How To Find Your Courage To Speak Up

Your first task when faced with a difficult situation is to understand all of the pros and cons of what you are about to say, the consequences of your words, your emotional state, the time you have, and the people in your audience. To begin with, we have to take a step back and evaluate the current situation. You will need some patience to make your words convincing.  When you reach the point of decision, you will find great value in your decision.

I often think that it isn’t until we’re faced with a difficult and/or difficult-to-understand problem that we take the time to evaluate the matter thoroughly. In my case, however, I was faced with a particularly difficult problem in the beginning of this year: when I began to lose faith in myself and/or in God’s plan for me. At first, I tried to simply go about my daily business as best I could. When that didn’t work, I began to pray about it. Eventually, I began to accept that I was in serious trouble and sought God’s help by looking for him in the scriptures. I went to church, attended a few classes at university, visited friends, and tried to have some peace about whatever was going on. I couldn’t, however, have God alone on my side. He was a God who had many servants, so I needed a servant in my life to help me cope with my problems. My wife was the first person to whom I felt comfortable approaching, but as time went on she started to feel that she wasn’t getting much value from helping me in any way (and even worse, she was causing me more harm, though we hadn’t been truly intimate yet). Meanwhile, I continued to look for answers in the scriptures.

That was in October, 2009, a month before I began my mission. On the one hand, I was a student in the church.  On the other hand, I felt isolated, and feeling that way was a very painful experience. Fortunately, I was already a great believer prior to that moment. In the end, it was the presence of God in the scriptures, in conversations with him, in the example of the master teachers through the centuries, in the love that he had for me through my mother, and the strength that I had when faced with my struggles that helped me remain steadfast in my faith despite everything.

My prayer in that time was simple: “If God is for me, why can’t he make it right with my wife and my mother? Why doesn’t he want me to go and teach others in the church? Why doesn’t he want me to be a missionary?” I felt that I had been a great and faithful servant to my wife in our marriage, and I felt that I had been faithful to my parents through my mother’s health struggles. I thought, “If God is for me, perhaps he is for my family as well.”

My first real test was to see if I could pray on my knees in front of my mother. She was suffering from stomach cancer when I began praying in preparation, but once this prayer was taken directly from the scriptures, I was able to pray with my family. We prayed in the basement of our apartment for almost an hour, and she was ultimately able to see how I was praying and to relate to me. When the tumor was removed (as was the diagnosis), I had no choice but to leave my mom and go through what I had been praying for. My mission began on October 14th of this year.

So that’s where I am right now: I don’t know what my final decision will be, but I know I will choose to serve. It’s more important that I finish my mission now and begin the restoration of the gospel than it is to wait until I have a “perfect” experience or until I am ready to go to a hospital for surgery. My first priority after my mission will be to build up my finances and to start moving forward from where we are today.

In this post, I’m going to share how I used the scriptures and other writings of Jesus as a guide.  This approach was most beneficial for me when I was seeking direction to be honest or for my mother to have strength to overcome her health challenges. That post focused on the scriptures for my mission.  Here I’m going to show you how to also use the writings of prophets and apostles as well as other writings. This is especially helpful to those who are struggling with depression.

1.       Seek inspiration.   When in doubt about whether you really want to serve a mission or whether you are prepared with what you will teach or how God wants you to serve, seek to find answers about your answers to those questions.  Be willing to listen to the voice of your spirit. If you are struggling in the scriptures or in other areas of your life, read and pray about the scriptures.