Friday, November 11, 2011

My Very First Value Project!

The Young Womens program in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is akin to the Scouting Program for boys. A young woman enters at the age of twelve and stays in until she turns eighteen or graduates high school. It is based on eight different values: Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Integrity, and Virtue. In each value, six "Experiences" are performed and passed off before a "Project" can be completed. The Experiences vary in requirements from as easy as reading scripture and writing in your journal, to studying certain Christlike characteristics and working on developing them in yourself for a few weeks. Each Project requires at least ten hours of investment.

After completing all the required Experiences and then a Project for each value, a Young Woman then earns her Young Women Medallion. This is similar to a Young Man earning his Eagle Scout.

Since I did not grow up in the LDS Church, and since I was called as the First Counselor in the Young Womens Presidency, I have decided to work on earning my own Young Women Medallion. It is an amazing experience. I have gained invaluable insight to the importance of not only a woman's role in the family, but also been illuminated to just how valuable and essential the youth of these latter days are to our Heavenly Father. I can totally believe it when prophets and scripture tells us that the most valiant of Heavenly Father's spiritual children have been saved to come forth during this last dispensation before the second coming of our great Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I feel the immense influence of the Spirit when I come in contact with any type of media, or talk, or program that is aimed at the youth of the church. Why is that? Could it be because the adversary, Lucifer, is also aiming his greatest weapons at this chosen generation?

Whatever the answer, I am proof that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can help a person change their very nature. I stand and share with women, young and old, my personal recommendation for a program that will help you become the best you that you could possibly be.

Transformed in the Warm Sunlight
by Tiana Galloway
Faith Value Project

My very first value project is on faith. I planted some Jim Dandy peppers in seedling trays that I created using egg cartons.

I watered them every day and kept them on the sill of a very sunny window. They took for ever to germinate. My husband lost hope that they would ever come up, but I had faith that they would.

My plan was to plant a garden with the children but because of timing my husband planted it with them while I was gone one weekend. I had bought seeds for carrots, beets, peas, onion starts, and strawberry plants. When I returned home there was an adorable patch of garden dirt on one side of the raspberries and an even more adorable patch on the other side containing our bright new strawberry plants, some of which already had berries on.

We, the parents made sure the garden was well watered. I, the mom, made sure my peppers in the seed trays stayed watered.

The onions were first to germinate. This brought a lot of excitement to the children. The carrots were next to poke their little green spikes up through the white-speckled dirt. Again, my husband stated that the peppers were a failure and should be thrown away, but I didn't give up.

Then, one day when I devotedly went to water the peppers, just like magic there were a few half inch starts, each with two leaves. It was amazing, The night before, there was nothing and then -poof-, tiny plants. I kept them indoors until I was sure we were past the point of frost then transplanted them in among the other veggies in the small rectangular patch. My tiny peppers were dwarfed by the carrot fronds and beet greens.

I was very much looking forward to the sweetness of the carrots, and the dirt-like flavor of the beats, and using our onions in our meals, and for the children to eat peas like they're candy, and adding flavor to salsa with my own peppers.

Diligently, I watered and weeded. Patiently, I waited for the peppers to have a growth spurt. Even through the hail storms, our garden grew.

The peas did not disappoint. The onions are bigger than previous years. The beets' leaves have been “pestered” so they are aren't as large but should still taste good. The carrots are bright orange; awaiting the cold to fill them with sweetness. My poor little peppers, however, never changed from the two inch seedlings with the perfect pair of leaves. Obviously, there was something that hindered their growth, but I don't have a clue as to what.

It is very rewarding to eat and enjoy food that you have grown yourself. And how can you not be impressed by the miracle of a tiny seed becoming a carrot or beet? Each plant taking in the water we give it; using the nutrients that surround it; and being transformed in the warm sunlight. Each plant containing everything it needs to survive and fill its measure by filling our bellies.

My poor little pepper plants must have been denied something that they needed to thrive and grow while the rest of the garden has grown despite the hardships that were working against it. Faith is very much like a garden.

If we will allow the seed of faith to be planted in our hearts and not hinder its growth it will spring forth seeking the light. Some days, we will be too busy, or too distracted, or too tired to water and feed our faith. Or we might think, “This is too much work. This is not fun. The Lord requires too much.”

This is where diligence and patience comes in. If we continue to trust in God and allow the perfect love of His son, Jesus Christ, into our hearts, we will feel a swelling within our hearts. We will know that this is a good seed because it begins to enlarge our souls.

God's love is like the sunlight. Studying the scriptures and praying every day gives nutrients to our testimonies. With diligence and patience we can be transformed. We can become beautiful and full of goodness, fulfilling our purposes in the plan of God.

Alma 32:27- “...if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”

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