. Relief Society is for the women to attend and Priesthood is where all of the men attend. We believe as members of this church, that we have the Priesthood authority restored to our church and that men, during that meeting, better understand their Priesthood responsibilities and build brotherhood. The women learn of their sacred calling as women, and how to provide "relief" to our sisters in need. I also spoke of something called "the spirit" in the above paragraph. We believe in the godhead, The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost. We believe they are separate beings and that the Spirit has the ability to touch our hearts with warm, good feelings such as joy, peace, love, meekness, etc.
Okay now that you understand a little about our church, let me explain to you why I titled this women and what the lesson was all about.
The lesson took place in Relief Society and was based on a talk that was given in a General Conference. The talk was on women and their divine nature. For sometime in my life, I have struggled with self-esteem. I think most women have/currently do. I've been through things that no one should ever go through. I've had certain individuals tear me down to the point that I felt completely worthless. I want no one to feel that way, ever. God did not intend for us to feel that way, or for us to tear others down to feel that way. I served a mission for my church and about half way through my mission, I was struggling really badly with my self-esteem. I'm not quite sure what happened to bring up past hurt that I had experienced, but I felt my worth and love for myself, once again, begin to decrease. As I was kneeling in earnest prayer to my Heavenly Father, I had a wonderful epiphany. I AM A DAUGHTER OF GOD. I had heard that all my life. But at that moment, it clicked. I knew that God, my Heavenly Father, had created me. And when I put myself down, I was putting my maker down. I had never before thought of it in such a way. I was created by an all powerful, loving Father. He made me, how I am, because HE LOVES ME. He made you how you are, because He loves YOU. Isn't that wonderful, and beautiful? You are actual offspring of someone who created you to be beautiful and eventually perfect. During the lesson today, the spirit once again testified to me of this sweet truth. I need not put myself down. That only draws me away from the greatest person I have in my life, my Heavenly Father. And it diminishes everything he has given me. (Men this is true for you too, but I sometimes I get really passionate about speaking to my Sisters :))
Another thing we discussed during the lesson was why we are sometimes, for lack of a better word, introverted while making friends with our fellow sisters. It got brought up that we as women tend to compare ourselves to others. Again, I had a sweet experience with the spirit. I thought about sisterhood, and what that really means. Think about it. What does it mean to you? Safety, unity, security, one to rely on, etc. The world is so, well, worldy. Everything is about how we look, designer clothes, getting fulfillment in any way possible and, sadly, often it's all about forgetting our values. I attend BYU-Idaho, and at times I can be surfaced and shallow. But let me tell you what I felt today and what I know to be true. Satan uses worldy, shallow tactics to remove any close relationships we can have with our sisters. As sisters, we can unite to overcome so much and be a powerful force in society. We have the ability as nurtures to do much good. As I've tried to reach out to those who don't dress like me, look like me, or seem like I would get along with, I've gained spiritual bonds, and strength that are worth much more than anyone's opinion of me. Don't you see? Satan doesn't want us strong. He wants us to tear ourselves down. He wants us to think we can't be as powerful or beautiful as the women next to us. But let me tell you something. You are worth so much more than you will ever know. As you step outside of yourself, turn to God, and befriend those around you, I promise you can find fulfillment in your life and strength to be better. Even if it's with someone you NEVER imagined you would associate yourself with.
I just wanted to write this post to let everyone know that they mean something. That they were created by a God, even their God. And to let you know that I know it to be true. I'm no feminist by any means, but I do believe in strength from sisterhood. We need each other in this ever frightening world.