Monday, November 07, 2011

Tender Mercies: Inspiration Edition

Last night I had a really sweet experience. I almost hesitate to write it down because of how personally sacred it was, but if this isn't one of those significant moments President Hinckley was referring to when challenging women to record their experiences, than I don't know what is.

Let me start at the beginning (a very nice place to start...)

One of my (4) callings in my ward is the Relief Society Musical Director. The duties for this are not vast, but I really enjoy this calling. I choose one practice song each month to sing before each lesson in the month, and I lead the other songs chosen by the teacher and RS President. Easy Peasy, but fun for me!

Back in August, I decided to take a different path after having the words to Walk Tall float through my head for an entire week. It is a Girl's Camp song that was very important to me as a Beehive. I honestly hadn't thought about the song in over a year and wasn't sure why it kept popping into my head. I had this overwhelming urge to have the Relief Society sisters sing it, but I wasn't sure if they would let me sing it since it isn't a hymn. I plead my case with the RS President and stated that the only restriction on songs were that they had to be published by the church- and Walk Tall was in the Girls Camp Manual which is a Church publication. Sister Bergfeld was wonderful and gave me the go-ahead, so I made copies and we sang that song every week in August.

Unfortunately, not all the sisters were fond of this decision. It was too high, having been written primarily for pre-pubescent adolescents. It was a Camp Song. The lyrics were too basic. It didn't fit with all the lessons. It used up paper and ink from the library... I got a few complaints, and this made me doubt the decision I had made and what I thought was the Spirit telling me to choose it.

The next two months I was sure to choose some beloved hymns.

Fast forward to last night. There has been a sweet sister in our ward investigating the church. We just adore her and her sweet daughter, and you can imagine our utter JOY when she announced last week that she was getting baptized! Many tears were shed.

When I got to the baptismal service last night, inside the program was the music to Walk Tall. I later found out that when she first started attending Relief Society, we were singing that song, and it was while listening to that song that she first felt the Spirit while not with the missionaries. At the same time, she was battling thyroid cancer and was getting some very painful treatments. The words to this song stuck with her during that time and helped her stay strong as she knew she just had to reach up, as the song instructed, and He would take her hand.

Sometimes I do things that I feel directed to do, and I have no idea why. Every day it seems like I send little messages, make phone calls, or pray for certain people without really knowing what the situation is. I prepare certain lessons for my kids or try to show them certain skills without being certain why I decided to do those things at that time. I say things and make decisions based on what I think are simple promptings.

Lately I have wondered if I really am feeling divine promptings, or if I am just acting on my own accord as I rarely see any effects from those actions. In dark and nauseous hours I have doubted what I thought was a strong relationship with my Heavenly Father and wondered if I was wasting my efforts on the wrong things.

Last night He gave me a beautiful gift by showing me what can come of my following what might feel like silly promptings. I am beyond grateful for whatever small role that song played in Luiza's conversion process.

Now, I know that whether or not I had chosen that song, she would have found the comfort and divine guidance that she needed. She was praying to know the truth, and if I had chosen something different that month, I am sure the Lord would have sent her the confirmation she needed in some other way. I am just grateful that He let me be a tiny part of her story, and I am even more grateful that He let me know the tiny part I had in her story.

It gave me the confidence that all those other little things do make a difference that I probably just don't see, and it gave me the motivation to stop doubting and to continue my quirky way of doing what I think is right.


Dawn said...

I decided years ago that I would rather live my life wondering why I did something than to live it knowing why I should have listened and didn't.

Dawn said...

And thanks for sharing. Beautifully written and always a good reminder. Somehow that didn't make it in my earlier comment.

Carrie said...


Belinda Chan Oates said...

Thank you for sharing! I am constantly amazed at your wonderful insights and I am honoured to be your friend! Thank you for motivating me and for just being so darned cute and adorable!
Love and hugs from down under! (X)

mostlyprobably said...

This is awesome, Amanda. You have such a beautiful style of writing, and this is a beautiful story. I'm so impressed that you live so close to the Spirit and have the courage to stick with something you feel is right when it would be so much easier to give into what everyone else wants.