we are all important.

{for my family foundations class this semester, we were asked to do a project over the course of the next few weeks to help us better understand the materials we are studying. i decided to share my feelings and thoughts on my blog because, well, i just wanted to.}

this week we have been studying the second paragraph in The Family: A Proclamation to the World. it reads:  "All human beings--male and female--are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."
me. I am created in the image of God. and He L O V E S me.

we were asked to read a few talks by Elder D. Todd Christofferson - The Moral Force of Women - Let Us Be Men - Brethren We Have a Work to Do
as i read The Moral Force of Women, i felt awkward. and overpraised. i'm not sad that i'm a woman. that's not true at all. i love being a woman! i feel strong and important most times. i know that i am a daughter of God. but i must admit, i absolutely loved when Elder Christofferson said, "Sisters, I do not want to overpraise you as we sometimes do in Mother's Day talks that make you cringe. You don't have to be perfect..." (Elder D. Todd Christofferson, "The Moral Force of Women")  but i still felt awkward and a little sad. 
as i read the talks to the men of the Church, i felt a little guiltywhile we women were being praised so highly, the men were being told how much better they could do. maybe this is just me, but i know that i have a lot of work to do to be worthy of those compliments given to me as a woman. i too, could be a lot better. 
i love the fact that women are now given more opportunities to work, learn and grow but Elder Christofferson said something in Brethren We Have a Work to Do that i think is really crucial to remember as we seek to give women opportunities. he said, "The author of Manning Up characterized it this way: 'It’s been an almost universal rule of civilization that whereas girls became women simply by reaching physical maturity, boys had to pass a test. They needed to demonstrate courage, physical prowess, or mastery of the necessary skills. The goal was to prove their competence as protectors of women and children; this was always their primary social role. Today, however, with women moving ahead in an advanced economy, provider husbands and fathers are now optional, and the character qualities men had needed to play their role—fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity—are obsolete and even a little embarrassing.' (Kay S. Hymowitz, Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys (2011), 16.) In their zeal to promote opportunity for women, something we applaud, there are those who denigrate men and their contributions. They seem to think of life as a competition between male and female—that one must dominate the other, and now it’s the women’s turn. Some argue that a career is everything and marriage and children should be entirely optional—therefore, why do we need men? In too many Hollywood films, TV and cable shows, and even commercials, men are portrayed as incompetent, immature, or self-absorbed. This cultural emasculation of males is having a damaging effect." (Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Brethren We Have a Work to Do, October 2012, emphasis added) we can't criticize or belittle the men in our lives. they are so necessary! sure, they have weaknesses. but so do i. and so do you. "Good men sometimes make mistakes. A man of integrity will honestly face and correct his mistakes, and that is an example we can respect. Sometimes men try but fail. Not all worthy objectives are realized despite one's honest and best efforts. True manhood is not always measured by the fruits of one's labors but by the labors themselves-- by one's striving." (Elder D. Todd Christofferson, "Let Us Be Men," October 2012) friends, we need each other. no one of us is better than the other or more important than the other. we all have a D I V I N E nature! we ARE all God's children and He loves us so much! i'm so grateful for the {wonderful} men and women that God has placed in my life to help me become the person He wants me to be. 

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