Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Queen's Grace

I'm in Cedar City for only a few more weeks and I'm not ready to go home. There are four girls from BYU and I've been hanging out with them a lot. When I talk to them, it's almost like I'm at BYU again. At times, I almost forget I'm at the U. Then I remember and I play a really good Lot's wife, looking back longingly at the past. (If you haven't read Jeffery R. Holland's "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence," which is what this is referenced from, you should. It changed my life.) I wonder what things would be like if I stayed at BYU. I long for my adorable yellow house I lived in, my wonderful friends (who are quickly marrying off), the more rigorous education, the spiritual aspect of the education, my ward and my independence.

Then I remind myself that I came to the U because I felt the Lord telling me that this is where I need to be. I could have ignored that prompting (which I did for a while) and stayed where I thought I'd be happy. But I chose to leave. No one dragged me kicking and screaming to the U and back to my parent's house. If anything I had plenty of people telling me I should stay. All the facts (finances, education, etc.) said I should stay too. Yet I knew that the Lord, with His greater vision had a plan for me. It wasn't going to be what I thought I wanted, but I knew that if I trusted in Him, He would bless me and I'd be far happier then I could ever be if I stayed at BYU and ignored him.

So I went and last year was one of the hardest years of my life. The U was even more liberal than I expected and I just didn't understand the school or how the social life worked in Salt Lake. Living at home was supposed to be a short stopping point before moving out again, but financial aid fell through and for the first time I was paying for school. I tried to keep faith in the future, but sometimes it wavered. I constantly have to remind myself that I am at the U by my own choosing and that the Lord must have something in store for me.

Well, as you can probably tell, today was one of those days where I wanted to go back. And today Emma Smith is my inspiration.

Listen to the lyrics of the second song played.

As I watched this I thought about all Emma went through. She moved again and again and gave up so many of her comforts to help others. Her parents were unhappy with her for marrying Joseph. She watched her children die, and her husband abused until his death as a martyr. Yet as the song in the video said, she "weathered every storm with a queen's grace."

Could that be said about me?

Not always. Sometimes my heart is too set on the past and I am far from being queenly. But I'm trying to be better. I need cheerfully submit to all things the Father asks.

My goal is to be truly happy at the U and in my ward this next year. No more holding back and comparing everything to BYU. I'm going to be fully immersed in both my ward and at school. And I'm going to love it.

But if nothing else, I have grown closer to my family and Father in heaven through this change. And that makes it all worth it.


  1. Thank you for this post, Valerie. You're a great example to me, and I think you weather storms with plenty of grace. I can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks!

  2. I, for one, am very happy you chose the U. It has been so fun having you in my ward and I can't believe that you will be back from Cedar City in a couple of weeks! Valerie, you are so much stronger than you think you are. You are FAR more brave than I could ever be. And you are far more trusting in the Lord than I could ever dream to be. Thanks for this post! You are great!