On August 8th of 2010, Lizy gave her very first talk in Sacrament Meeting (the main meeting where the congregation meets together) at church . She wasn’t even 12 yet, but since we had just moved from Oregon and were new in the ward (congregation) and Paul & I were speaking, Lizy was asked to speak as well. Her topic was adversity. I remember her being nervous & I remember helping her with writing it. Encouraging her to look through her scriptures & use personal experiences.
Today Paul was cleaning out some files and found the copy of her talk that she used when she gave it six years ago. Reading through it now after all that has happened was quite amazing (I could hear her voice as I read it) – and I was impressed by her insight at the age of eleven.
This school year would have been her senior year, and I have to admit, it’s going to be a hard year. It’s hard seeing the senior pictures for marching band (she would have been there), or watching her friends take that next big step, seeing how they have grown and matured. We’re excited for them and for all they are accomplishing, but there is a pang in the heart as we watch these things happen without her. But this, this was a sweet reminder that we will get through this year, just as we have the last four and we will be stronger for it & I’m sure blessed in more ways than we can possibly know. This was a sweet tender mercy, a little hug saying, “I know it’s hard, but with Christ you can do it.”
I’ll let her words speak for themselves:
“Lizards Talk on Dealing with Adversity
“Heavenly Father has given us adversity, or challenges, to help strengthen our testimonies. Adversity is supposed to be hard. When we face adversity there are two attitudes we can choose from.
“Choice number 1 is negative. When we are negative we usually say things like, “Why does this have to happen to me?” or “Why do I have to suffer this now?” or even, “What have I done to deserve this?”
“Choice number two is positive. When we are positive we might say things like, “what am I to do?” or “What am I to learn from this experience?” Maybe even, “Whom am I to help?”
“Often times, it’s not easy choosing to be positive, but when you do the challenge can be easier to deal with. When my Dad first told me we might be moving here to Ohio, I was a little upset and even a little scared. I didn’t want to leave my friends behind and move to a place where I knew nobody. I had a hard time seeing what could be positive about moving, but then my parents started pointing out all the positive things, like new friends, new adventures and sights to see. We also prayed about the decision as a family. As we prayed I felt the spirit telling me it was the right thing to do. Another thing that helped me find the positive and deal with this challenge was receiving a blessing from my Dad. It wasn’t too long before I was looking forward to the move.
“My experience showed me that when we have adversity we should turn to God. In Alma 36: 3 it says:
“‘And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.’
“When we turn to God in adversity our burdens are lightened. Elaine Cannon said, “Every burden on the back can become a gift in the hand.” If we try to be positive and ask ourselves those questions, what can we learn, who can I help and strive to remember our many blessings in our times of trial then our burdens can become gifts from God.
“When Alma’s people were in bondage to the Lamanites they chose to turn to God in silent prayer. Because they remembered God in their adversity and poured out their hearts to Him they were blessed as we read in Mosiah 24: 13-16:
“’13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
‘ 14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
‘ 15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
‘ 16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.’
“I know that if we pray for help, read our scriptures, and endure with patience as the people of Alma, then Heavenly Father will help us. As we do these things our testimonies will be strengthened and knowledge we gain will be a gift. I know that adversity comes to us all. We need to prepare now so we know what to do when adversity comes our way. I know that Heavenly Father gives us adversity because he loves us and wants us to learn and grow and become like him and Jesus Christ.
“It comforts me to remember all that Christ suffered for me. In Alma 7:11-12 it says:
“’11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
’12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.’
“I know he understands all of my pains and sorrows because he has been through more than us and He and Heavenly Father will never leave me alone. I know there will never be a challenge that we cannot overcome.”
So many years later, sweet Lizard, and your wisdom at such a young age touches my heart. There was no way knowing what kind of impact your words would have so many years later. Love and miss you.