All of us need a little bit of inspiration and motivation sometimes, which seems especially true as we're trying to figure out adulthood. These 12 talks, given by both male and female leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, provide just that.
I'm still convinced that your twenties will be some of the toughest years of your life. But maybe that's because I'm only half way through them? Definitely biased. There are just so many hard decisions to make, so many hopes that quickly (or slowly) turn into disappointments, and weeks when I feel a bigger range of emotions than I even knew existed. Can anyone else relate?
In times like these, one of the most helpful things I've found to do is to read a talk given by someone I respect who has already been where I am and pulled through. The wisdom and counsel given in such talks always helps me to refocus and reprioritize what is most important to me at this time of my life (like serving people, which is totally something you get to do as a volunteer with International Language Programs!).
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Although this is a small handful of the thousands of amazing talks that have been shared over the decades, these talks in particular help me to feel more excited about the future and the endless possibilities that could become part of my story. There really is so much to be grateful for! And as I focus more on becoming my best self, I start to understand what I'm capable of and why I'm even here in the first place. You with me?
Approaching The Throne of God With Confidence — Jorg Klebingat
If you want a powerful, straight-up pep talk, look no further. The six suggestions shared by Elder Klebingat can be used to evaluate where you're at in comparison to where you want to be (spiritually and physically), and then use them as a reference when making personal goals to help you get there.
"What thoughts come to mind if you had a personal interview with your Savior one minute from now? Would sins, regrets, and shortcomings dominate your self-image, or would you simply experience joyful anticipation? Would you meet or avoid His gaze? Would you linger by the door or confidently walk up to Him?"
Bear Up Their Burdens With Ease — David A. Bednar
Each of us has a different load to carry in this life, and Elder Bednar talks about how we can share these loads with Christ. It is often the loads that provide the needed traction to get us safely home through our dependence on the Savior.
"Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness. Because our individual load needs to generate spiritual traction, we should be careful to not haul around in our lives so many nice but unnecessary things that we are distracted and diverted from the things that truly matter most."
Becoming True Millennials — Russell M. Nelson
Near the opening of his talk, President Nelson asks, "“How can you stand and live as a True Millennial?”. He then emphasizes and explains the importance of learning who we are, expecting and preparing to accomplish the impossible, learning how to access the power of heaven, and following the prophets.
"I bless each one of you, as though I had my hands upon your heads, with the ability to become the True Millennial you were born to be. I bless you to have the desire and ability to learn your true identity and purpose, that you will expect and prepare to do “impossible” things, that you will be undaunted in your efforts to learn how to access the powers of heaven to help you solve your problems and answer your questions. And I bless you to follow the prophets with exactness, to feel peace in your heart as you do so. I bless you to know and feel how much the Lord loves you and how much confidence He has in you."
Cast Not Away Therefore Thy Confidence — Jeffrey R. Holland
In this talk, Elder Holland focuses on how we can withstand and overcome the forces of the adversary that so often come right after our own impactful moments of personal revelation. He encourages us to never let our guard down and to remember that the fight isn't over until it's over.
"Yes, there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been genuine illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. Don’t give in. Certainly don’t give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. He wants everyone to be miserable like unto himself. Face your doubts. Master your fears. 'Cast not away therefore your confidence.' Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you."
Come What May And Love It — Joseph B. Wirthlin
Maintaining a positive attitude no matter what life brings is sometimes very difficult. Referencing advice from his mother, Elder Wirthlin shares how we can change our attitudes towards the inevitable challenges of life and practice loving whatever comes.
"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."
Discovering the Divinity Within —Rosemary M. Wixom
Sister Wixom reminds us that we are capable of learning eternal truths and blessing those around us simply because of our inherent divine nature. An understanding of our worth and purpose increases as we develop a personal relationship with God.
"Our divine nature has nothing to do with our personal accomplishments, the status we achieve, the numbers of marathons we run, or our popularity and self-esteem. Our divine nature comes from God. It was established in an existence that preceded our birth and will continue on into eternity."
