In two days I will be released as Overton 2nd Ward Relief Society President. I am being released six weeks shy of serving for three years. I am happy! I have served with all my heart and energies and have no regrets upon being released.
I learned many things about myself in those 34 months that I don't think I would have learned otherwise. I believe that the Lord didn't necessarily call me for what I could offer others although I feel I did teach and serve. I was called to learn about my weaknesses and be given opportunities to turn them into strengths. I share just two of those weaknesses with you at this time.
Compassion is not an innate characteristic for me. I never have considered myself cold and inconsiderate, but I also never felt comfortable looking for the need in others and then responding. I remember at the beginning of my service, being scared to death when Bishop Leavitt called me to go over and offer assistance and comfort to Sister Noreen Bishop as her husband was suffering a stroke and being taken to the hospital. I was horrified. I had no idea what to do. I begged Bishop Leavitt to tell me what I should say and what I should do. It was so scary and foreign for me. Now, it is instinctive to hurry over, with a prayer in my heart and often on my lips, to a family I love and give aid and comfort as I feel directed.
I have learned to rely less on myself and more on the Holy Ghost. I have always felt very capable in all of my callings and confident in how I went about doing them; this calling was different. I learned to be very sensitive to my thoughts, my feelings, and even my dreams. I learned that perhaps my way may not have been wrong, but it also may not have been the right way at that particular time. I will say that I cherish the gift of the Holy Ghost more now than I ever have before. I pray every morning to be worthy that day of having him as my companion.
There are other weaknesses that perhaps I will share at another time. I share those two because I worked so hard to turn them into my strengths. Hopefully I was successful.
I write this that my children may know that I can testify of the joy and growth that comes in accepting and serving in church callings. It is not enough to be a passive member in your ward. The Lord requires your heart and your hands and your mind. So dear children, accept callings that are extended to you. Always seek to magnify them according to direction from the Holy Ghost. Tremendous blessings await you and your family as you are molded and shaped through your service.