Monday, September 10, 2012


Every Monday morning during the school year, I get to attend an adult religion class from 9:30-11.  It is the 90 minutes during the week that I most look forward to.  Every week, the instructor manages to pull something relevant and personal out of the scriptures for me.  And judging by the number of people in the class, apparently I'm not the only one who feels that way.  It was so good to be back in that class this morning.

Today we talked about the stewardship we have over our spiritual gifts.  Each of us has been given a specific set of divinely inherited gifts that are ours to enjoy and share and magnify.  For a long time, I thought those were limited to the more-obvious, outward talents (like musical ability, athleticism, or cooking skills.)  In the last few years (being in your 40s does amazing things for your perspective) I've realized that there are many more spiritual gifts that are the less visible kind (like compassion, reliability, unwavering faith, and humility.)  I have a few of both kinds.  We also talked about the difference between having humility and discounting our abilities.  (YIKES!  He could have excused the entire room except for me on that one.  I'm not sure it was necessary for all of them to hear my biggest weakness!)  I have a few friends and family members who are brutally honest with me and are occasionally bold enough to tell me the things that I really need to hear.  One day I was berating myself for something I probably had no control over, and one of them became shockingly angry at me.  Until then, I hadn't really thought about how offensive it must be to Heavenly Father to hear His children being ungrateful and self deprecating.  I've tried really, really hard since then to be more aware when I start to do that.  It's still difficult to accept a compliment, but I'm getting better at just being gracious and saying, "Thank you."

There's a quote from one of my favorite movies about the very subject we talked about in Institute today.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented fabulous?"  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."  
- Marianne Williamson

The lesson today reminded me to be fearless and SHINE.  It reminded me to be grateful for the many spiritual gifts I've been given and to USE them!  I'm so glad it's September and that Institute has started again.  I'm looking forward to an amazing year.  

Be Good.  Be Patient.  Don't Forget.  

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