Grateful In Any Circumstances — Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Elder Uchtdorf acknowledges the instances is our lives when we feel alone, lost, and irreparable. He encourages us to choose gratitude in these overwhelming moments, as it has the power to reduce bitterness and help us to remain focused on the Lord's promises.
"When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ's Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven's embrace. We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?"
His Grace Is Sufficient — Brad Wilcox
Through using the analogy of a child practicing the piano, Elder Wilcox explains grace and how we can be changed by it so that we will feel comfortable dwelling in the presence of God and accepting the gifts that are freely given to us.
"There should never be just two options: perfection or giving up. When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? No. Growth and development take time. Learning takes time. When we understand grace, we understand that God is long-suffering, that change is a process, and that repentance is a pattern in our lives. When we understand grace, we understand that the blessings of Christ’s Atonement are continuous and His strength is perfect in our weakness."
Of Regrets And Resolutions — Dieter F. Uchtdorf
In this talk, Elder Uchtdorf shares the story of a nurse who often asks her terminally ill patients whether or not they have any regrets. Their responses are thought provoking, and encourage us to think more about spending time with those we love, living up to our potential, and just letting ourselves be happy.
"The older we get, the more we tend to look back and marvel at how short that road really is. We wonder how the years could have passed so quickly. And we begin to think about the choices we made and the things we have done. In the process, we remember many sweet moments that give warmth to our souls and joy to our hearts. But we also remember the regrets—the things we wish we could go back and change."
Stand Forever — Lawrence E. Corbridge
Many of us have a lot of questions about Heavenly Father, the purpose of life, and truth. Elder Corbridge reiterates the primary questions we should ask ourselves, and the different methods we can use to get answers. If we find the answers to these questions, then secondary questions can also be resolved.
"While it is understandable that we may be challenged by the extraordinary, we shouldn’t be, because ordinary things are actually far more phenomenal. The most phenomenal occurrences of all time and eternity—the most amazing wonders, the most astounding, awesome developments—are the most common and widely recognized. They include: I am; you are; we are; and all that we perceive exists as well, from subatomic particles to the farthest reaches of the cosmos and everything in between, including all of the wonders of life. Is there anything greater than those ordinary realities? No. Nothing else even comes close. You can’t begin to imagine, much less describe, anything greater than what already is. In light of what is, nothing else should surprise us. It should be easy to believe that with God all things are possible."
You Were Born To Lead, You Were Born For Glory — Sheri L. Dew
Since this talk is all about God's power, and how we can access it, you will definitely feel empowered after reading it. Sister Dew focuses on who we've always been, why we are alive now, and how we can live up to our full potential while blessing those around us.
"There will be days when you feel defeated, exhausted, and plain old beat-up by life’s whiplash. People you love will disappoint you—and you will disappoint them. You’ll probably struggle with some kind of mortal appetite. Some days it will feel as though the veil between heaven and earth is made of reinforced concrete. And you may even face a crisis of faith. In fact, you can count on trials that test your testimony and your faith. Aren’t you glad I came bearing such optimistic news? Actually, I am nothing if not optimistic about you, for everything about your lives is an indicator of our Father’s remarkable respect for you. He recommended you for now, when the stakes are so high. Now is the day when His kingdom is being established once and for all, never again to be taken from the earth. This is the last leg of the relay. This is when He needs His strongest runners."
Your Great Adventure — Dieter F. Uchtdorf
A talk that references Bilbo Baggins right at the beginning has got to be good. Elder Uchtdorf compares the familiar adventures in The Hobbit to our own experiences in mortality, providing a new perspective as to how significant the decisions we make have always been.
"If you hesitate in this adventure because you doubt your ability, remember that discipleship is not about doing things perfectly; it's about doing things intentionally. It is your choices that show what you truly are, far more than your abilities."
Trying to decide what your next adventure should be?
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