By MELISSA ROBERTSON
Assistant Professor Renata T. Forste will speak on “finding your mission in life” at the Devotional on Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall.
Forste said when making decisions it is important to not limit ourselves based on our preconceived notions, and to allow the Lord to direct us.
“As people grow up in a certain environment, they assume certain rules, so they don’t consider other options and look beyond biases,” she said.
Forste said in the past most women, for example, did not graduate from college. They married and then stayed home with the children and expected their husbands to provide for them. Changing economic conditions have affected families and forced most women to plan for work and careers.
“A lot of women students struggle trying to make decisions about work and families and missions and school,” she said.
But making these decisions is a problem that most students struggle with.
“There are so many choices, and people struggle. It’s a matter of finding the right and of doing right,” she said.
Forste said it is important to allow the Lord to work in our lives.
“We need to be careful to not tell the Lord what we will or won’t do,” she said. “We need to try to be open and flexible, and allow the Spirit to direct us.”
Forste spoke about a female student in her statistics class. The student felt she could not do statistics. Until she realized she could do the problems, the student struggled with the class. But when she realized this was where the Lord wanted her to be, and allowed herself to trust in the Lord, she excelled.
The hardest part of listening to the Lord is accepting that the Lord’s timetable is not our own, Forste said.
But the Lord will help overcome stereotypes and preconceived notions if we are humble and recognize the Lord’s hand in things.
Forste received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BYU and her doctoral degree from the University of Chicago. She received the Child Health and Human Development National Research Service Award at the University of Chicago.
Forste taught at Western Washington University, for three years. In 1995 she came to the BYU Sociology Department.
Forste spent time in South America studying children’s health and family interaction.