"Your Happily Ever After"- Pres. Uchtdorf Excerpts and Additional Thoughts by Me
"You are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father prepared to come to the Earth at this particular time for a sacred and glorious purpose. ...Isn't it remarkable to know that our eternal Heavenly Father knows you, hears you, watches over you, and loves you with an infinite love? ...Adversity helps to develop a depth of character that comes in no other way. Our loving Heavenly Father has set us in a world filled with challenges and trials so that we, through opposition, can learn wisdom, become stronger, and experience joy. ...It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life's story will develop. ... Enduring adversity is not the only thing you must do to experience a happy life. Let me repeat: how you react to adversity and temptation is a critical factor in whether or not you arrive at your own 'happily ever after.' ...We all search for happiness, and we all try to find our own 'happily ever after.' The truth is, God knows how to get there! And He has created a map for you; He knows the way. He is your beloved Heavenly Father, who seeks your good, your happiness. He desires with all the love of a perfect and pure Father that you reach your supernal destination. The map is available to all. ...All you have to do is trust your Heavenly Father. Trust Him enough to follow His plan. ...Some may wonder why they attend Church meetings or why it is so important to read the scriptures regularly or pray to our Heavenly Father daily. Here is my answer: You do these things because they are part of God's path for you. And that path will take you to your 'happily ever after' destination. 'Happily ever after' is not something found only in fairy tales. You can have it! It is available for you! But you must follow your Heavenly Father's map. ...Be strong and of good courage. You are truly royal spirit daughters of Almighty God. You are princesses, destined to become queens. Your own wondrous story has already begun. Your 'once upon a time' is now. ...And the day will come when you turn the final pages of your own glorious story; there you will read and experience the fulfillment of those blessed and wonderful words: 'and they lived happily ever after.'"- President Uchtdorf, "Your Happily Ever After", General Young Women's Conference, April 2010
Here's a link to the full talk. (Although I copied probably half to three-fourths of the talk here, the rest is still very much worth reading!)
I absolutely love this talk. It perfectly captures the wish and dream of every little girl who waits for the day when she will eventually experience her own personal fairy tale, and live her own "Happily Ever After". I know I have been that little girl once, and in some ways I'm still that girl.
I walked away from this talk appreciating a little more the adversities I have, and will yet have, in my life. For I know that the adversities I have in my life are ultimately for my good. To make me grow and be stronger. To mold me into the person I am destined to become. I will not let my trials go to waste, and get the best of me. Everyone has to go through hardship, so why suffer in vain? Why not make the most of it and try to learn whatever lessons may be learned through the trial and experience? I know this is so much easier said than done. But I hope I can learn to do this better and better each trial I face. Besides, with the struggle- victory is that much sweeter. I am making a commitment that if I must suffer through the trial to begin with, then I will find and utilize the blessings to be found within the trial rather than just suffer through and never receive the blessings.
I also walked away from this talk wanting to make the most of my life, my "once upon a time" so to speak, and live up to the potential within me as a literal spirit daughter of God. I walked away reminded that I know I have an intimate relationship with my Heavenly Father, and as my Father, He loves me more than I can ever hope to comprehend. He is with me every step of the way; He always has been, and I know He always will be.
I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church on the Earth today. I know that this church is not a church of men, but of the Savior, Jesus Christ. And always has been since Christ restored the Gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith. And He (Christ) continues to lead and guide the Church through the current prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. I know that the Twelve Apostles are also called by God to give us counsel and guidance from our Heavenly Father.
I know that the Atonement is real, and that it works. I know the Savior took upon my own personal sins, sorrows, disappointments, and pain. The Atonement has made it possible to repent of my many sins. And through the Savior and His incredible Atonement, I can- and WILL- have my own Happily Ever After.
I am so grateful that I have a Heavenly Father and Savior who love and care enough about me to provide this Earth, my body (as broken and disfigured as it may be), and this testing period. I'm so grateful that I had enough faith to follow Heavenly Father's plan in the premortal existence and agree to-even be excited to!-come to Earth. And I pray that I may continue to have the faith necessary to continue to follow Heavenly Father's plan for me through my mortal existence. This mortal life truly is a blink of an eye in the eternal perspective. But man does that blink of an eye sure have a huge influence over, and even determines, the rest of your eternity! I hope that I have the faith and endurance that it takes to hold on and never let go of what I KNOW to be true. Somehow I have the confidence that I DO have what it takes. Of course with MUCH assistance from my Savior and Heavenly Father.
I love the Church, and more importantly the Gospel it contains. I love the Atonement and the Savior who made it possible. Finally, I love my Heavenly Father. To sum everything up simply, I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.