Heath and I spoke in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. Gavin spoke the Sunday before and I still need to finish writing that story. It was an interesting experience. Gavin’s words had touched people’s hearts. With the short notice we were given, I wasn’t sure … about anything!
We weren’t assigned topics – just to speak on our favorite scripture. That is very open ended! Barry suggested I fire up my computer and print out my last talk. The idea was very tempting. I had such a response to that talk and I loved the beginning of it. It didn’t feel right to do that unless I did it as a last resort.
I tried to mentally put ideas together on a couple different topics. I sat down to type and started over every time. I have never had so much trouble coming up with something to say in a speaking assignment.
Late Friday night Parker was struggling with insomnia again. My poor baby! I feel for him. He is stressed out and life is not normal right now and it all gets in his head so he can’t sleep. The more he can’t sleep the worse it all is. We gave him more advice on things to try to just relax. I reminded him to pray and read his scriptures. I told him he has every right to call upon the comforting power of the Holy Ghost.
It hit me. That was it! That’s what I should talk about. After some more false starts I felt like I settled on an idea. I decided I would do the typical first talk in a ward and introduce my family. I would weave the introduction into a talk. I really did not feel like it was my best idea. My head hurt from thinking so hard and I needed to be done with this assignment. I was just going to do it.
By Sunday morning I was so worried. I have never given a talk that was nothing more than personal stories loosely tied together with my own explanation of gospel principles. I felt like I had put no effort into my words. This was not the first impression I wanted to give. I had a silent prayer in my heart that my words could touch at least one person.
What is the word for humility mixed with embarrassment? That was how I felt. I was completely humbled to learn that a couple had come to church that day after 20 years of inactivity. Apparently the messages that Heath and I shared were exactly what that couple needed to hear. I spoke about peace, the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and trusting the Lord. Heath spoke about overcoming weakness. His talk was so positive and inspiring.
How ironic that I would speak on the topic of the Holy Ghost but not recognize his guidance with my talk! Several people came up to tell me they enjoyed what I said. One man, a visiting father of a ward member, said he appreciated how it was a personal illustration of the gospel in action.
I had no idea. No idea that the Lord needed me to give, what I considered an unconventional talk, in order to reach certain people in the congregation.
The lessons I learned from this experience are:
- practice what you preach!
- don’t slack on personal study because you never know when you might be called on to quickly come up with a lesson or talk.
I can’t wait to start building bookshelves with Barry and Heath because I need the books out of the boxes. Last week I wanted to tear into the boxes until I found our blog books. It would be a great visual for the lesson we substituting on the topic of family history.
I felt crippled preparing a talk without any of my regular muses. I didn’t have my Seminary scriptures that are all marked up and I know where to find everything. I can’t find things on the Internet or in the scriptures I haven’t marked up! I didn’t have access to my quote book or any of our religious literature. I had to rely on the Spirit to guide me. Next time I should trust it a little more!