"We Each Have Something Essential to Bring"

Our Women’s conference theme this year is "Come as you are unto the Savior". We are invited to come unto Jesus and bring with us our unique gifts, talents and perspective. Sometimes we feel that we don’t have anything special or important to bring- that we are too flawed or ordinary to be of value to the Savior.

I had an experience this year at stake Girls Camp, that helped me understand the unique value that we each bring. 

On the second day at camp our inspired Stake YW camp leaders told us to come and participate in a painting craft. We all sat down at a long table and were handed a 5 x 7 card with what looked like random lines on it, they also had numbers written on them that matched the paint options on the table- it was a paint by number project. However this was different, because we had no idea what we were painting or how our painting would turn out. One thing was clear immediately- we had vastly different cards from each other. Some girls cards were so simple- they literally only had to paint one color on their card and they were done. Some girls cards were soooo beautiful- full of because bright prink, vibrant red and deep chocolate brown. Mine was neither of those, it was both really hard and really ordinary. My card had so many thin lines to paint in, it looked to me like a topographic map of some canyons. It also had the three most ordinary colors in existence, beige, beiger and beigest. Looking at my card I oddly felt both bored and stressed by my card at the same time. I had card envy of everyone else’s card and wished that I had an easier and more beautiful card to paint. 

 Eventually I stopped focusing on what everyone else was given and instead focus on doing the very best with the card I was given. This was going to be the most well painted beige canyon ever! Once I stopped looking at the vibrant colors around me I found that I didn’t dislike my card quite so much, however, even though I tried my very best I did not paint perfectly. My brush was far too large for some of the tiny little canyons I had to get beige into. Sometimes I legitimately didn’t know which beige went where and so I had to get help from the amazing young women around me- they always were willing and ready to help. I fixed my errors the best I could and handed in my card, not knowing what I had painted but knowing I had tried my very best with what I was given to work with. 

 At the very end of camp was the unveiling of the beautiful art piece that all our cards came together to make. It was a breath-taking painting of our savior. We were each asked to go right up close to it and find out where our painting fit in it. I had no trouble locating my card, and instantly it all made perfect sense to me, all along I had been painting one of the Saviors hands. 

 As I stood there staring at the card I had painted, I understood in a new way what it means to be the Saviors hands on earth. I understand that our earthly values of ease and glimmer and prestige often blind us to the true value of our lives we are living. It struck me, that on that remarkable day when God unveils to us our lives painting, that we will see that the piece we have been asked to paint in this life, isn't ordinary or plain, but is an essential piece. 

 As we come as we are unto the Savior, let us remember that we each have something essential to bring and that the Savior will add to what we bring and will help us become the very best version of ourselves possible. 

 ~Ashley Simmons

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