In the October 2017 General Women’s Session of general conference, Sharon Eubank gave a powerful, energizing talk centered on the following statement from President Spencer W. Kimball about the women of the church:
“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world … will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.”
–Spencer W. Kimball
Sister Eubank then told us that the time he spoke of is today, and issued a moving challenge to each of us to “turn on your light”.
As I’ve thought of my own experiences with facing fear and self-doubt in attempts to shine in my own orbit, I’ve realized something about the times when my light was dim…or even felt like it was off completely.
My light was on the entire time; I was just keeping it covered.
We start life with our lights shining freely, powered by an internal source of pure joy. As a child, I sang with my whole heart; I wrote stories, painted pictures, and played for the sake of playing; I loved without holding back.
As the years passed, I slowly covered that light with layer upon layer of labels, fear, self-doubt, and judgment. For years, I built up a shell that kept me from truly being me, and left me trying to show up as the person I thought others expected me to be – a shadow of who I really was.
It worked well. I looked, acted, and performed exactly how I was “supposed” to. I quietly went about my daily duties, making sure I didn’t do anything to disturb anyone or make anyone uncomfortable. But there was something inside of me that told me there was something bigger…someone bigger I needed to be.
Actually, someone I already was.
The process of uncovering this “me” hasn’t been easy, and it’s in no way complete. But each time I’ve made the choice to have the courage to remove a layer (or even make a pinhole), I have felt an undeniable feeling of spiritual support from my Savior and Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost. This gives me hope and confidence that, no matter how dim I feel, I am in my own small way, showing up and shining the way I was created to shine.
I think the Savior used the word on purpose: “Let your light so shine.” (3 Nephi 12:16, emphasis added). Shining is a choice, and it turns out we’re already doing it. All we have to do is remove all of the extra stuff that’s holding that light inside.
The Articulate LDS Women blog series is a way for LDS women to practice articulating their faith in a public way. I hope you feel uplifted by these posts. Click here to see all the posts in this series. Click here if you’d like to participate in the series yourself.
She loves being a wife (12 years and counting) to her husband, Chris, and mother to her 3 children (+ "guard" dog, Watson, who mostly just eats stuff she's not supposed to).
Her hobbies are singing/playing the piano, listening to audio books (her treat for folding laundry), and having meaningful conversations with friends.
Quote that keeps her going: "Discouragement is not the absence of adequacy, but the absence of courage." -Neal A. Maxwell