Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bethanie's Farewell

Last Sunday, one of the young women I served while in the Young Women's Presidency (4 years ago) gave her missionary farewell. She will be serving in the Peru Cuzco mission. She spoke so beautifully and she has such a strong testimony. I feel so blessed to know her and to see her faith. She has a light within her that shines for all to see and she is not afraid to share her light, her faith or her testimony with others.

She spoke about light. She talked about going to a cave and wandering around with her uncle and cousins. Then they turned off their flashlights and it was completely dark. Her uncle gave a little devotional about the light of Christ. Christ is the Son and provides light for all of us. She also talked about our eyes and how without light we would not be able to see... the light goes into our eyes and sends a message to our brain and then we are able to recognize what we are seeing, but without light our eyes would not work.

She also shared about some challenges she had experienced when a friend committed suicide and she felt guilty that she hadn't helped the friend. She then shared how the Atonement allowed her to forgive herself and helped her find peace and dispersed the darkness she was feeling.

It is Christ that provides our light and helps us know where to go and what to do. She shared this amazing quote by Marianne Williamson (that Nelson Mandela quoted in his inaugural address). I love this quote and always feel the spirit when I hear it:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson, Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

Thank you, Bethanie, for letting your light shine and for sharing your testimony so eloquently. You have taught me on more than one occasion and I will sincerely miss you. But I am so grateful that so many lives will be able to be changed through your service.