My aunt recently asked me to give a talk to my cousin on one of the Young Women’s values. The one that stood out to me and that I chose was INDIVIDUAL WORTH. I would like to share with you what I learned and the thoughts that I had, which I shared with her. I felt like maybe you could use them too! I hope that these thoughts will help you on your personal journey with God.
Here is what I shared with her:
I looked up worth in my 1828 dictionary. It says: “WORTH: Value; that quality of a thing which renders it useful, or which will produce an equivalent good in some other thing….2. Value of mental qualities; excellence; virtue, usefulness… 3. Importance; valuable qualities…”
We all have a package of gifts and faults. You will see this in everyone, and even more so as you grow and mature. In my personal experience and observations of others I have seen that all these things (gifts and faults, weaknesses and strengths) can be used by God for His glory. Strengths can become weaknesses and weaknesses can become strengths—all depending on what we choose to do with them and to whom we turn to for help.
I have learned that weaknesses are not so much something to be ashamed of and embarrassed by, though we often are, but more something to be grateful for. You could say that when God gives you a weakness He is giving you an intense in-depth study on the subject, what ever it might be. You will find, if you lean on God, ask for His help and do your best to be diligent with what He tells you to do that in time you will know those subjects very well. Then you will be able to make others lives easier by offering them the baby steps you learned in your struggle to overcome that weakness. Weakness may very well be the tool God uses to equip you for your life mission. We often learn more from our weaknesses than we do from our strengths. Ask God to teach you and help you to turn those weaknesses to His glory and to the benefit of your fellowmen.
Repentance (Alma 26:22) and staying close to God through prayer, scripture study and journal writing is key in turning weaknesses into strengths and keeping strengths as strengths. Also, sometimes it takes a great deal of courage to act on what God gives you. Remember He is always there to help you take the leaps of faith that are needed to become what you are intended to be. Also remember that He gave you these weaknesses so that you would depend on Him to become the wonderful person that you are already in embryo, though not fully developed yet. Weaknesses are required to become the fully developed child of God that you want to be, and that He intends you to become!
Each of us have worth regardless of the gifts and faults that we have, because our gifts and our faults do not define us. It seems to me that when God sees us, He sees the reality of how we presently are, how we have been in the past and how we will be in the future manifest at the same time. When He looks at us He doesn’t just see us as we are in the here and now, but He sees all of our past, our present and our future in us at the same moment. We are of value to Him because of who we are. More specifically, you are of value to Him just by who you are. We are often so unaware of how much just existing can affect others.
When you were born, you didn’t produce anything or help anyone, and yet, just you being in the world made it a better place, and people wanted to be around you and hold you—not for anything you did for them or because you were the perfect person that ever was—but because they loved the essence of you, being in your presence and feeling your spirit. This is what God sees in you and this is what He values. This is where your worth lies.
If you will trust God, that He didn’t mess up by making you the way you are, and give Him your heart, let Him lead you and follow His every whisper as you learn to recognize them you will see that you are of infinite worth. And as your weaknesses are turned to strengths through God’s grace you will glorify Him, because He will be the one to reveal you’re true identity to yourself. Remember, you’re true identity is only found in Him.
My favorite scriptural example of all of this is the story of the four sons of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. Here I give you a homework assignment: read Mosiah chapters 27 and 28; Alma chapters 17-27. Some (there are others) key verses to pay attention to are: Mosiah 27:32-37, 28:1-5; Alma 26:1-4, 17-20, 26, 30-33. Make sure you read all the chapters though, or you won’t appreciate the key passages nearly as much. Also look at D&C 18:10-13. If you would like to do more of an in depth study on the subject, the Topical Guide in your scriptures is your friend!—see Worth and Worth of Souls.
As you read I want you to keep your eye out for how their weaknesses turned into strengths. How did this come about? Why were they such affective missionaries? Think and ponder on these things and see what you can learn from their lives that you can apply to your own—and remember to write down what you learn in a special place because you’ll want to read them later when you need encouragement! I’m speaking from personal experience.
Remember as you read, that their manifestation of worth (see the definition I shared at first) came when they repented and through the grace of God, overcame their weakness, then they were able to turn around and use the things that they had learned through the process of repentance to help others. Their weaknesses were made not only useful but they were part of the process that God used to bring about the work that they later accomplished, which up till that time no one else had been able to do!
And so it can be with you!
In summary, you are of infinite worth because of who you are! You’re worth is intact no matter what faults or gifts you have been blessed with. That same worth increases as we turn our lives over to the Savior through repentance and faith on His name. It increases even more as we then turn around and bless others lives with the things that God has taught us and changed in us.
I hope what I have shared with you is and will be helpful to you. I wish you the very best and love you very much! I pray God’s dearest blessings upon you—even those wrapped up in brown paper disguised as weaknesses. I also pray that you will know, without any shadow of a doubt, how He feels about you, how truly He values you—just as you are right now, how you were yesterday or any other previous day (even that time you through that tantrum), and how you will be every day in the future. You are His precious daughter, the apple of His eye, and He doesn’t have anyone else quite like you in His life! Make Him your #1—you will never regret it!
I hope that what I shared with her was helpful to you as well, and if it is, pass it along to someone else who you think could use it!
Here’s hopin’ to seeing you again soon!