Thursday, February 10, 2011

Who Will Be My Shepherd?

As I went to bed last night, my head and heart were aching with worries about who I am.
Am I good enough? Will I be strong enough for all that lies ahead? Am I just mediocre, coasting enough to get by without going anywhere?
Then, the thought came, Would I be able to prepare my children to be the best they can be, to withstand what lies ahead of them? (keep in mind, the answer I kept feeling to all of these was a despairing "I'm not good enough"). That suggestion snapped me back to reality. This is Satan feeding me all these doubts! That's when I decided that they were lies and that I wouldn't listen to them.

Satan's goal is to make everyone else as miserable as he is (see 2 Nephi 2:18). He is in eternal opposition to God: darkness and light, misery and happiness, lies and truth. He attacks what is most important by demeaning and vilifying it. He takes what is beautiful, sacred and noble about men and women and turns it into something scorned, laughable and abused; he seeks to destroy the safety and love of home and family; he corrodes the moral fiber of individuals and entices them to hate their own selves. God would raise men up to be as He is - selflessly sharing His power and happiness with us; Satan would drag men down to where he is - selfishly absorbed and destroying their hopes for happiness. "Wickedness never was happiness." It's important for us to recognize where our feelings and thoughts can come from, because it makes a difference in what we need to do to resolve them.
Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually. But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God. (Moroni 7:12-13)
If we've done something wrong, God will let us know by His Spirit, and He will also tell us that there is hope that we can become better, and that He'll help us through the Atonement. Satan, on the other hand, will make us feel guilty and convince us that there is no going back once we've messed up, that we are a lost cause and can never improve. God is encouraging, and Satan is discouraging; God is love, and Satan is hate. We're all human, and we're all going to mess up; but when we screw up, who are we going to listen to? God or Satan?

What I was feeling last night were thoughts of despair - that I wasn't good enough, and that I would fail my family. Those two things - my self-worth and my family - are two critical issues that can make or break a person. If Satan can convince me that I'm a nobody, that I'm a screwup, that I will be alone forever, and then get to my family through me, he will have won me over. Not only would he prevent me from reaching my fullest potential for a fulfilling, happy life, but he would be able to exert his influence in the generations that follow me. How important it is that we protect such sacred things! Every single person on this earth is a child of God! They have a divine heritage and a divine potential, and each one is precious to God. We are all brothers and sisters here, and we should all be on the same side, to build each other up so that we all succeed.

God is truth. God is love. I am His daughter, so I'm trying to be like Him. I want to inherit the same happiness that defines who He is. So when I'm feeling sad or alone or not good enough, I will turn to Him and learn from Him, and He will teach me and lift me up.
For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Moses 1:39

Moses had a similar experience to mine (I think it's an experience that everyone will have to go through at some point), in deciding who he would listen to. Follow this link to read the whole chapter for the story. You won't regret it. Especially if you substitute your name for Moses' when the Lord speaks to him.

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