"You can choose to use the powers within you to have a happy life of continual growth and development that leads to eternal progression."
-- Sister Barbara B Smith
I am writing this blog to all of you out there who struggle with the feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness. For those of you who worry about being "good enough"and "trying to do it all". We all go through periods of self-doubt, but during such times we need to heed the counsel of President Dieter F Uchtdor and "Stop It!" We are Daughters of God, created in his image and likeness, and full of great worth.
Sister Barbara B Smith said: "Like the caterpillars who will one day become butterflies, you have the magnificent potential to develop the powers within you and become greater than most of you dare dream. You have the power and the capacity to perform so well that you can inherit all that our Father has if you begin the process and continue until you become what you are really meant to be.
You may think, "That can't be true! How can there be that great potential in you or me when all I see is a struggling, imperfect human being?"" Sister Smith's reply? "The power is in you."
Elder M Russell Ballard said: “One of the ways Satan lessens your effectiveness and weakens your spiritual strength is by encouraging you to spend large blocks of your time doing things that matter very little.” I am a wife, a stay at home mother to four boys, a Primary Teacher, a Visiting Teacher (I acknowledge my faults, I am a very bad VT), and an online student at Brigham Young University Idaho. The biggest distraction Satan uses on me is guilt for not being able to do it all.
My house is not necessarily in perfect working order- the laundry may not be folded and put away but it is clean, the meals may not be homemade but my kids still eat, and I may not spend as much time with my children in the past because of schoolwork, but they are loved. I found myself caught up in the "guilt cycle". I would start out with good intentions, find myself distracted by whatever came my way (kids fighting, frustration at not understanding my school assignments, Facebook and social media, deciding what's for dinner...), start feeling guilty, get down on myself, and give up. Elder M Russell Nelson once said in the October 1995 General Conference "We all need to remember: men are that they might have joy—not guilt trips!"
One day after really feeling exhausted, overwhelmed with guilt, and completely doubting my self worth, I decided to ask my husband to give me a priesthood blessing. Elder Boyd K Packer said, "If you need a transfusion of spiritual strength, then just ask for it. We call that prayer. Prayer is powerful spiritual medicine." I needed those loving words from my Heavenly Father to heal my troubled heart. As a young woman growing up in the church, we would sing Janice Kapp Perry's song
I am of Infinite Worth
All I need do is remember
If ever I wonder if I am of worth
I remember my Savior what he did for me
When he lived among men on this earth
Pain and unspeakable sorrow
He bore for my sins there in Gethsemane
And he gave up his life as he hung on the cross
And he did it all for me
How do we overcome these feelings of guilt and avoid the distractions placed in our paths? How do we find our spiritual power that is within us? Elder Jeffrey R Holland teaches "In Lehi’s dream an already difficult journey gets more difficult when a mist of darkness arises, obscuring any view of the safe but narrow path his family and others are to follow. It is imperative to note that this mist of darkness descends on all the travelers—the faithful and the determined ones (the elect, we might even say) as well as the weaker and ungrounded ones. The principal point of the story is that the successful travelers resist all distractions. ... The record says that the protected “did press their way forward, continually [and, I might add, tenaciously] holding fast” to a rod of iron that runs unfailingly along the course of the true path. However dark the night or the day, the rod marks the way of that solitary, redeeming trail."
Turning to the scriptures, providing acts of service to someone in need, attending our church meetings and the temple can provide us with the spiritual power we need. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Use the priesthood on your behalf. If you need a blessing, get one. Sister Barbara B Smith has said, "Nurture your spiritual powers. It is the only way you can become what you are really meant to be."
I also find comfort in the words of Elder Bruce R Hafen. “If you have problems in your life, don’t assume there is something wrong with you. Struggling with those problems is at the very core of life’s purpose. As we draw close to God, He will show us our weaknesses and through them make us wiser, stronger. If you’re seeing more of your weaknesses, that just might mean you’re moving nearer to God, not farther away. (The Atonement: All for All, May Ensign 2004)”
Part of the Lord’s mission on earth was to heal the brokenhearted (Luke 4: 18). We may get discouraged, but we are not alone. Our Savior promised he will not leave you comfortless: [He] will come to you. (John 14:18) Rejoice in that thought: He will come to You! Jesus Christ said, Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love. (Doctrine and Covenants 6: 20)
Please know how much your Heavenly Father loves you! For in the gift of His Son hath God prepared “a more excellent way” (Ether 12: 11). My dear sweet sisters, I know God lives. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that through Christ’s atonement we can let go of our feelings of self-doubt. Christ’s grace is sufficient. We are Daughters of God. We are of infinite worth. The Power is Within You!