It’s General Conference time for LDS people across the world.
Yesterday evening I attended the annual broadcast for women (Relief Society) and listened to an amazing talk, by Elder Deiter F. Uchtdorf. He spoke of tiny Forget Me Not flowers that can sometimes be overlooked in the mix of larger, more exotic and glorious blooms, but which in their tiny way seem to mirror the majesty of the sky (or something like that!) Anyway, he referenced a German folktale suggesting that when God was finished naming all of the flowers, this little blue flower looked up and said, “wait … forget me not” and so it was thus named.
Elder Uchtdorf used the Forget Me Not and it’s five petals as a metaphor to remind us of five things we need to NOT forget … I’m paraphrasing bits and pieces of his message, which is a message that any women of faith would appreciate and feel strengthened by. Since I am always eager to share things on my blog that help me or make me happy, I’m sharing, this talk — because it did both!
1. Forget Not to be patient with yourself.
God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect. He is also fully aware that the people we think are perfect are not. And yet we spend so much time comparing ourselves to others. Usually we compare our weaknesses to others’ strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we seldom celebrate our good efforts, because they seem to be less than what someone else does. It is wonderful that we have strengths and it is part of our mortal experience to have weaknesses — eventually, all of our weaknesses can become strengths, but this is a LONG term goal. We need to keep working on making ourselves better, but we must stop punishing ourselves in the meantime (good stuff!)
2. Forget Not the difference between a good sacrifice and foolish sacrifice.
Elder Uchtdorf shared a couple funny examples of over-the-top sacrifice–the kind where we women work too hard to make something “perfect” or at least super-impressive when its not necessary. Every person and every situation is different, but we can generally tell that our sacrifices are the right kind, when we are committing our time and energies to the things that matter most. There are so many good things to do, but we can’t do all of them. Our Heavenly Father is most pleased when we sacrifice something good for something far greater in an eternal perspective. Sometimes it is nurturing the seemingly small and insignificant Forget Me Not flowers in our life’s garden that will make the biggest difference in the end.
3. Forget Not to be happy now.
There’s nothing wrong with hoping for good things to happen. We should never stop hoping or striving for the best in us and in life, but we need to remember that problems arise when we put our happiness on hold, while we wait for some “golden ticket” to appear and fulfill all of our dreams. The happiest people are those who while in pursuit of worthy goals discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of everyday moments (love this!)
4. Forget Not the “why” of the gospel.
We need to be careful not to see the opportunities of a christian life as a list of tasks on an already impossibly long to-do list. We sometimes focus too much on what has to be done and how to get it done, but we forget why we’re doing it. When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us a pattern for living then the path of discipleship becomes a joy and a delight and we’re able to draw on the light and direction that good choices bring into our lives.
5. Forget Not that the Lord loves you.
I absolutely loved the very specific words Elder Uchtdorf shared for this last point, “You are not forgotten. Wherever you are. Whatever the circumstances may be. You are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem. No matter how insignificant you may feel or how overshadowed you think you may be. Your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. He loves you with an infinite love. Just think of it. You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful and glorious being in the universe. You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time. He who created and knows the stars, knows your name. You are one of his most precious daughters.” (wow!)
I hope some of you may actually take the time to listen to this message. It’s really so much better than my little summary.
Have a wonderful sabbath!