Today I went back to institute for the first time in a long time. I hadn't been missing it because I was faultering in faith, or because I didn't want to learn more. I simply was unable to go due to where I lived and my work schedule. Bad excuses, trust me I know.
While I was there I remembered how it felt be learning about uplifting things. I remembered that I did love to feel that spirit of joy that comes with studying the scriptures and learning about the gospel. I hadn't felt that in all too long. I was instantly readdicted. Hope and joy surged through my veins as I listened to the insructor talk about Joshua.
What an amazing prophet. He had faith. He was a leader. He was strong and courageous. My instructor said, "Young women, wouldn't you love to marry someone as couragous and strong as Joshua?"
"Well you can, there are many young men here who are just as strong, just as faithful." They may never be called to fight wars and lead armies, they may not ever become a prophet of the Lord, but they are faithful. They know how to follow counsel. I want me one of those boys :) And lucky for me I have found one.
Sorry, that was a random tangent. What I meant to discuss was the messege of the lesson. A message of hope, of promise.
A message of inspiration.
We read in the scriptures about how Joshua was a faithful follower of Moses, the prophet. Eventually, he was called to be one himself. When he was called, a consistent message was given to him:
"Be strong and of a good courage."
Five times he heard this message. Five times! It's a message that we can all use.
"Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." -Joshua 1:9
There are so many things to be afraid of these days. The economy, will I be able to get a job after graduation? Maybe you have a family member with a serious illness. Maybe you have a serious illness. Maybe your boyfriend hasn't called, you are worried about where the relationship is going. Maybe you don't know what you want with your future. Maybe you fear failure. Maybe you fear spiders. Maybe you can't stand the thought of ending up alone. Maybe you sit and worry and worry and fret and fret about the future, the unknown. Maybe you fear for your children. Maybe you fear for a friend. Maybe you fear for a soldier.
Maybe you fear nothing.
Maybe you lack courage. You are scared to expose your feelings to the boy you like. You feel insufficient. You don't feel pretty. Maybe you feel inferior. Maybe you lack confidence. Maybe you are insecure. Maybe you are weak. Maybe you are a slave to your addictions. Maybe you give in to temptation, you do things you know you shouldn't do. You feel embarrassed. You feel ashamed.
Maybe you feel none of these, you don't feel anything. You don't care.
Or maybe you simply want to try to very hardest to do your very best, and yet at times fall short. This is where we all fit, somehow. We are not perfect. We want to rise above, be the very best we can. Sometimes, we just aren't. This is where we should not fear. This is where we need to remember that we are not alone.
It's time to be strong and of a good courage. Do not let yourself doubt yourself. Do not fear those things that can be overcome. You will never be given a trial you are too weak to over come. There is always hope. But you have to be pro-active. You can not sit and worry. You can't give in to your fears.
You are a beautiful individual. You are loved. You are you, and that is something nobody else can be. We all have problems, we all fear.
But we must be strong, and of a good courage.
Be not afraid.
Peace and love,