A Girl Should Be Two Things: Classy & Fabulous. - Coco Chanel


Sunday, March 10, 2013


I was asked to give a talk in church today. He gave me like 6 weeks to prepare. I may not have needed 6 weeks to prepare, but I needed that long to think about it. This last week I have been stressed about which direction to take it since that is a pretty broad topic. I read several talks about it and decided on 3 main points.

This talk was given to me to prepare and give because I sometimes struggle with it. Especially when it comes to my future and getting married. Anyway, it was a good thing for me to study.... so I thought I would share my talk since several people told me how much they appreciated it. So here you go.

Back in September, a group of us girls in the ward went rappelling down a waterfall for a Relief Society Activity. I remember looking at the waterfall and thinking it didn't look that high. When it was my turn to go, I put on my harness and walked to the edge of the cliff and looked down and realized how high it really was and that I had to have trust in the equipment and the rope and lean back and know I was going to be okay. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, is like the rope when rappelling down a waterfall. Elder Nash said in the last General Conference in his talk "By Faith All Things Are Fulfilled", " if strong and securely attached to the rock of our redeemer, faith will help us to safely climb the gospel path, overcome every challenge of mortality, and return to the majestic presence of our Heavenly Father. All things are fulfilled by faith."

I had actually been rappelling before. Seven years before. So why did it make me so nervous to lean back on the edge of the cliff when I had done it before? The girls that took us rappelling were not nervous because they go all the time, so they are used to the rope and the equipment and how it feels. They are comfortable because they rappel regularly. Faith is like this. We can not rely on one experience that helped build our faith to get us by for the rest of our lives. It is something that we have to constantly work on. President Eyring gave a talk titled "Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady" where he said "Most of us have thought about how to prepare for storms. One reaction is to ask, "How can I be prepared?" And there is a rush to buy and put away whatever people think they might need for the day they might face such calamities. But there is another even more important preparation we must make for tests that are certain to come to each of us. That preparation must be started far in advance because it takes time. What we will need then can't be bought. It can't be borrowed. It doesn't store well and it has to have been used regularly and recently. What we will need in our day of testing is a spiritual preparation. It is to have developed faith in Jesus Christ so powerful that we can pass the test of life upon which everything for us in eternity depends. He later goes on to say that " Life will have storms in which we will have to make choices using faith in things we can not see with our natural eyes. However much faith to obey God we now have, we will need to strengthen it continually and keep it refreshed constantly.We can do that by deciding now to be more quick to obey and more determined to endure. Learning to start early and to be steady are the keys to spiritual preparation. Procrastination and inconsistency are it's mortal enemies. Decisions now to exercise faith and be steady in obedience will in time produce great faith and assurance. That is the spiritual preparedness we all will need. And it will qualify us in the moments of crisis to receive the Lords promise that "if ye are prepared ye shall not fear"

Rappelling down the waterfall... the rope held me and kept me from falling, but I still had to move the rope and my legs in order to make the climb down the waterfall down to the ground, where I wanted to be. Heavenly Father can be there for us to turn to and help guide us, but we need to do the work. James 2:17 & 18 reads " Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith, without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." Back to Elder Nash's talk, he said " Faith is both a principle of action and of power. It is not to have a perfect knowledge of things, therefore if we have faith we hope for things which are not seen, which are true. It is an assurance of the spirit gained through our learning that moves us to act to follow the example of the Savior and prayerfully keep his commandments, even through times of sacrifice and trial."

Just because I have the right equipment to rappel, and people there to help me doesn't mean that everything is going to go smoothly. I was wearing shorts and there were sharp rocks as I was going down and I ended up with a bloody knee. I'm still not entirely sure when and where that happened on my rappel down the waterfall, but it did. However I still made it down the waterfall, and I was okay. Many of us watched the great CES fireside given by Elder Bednar last Sunday. He talked about having faith in the will of the Lord and that Heavenly Father knows us better than we know ourselves. And that faith is not only believing that he will, but that he can and then whether it happens is up to him and once we realize that and submit to his will, we will find greater comfort and peace. Many of the lessons we are to learn in mortality can only be received through things we experience and sometimes suffer. It is to help us become who we need to be in this life and in the life to come.

I always thought that I would be married by the time I was 25. In high school I guess that seemed like a good age, that is when my parents got married and I felt like that gave me plenty of time to find someone. So I never really worried about it... until I was 25 and I wasn't dating anyone. Then I started to worry (which seems really silly now). Later that year I started to date someone seriously. We were friends for a long time and that friendship grew to love. We dated for a year and everything was going so well. I thought to myself, it is finally my turn.. I have found the man that I want to spend eternity with. I was so excited. As soon as we set a temple date and started making plans and buying things for the wedding, he started to have doubt and fear and our blissful courtship turned into an emotional roller coaster. I remember thinking that I had watched all of my family and most of my friends get engaged and married and it seemed so easy and they were so happy. Why was this happening to me? I always looked forward to finding the person I wanted to share my life with and having the same happy experience, but that was not the case. In fact the wedding was called off and I was left confused and devastated. My roommates at the time can confirm that I was an emotional wreck. Throughout the whole process I had never turned to Heavenly Father and put so much faith in him as I did then that I was going to be okay no matter what happened. I truly wanted to get married, so the outcome which was calling off the wedding and then later breaking up was not what I wanted. However, I am so thankful that Heavenly Father knows me and what is best for me. Looking back later I learned things about the situation that makes me so thankful that we didn't get married. Through this experience I learned so much and came out stronger.

My favorite quote from Elder Bednar's talk is " Strong faith in the Savior is submissively accepting of his will and timing in our lives, even if the outcome is not what we hoped for or wanted."

While preparing for this talk, I opened up my scriptures and a handout that I received from a Relief Society lesson fell out. The hand out was about faith and there was a quote from the talk "Faith Is the Answer" by Virginia Pearce that I love and want to close with. "Faith means that I really believe that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live, and they are in charge of this world. They know me. They love me. They have a plan for my future and I will obey the commandments, work hard and trust in their plan." I believe that this is true and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Lynette Mills said...

Really great talk Tracy ...

Lori said...

Awesome talk Tracy! Thanks so much for sharing it on here with the rest of us that werent there :) Love you.

THE LIZARD'S said...

LOVE...Love...Love your talk! Glad I could read it right now!!!
Hope you get home safely and soon!

jamie hixon said...

Fantastic talk, Tracy. I am impressed and inspired. Life is hard, we need faith!