Monday, September 24, 2012

Hero Series: Post #2

There are many different reasons for somebody being a hero. Sometimes just one little experience or moment with a person can make them a hero just because of the profound impact their words will make on your life. Almost five years ago, I was serving as Young Women's president in Asheville, NC. I loved all of the girls in my ward, they each held, and continue to hold, a very special place in my heart...for many reasons. But, there is one specific experience that I had with one of my laurels, named Amanda, that has come to my mind over and over again throughout the years. The experience actually happened when I was taking her home from a stake YW activity (I swear that some of the BEST conversations I have ever had with YW have been in the car as I have driven them to and from activities). She was serving as the laurel president at the time and we were discussing her role as president and some specific things that she and I could do to show more love and concern for the other laurels. One of the young women we were discussing was a pretty recent convert. Not only was she still learning the gospel, but she, and her family, were also trying to adjust to a completely different lifestyle than the one they had previously led. Amanda had really connected with this young woman and had become really good friends with her. Although they ran around with completely different people at school, the love that Amanda was continually showing her was really making a difference in this young woman's life. She was beginning to make changes and she really looked to Amanda for guidance and support. But, this girl still struggled in many regards. Amanda was sharing with me some of the things that she had noticed and she told me that in many ways she couldn't really trust or believe the things that this girl would tell her, because a lot of the time she wasn't being very truthful. But then she said something that brought me to tears. Something that I will never ever forget. I can still imagine us in the car having this conversation and I still remember looking at Amanda and seeing the complete love in her eyes and feeling the sincerity in her heart as she said to me these words....."Sister Mann, I don't believe her but I do believe in her." The spirit was so strong and I was completely overcome with emotion. I couldn't believe that I was hearing and feeling the power of those words come out of a 17 year old girl. Although I don't regularly see or talk to Amanda anymore, I have continued to love and admire her as I have kept up with her on facebook. I doubt that she has any idea of the impact her words had on me, and still continues to have on me. Through her words, the spirit taught me a very profound believe in people. Sometimes people do and say really stupid things, but we cannot lose hope for them. We must continue to believe in the good within. Of course people (sometimes even those we love the most) will disappoint us. Sometimes they may even make really bad choices and stop believing in who they really are. But, that doesn't mean we should stop believing in them. More than anything, they need us to continue to believe in them. People can change, or rather people can desire to change and then as they turn to Christ, he can change their very natures. My very favorite quote of all time is from President Benson. "The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of the people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature...Yes, Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world." Through Christ, people can change...the world can change. But first, we must believe.

1 comment:

All Fun Family said...

Wow, what Amanda said is so profound. What an awesome girl and what an amazing friend! What if everyone had a friend like that? Someone who believes in them and their capacity to change (that's what Christ does).

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