GCBC Week 7: “You Matter to Him” by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

[thanks to my friend Becca for the graphic]

After the general Relief Society session of general conference, all the online chatter confirmed that President Uctdorf’s “forget-me-not” metaphor had struck a chord with women throughout the church. He testified that we should not be discouraged in our efforts, and we should remember that God loves us and we are important to Him.  This is a message he continued to teach during the Sunday morning session of general conference.  I think it’s worth studying both talks as “two witnesses” of this principle of God’s love for us.

You Matter to Him  by Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“God sees you not only as a mortal being on a small planet who lives for a brief season—He sees you as His child. He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become. He wants you to know that you matter to Him.”


Forget Me Not by Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf (RS Session)

“Sisters, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love.”

These talks are both full of great quotes and stand-out phrases.  What doctrines and principles meant the most to you as you studied them?  Please share your insights in the comments below.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.”  If you want to learn more, go here, and join the discussion.


Reasons why I might have had a self-esteem attack yesterday

Sometimes I blog for fun.  Sometimes for posterity.  Sometimes for testimony building and expression.  Today I’m blogging for therapy.

1.  I like going to Zumba class because I love Latin music, and even though I’m really uncoordinated, I know it’s good exercise.  However, I HATE the stupid huge mirrors on the walls.  Are they really necessary?  Really?  That’s all I want to say about that.

2.  The last six months of my life have been a little bit stressful– job hunting, huge decisions, house-selling, house hunting, 3 cross-country road trips, new schools, new everything.  Somehow the whole process helped me put on a fair amount of pounds, and I’ve been acutely aware of that for the last few weeks.  Now, normally I don’t pay much attention to vacuous things like weight, but when your pants get tighter and tighter and you keep seeing those blasted mirrors in Zumba class, well, you just don’t feel as Pollyanna about it as maybe you should.  It is under this current mindset that I received an invitation to an event this weekend where my ex-boyfriend will be present because he’s in town for a book signing.  Gah.  For those of you who have read my love story before, this is THE ex-boyfriend.  I really wish they made over-the-counter Xanax.

3.  I went to Parent-Teacher Conference last night at Clark’s school.  As I pulled into the parking lot and was about to turn into the space, I was cut off by a zippy little car coming the wrong direction.  She slipped right into the parking spot, jumped out, and bounced her way into the school.  She was a skinny, young thing with a bedazzled cap atop her two-toned hair, faux-tattoo shirt and glitter-butt jeans.  Inside the gym, there were several young moms* who were obviously having a contest amongst themselves, trying to look like their favorite Hollywood harlot starlet.  I might have had un-Christian thoughts.

(*not all of them, of course.  Some looked like normal human beings and were probably nice and all.)

4.  In the little packet Clark’s teacher showed me, he had written a sentence that said, “One important thing about me is that I have a family.”  Now, that is kind of sweet and all, but check out the picture he drew.  His teacher read the sentence out loud to me, and I couldn’t keep myself from adding “… a fat, naked family.”  She laughed out loud.  Refer back to numbers 1, 2, and 3, and you may understand how I felt about this.

5.  Finally, I did that video blog post yesterday, after which a long time passed before I received any comments.  Normally, I would shrug that off and not worry about it, but after the kind of day I was having, I was convinced I must have looked like a total buffoon and I should probably stick to faceless blog posts.

I’m really not as pathetic as this all sounds.  Natalie made up a song in the car that went something like this:  “I love everything.  I love my fish.  I love that I exist.”  It made me smile.  I talked to my good friend Shantel on the phone and she said helpful things.  And I tried to dedicate a lot of brain power to thinking of things that I knew would make me feel better, like recognizing that those discouraging thoughts do not come from Heavenly Father.  Melanie J said really nice things about me on her blog, so she was kind of like a little angel I needed.  I thought of this post by Wonder Woman.  And I thought about what President Uctdorf said in conference about being kinder to ourselves.  Then I found this quote:

We see our own faults, we speak—or at least think—critically of ourselves, and before long that is how we see everyone and everything. No sunshine, no roses, no promise of hope or happiness. Before long we and everybody around us are miserable. . . .

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God. …

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you. …

“And be ye kind one to another [yourself included], tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”9 ~Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

And (deep breath) I’m fine.  But since I don’t believe in plastic surgery, I might not make it to that little event with you-know-who this weekend.  Just sayin’.

Apples to apples, Souls to souls

Women compare themselves, especially mothers.
I know that’s a broad statement, but I think it’s accurate. Even if we happen to be kind of confident about the way we do things, when we see someone else doing something well, we make a mental note on our list of Things Others Do Better.  My own list looks something like this:

hosting playdates
staying on top of laundy
fixing children’s hair and making sure they have on socks
gardening and canning
wearing make up
immaculate homes
time management
and a million etceteras …..

… which I would like to point out is ridiculous. I could make a list of things I do well, too, but I won’t, because for some twisted reason it’s a lot easier to list our faults than it is our strengths.  I just realized that there is an illogical jump from “others do it better” to “I do it poorly.”  How silly is it to let another person’s strength define our “weakness”?

The universe testifies to us that God’s creations are supposed to be different.  Consider the following, Continue reading

Beauty, self-esteem, and laugh-out-loud hilarity

I love Dave Barry.  Have you ever read any of his stuff?  He is FUNNY.  At Women’s Conference, Renata Forste gave a really, really good talk (click here to read it), wherein she quoted this Dave Barry column exploring the differences between the ways that men and women measure and value appearances.  It was so funny that I may have laughed a little bit over-the-top irreverently.

If you’re a man, at some point a woman will ask you how she looks.  “How do I look?” she’ll ask.  You must be careful how you answer this question.  The best technique is to form an honest yet sensitive opinion, then collapse on the floor with some kind of fatal seizure. Trust me, this is the easiest way out.  Because you will never come up with the right answer.

The problem is that women generally do not think of their looks in the same way that men do.  Most men form an opinion of how they look in seventh grade, and they stick to it for the rest of their lives.  Some men form the opinion that they are irresistible stud muffins, and they do not change this opinion even when their faces sag and their noses bloat to the size of eggplants . . . . Continue reading