I am surrounded by many great people. I'm feeling thankful for so many people right now, but I want to make mention of those who I work with. Two of the first people I told about my calling were Brenda and Polly, my teammates. Neither of them are LDS but they were both so supportive and encouraging and offered help and support. One of my secretaries was just recently released as the Relief Society in her ward. Our other secretary was recently called as her ward's RS President. Our social worker is one of the counselors in her ward's RS Presidency. I am surrounded by great people and each of them has offered support. But I'm at least as thankful for those who do not share my beliefs who have also offered support. My principal saw that I'd been called on Facebook and she said that she was sure I would do great. I was feeling quite discouraged on Monday...and she said something in faculty meeting that really helped me...even though she wasn't talking about Relief Society at all. When I shared with her today in an email what it had meant to me, she responded (in part) "You are so kind and caring. I am sure you were called to be "Belief Society" (Collen's term --isnt it cute) president because you are so needed." It was our secretary (who was recently released) who coined that term. I like it. I've been thinking about it all afternoon/evening. We certainly are a relief society...one of our purposes is to provide relief for those in physical, emotional or spiritual distress. But just as surely as we are a relief society, we are even more importantly a belief society. There are many great societies with the purposes of providing relief (such as the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, and so on) but we are set apart because we are also a society of believers.
I am listening to Sheri Dew's book "No Doubt About It" on CD in the car right now. She told about asking her grandma when she was 8, "What if the church isn't really true? We will have wasted a lot of time at meetings." Her grandma said that she knew it was true because the spirit had told her it was. She then said that someday Sheri would know it was true and she would never be able to be the same again. She also told of a woman she met at a conference. The woman was a minister. The woman's husband was a minister. Their parents were ministers. This woman studied the Bible and tried to live God's word. She commented that she knew God speaks to us....she wasn't sure how he speaks to us, but she was sure he did. Sister Dew said that understanding how God speaks to us is one of the things that really sets us apart from the rest of the world. Having the Holy Ghost testify of truth changes our lives forever. We come to believe, to know, to have no doubt about it.
I am grateful to know. To be part of a belief society where I can be strengthened by other believers. But I am also very grateful to be surrounded by other good people who can support me and demonstrate respect even though they don't know.