Monday, October 14, 2013

I’m hearing voices again.

by Kasey Tross

Last weekend was General Conference for those of us LDS (Mormon) folks, and as usual it gave me a lot to think about. I find that spending 8 hours over a weekend listening to guidance on how we can better act as witnesses of God definitely changes my brain waves.

Case in point: One of those evenings after viewing conference I went on Pinterest. I was just looking through the fashion pages and I came across one of those stylized quotations/sayings that said (swear words replaced in parentheses): “Wake up every morning and tell yourself you're a bad-(bad) (witch) from (heck) and that no one can (mess) with you and then don’t let anybody (mess) with you.”

Well, at first I just scrolled past it, disturbed by the foul language. But as I continued perusing the pinned photos of cute boots and chambray shirts I began to think, Wow. What a contrast a ‘motivational’ statement like that is to what God would have us think of ourselves. I realized that it was a powerful statement of the devastating influence that Satan is having on women in the world today. I thought of D. Todd Christofferson’s talk (The Moral Force of Women) in which he said that the world is "pushing women to adopt more masculine traits—be more aggressive, tough, and confrontational.” He reiterated Margaret Nadauld’s words that, “The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined."

Those thoughts took just a brief second, and I frowned, but then I continued scrolling- ooh, nice scarf- where is that dress from? But I had this nagging in my mind. I couldn’t get those harsh words out of my head. I realized that they made me sad. I began to wonder, Who is this person who pinned this? Is this really what she has to tell herself every morning when she wakes up in order to get through the day? Has anybody ever shown her another way? Does she know she’s a daughter of God? Maybe she once knew but she has forgotten. And the kicker: What if I could remind her of who she really is? 

At that point I told myself to knock it off and keep scrolling. So I did.

But of course I couldn’t continue, because Arnulin Valenzuela started chattering in my head (Small and Simple Things): "As members of the Church, we are able, through our own small and simple things, to '[convince] many of the error of their ways' and help bring 'them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls’ (Alma 37:8).” He also said, "I testify that many of those who need our help are there waiting for us. They are ready for their valiant brothers and sisters to reach out to them and rescue them through small and simple means.”

Okay. So then I thought, How long would it take me to type something small and simple? Just a little something for her to think about? 

And of course, I tried to talk myself out of it. Again. I didn’t want to start a fight. I didn’t want to make her feel bad. I didn’t want to turn it into a Thing. But then apparently M. Russell Ballard didn’t want to be left out of the conversation because I remembered this from his talk (Put Your Trust In The Lord): "It is impossible for us to fail when we do our best when we are on the Lord’s errand. While the outcome is a result of the exercise of one’s agency, sharing the gospel is our responsibility. Trust the Lord. He is the Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep, and His sheep know His voice; and today the voice of the Good Shepherd is your voice and my voice.”

Aw, heck. Fine then.

So I went back to the pin and clicked on it to leave a comment. Here is what I wrote:

"Or you could tell yourself that you are a beautiful daughter of God, and that you will let His power shine through you such that no one will be able to bring you down. You might find that not only will you have a great day, but others will be drawn to you because you will radiate confidence, peace and joy. They will feel better about life just by being around you. Just a thought. :-)”

I would like to say that the person who pinned it responded with their own comment, begging me to tell her more about how she's a daughter of God, and that my comment changed her life, but alas, twas not so. Some other person did happen to respond and said, “Kasey, love your comment!” So that was nice.

But really, I wasn’t aiming to convert anyone, not really. My goal was to speak up with the Lord’s voice in this world where Satan seems to have the floor. It’s about time somebody challenged him and stopped letting him put these awful lies into people’s heads unchecked. And if I can stand up to him in my own small and simple way with a few words that take me less than 30 seconds to type, then it’s my responsibility to do it, because I have promised to be “a witness of God, in all times and all things and all places.” (Mosiah 18:9)

In short,

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do that which I can do.” 

- Edward Everett Hale

This is a lesson we must remember in all that we do, especially with our writing. As writers, we have the power to reach so many people. We must cherish that privilege and seek to spread God’s love in whatever way we can.

So, do you hear General Conference voices in your head too? What do they say? LOL!

P.S. I’d love to have you come visit me over at my blog, Making It Up As I Go. Just got a new post up there about how everyone has a story, and I share a story or two that may surprise you. 

7 comments:

  1. Britney GulbrandsenOctober 14, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    I absolutely love this! I'm so glad you wrote that. I don't have the courage to do things like that. I need to find some!

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  2. Hooray! Good job being courageous. I'm working on that too, but boy is it hard sometimes!

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  3. When I was a kid we had this antique plaque in our house over our kitchen doorway (leading to the hallway & the front door) that read “DO RIGHT AND FEAR NOT”. It was in this very flourish-y cursive that always made it seem to me like something a British commander would say- not so much a challenge as simply a statement of how things should be done. That’s another thing that always pops into my mind in moments like that. So Britney, DO RIGHT AND FEAR NOT. ;-)

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  4. Thank you! Remember, with God all things are possible! “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Hint: the answer is no and if you ask He’ll be all over it.) ;-)

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  5. Good for you!!! There is SOOO much crass stuff online, it's discouraging. And why women feel their strength must come from being nasty and tough, I don't know. They have been wounded, is all I can think,

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  6. Good on you. I'm so glad you wrote that. Thanks for sharing this, I've been hearing voices as well...

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  7. Good for you, Kasey! I love the message of this post. What a beautiful reminder of the power we have through the Lord to make a difference.

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