A few Sundays ago I gave the lesson in our Young Women meeting. Teaching and I have a love/hate relationship. I relish the opportunity to study a topic in detail, learning new things about my assignment as well as myself. However, I am very uncomfortable teaching these teenage girls. I am not being humble, but rather very honest when I say that I am not a "good" teacher. I do enough to fumble my way through my forty minutes of instruction (I use that word lightly) but I talk too much, and yet don't ever seem to be able to really get across the message I feel in my heart. Thankfully the young women and YW leaders put up with me, and for their sakes I am glad I do not have to teach more than once every few months! I do however want to blog a bit (for my own recollection) about that particular lesson and the message that is so appropriate for our times.
The idea of the lesson was that keeping the commandments helps us reach our full potential as daughters of God, thus fulfilling our roles in the Lord's Plan of Happiness. But what I got most out of it was the definitions of our "Divine Roles". As women, literally spirit daughters of our Heavenly Father, we have divinely appointed roles that must be fulfilled to ensure the success of Heavenly Father's plan of happiness.
Those roles are for us to become:
Wives & Equal Partners with an Eternal Companion
Teacers to our families and all those around us
To me the definition of divine means "of an eternal nature"--something that started before I came to earth and something that will continue on after our time in mortality has ended. Divine also means to me that it originated with Someone greater than myself, Someone of Divinity. So how do these definitions signify our Divine Roles? It tells me that there are wonderful things we can do in this life. As women in the year 2010 there are opportunities our predecessors could only have dreamed about. Practically nothing, no dream, no goal, is unobtainable, so long as we are willing to work hard and sacrifice. And I'm all for it--worthy goals and ambitions. Why shouldn't we reach high and accomplish much? But we must not lose sight of those roles that have an eternal nature. Our Divine Roles not only complete the Lord's Plan, but ultimately are what will bring us the most happiness. Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants good things for us. It would only make sense that He would create roles for women that would enhance their lives, make them better. Satan knows this, and since he wants to make everyone as miserable as himself, and since his greatest desire is also to thwart a plan centered on bringing souls to Christ, he knows that if he can destroy the far-reaching influence and power that comes through a righteous woman, of course that will be a target upon which he places great emphasis. Think about it--how much of the world today (society, media, etc) would have you believe that the role of motherhood, the role of creating a home, of being a loyal & devoted wife, is weak, old-fashioned and out-of-date? Where do you think the root of these ideas and opinions stems from? Or perhaps a better question is from whom?
We should strive to do great things in this life, but as we do so, let us not forget that the greatest roles we can fulfill are roles of divinity and accompany eternal blessings, and that fighting for them, fighting to be great within them, are the most worthy strivings of all.
-(Painting by Mary Cassatt, "Breakfast in Bed")