Learn from weaknesses, speaker says

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    By Caroline Christiansen

    Beyond Marleen Williams” blonde hair, pink suit, charming smile and ability to adapt when her microphone gives out, her example of love and compassion for all mankind speaks stronger.

    “God”s laws are ultimately laws of love,” Williams said. “They test our ability to love him and our fellowmen.”

    She taught how one”s struggles and weaknesses help individuals gain empathy for others” imperfections. Supporting others in overcoming their weaknesses and challenges was a main theme of her talk.

    “We tend to love those most who”s weaknesses and struggles we know,” Williams said.

    She reminded the audience of Alma”s teachings of bearing others” burdens to fulfill baptismal covenants.

    Williams touched on the fact that the world today thrives on competition. She said in today”s telestial state there is limited room at the top, but in the glory of the celestial kingdom there is room for all who qualify.

    She said it is critical to build a strong friendship before marriage. The sharing of feelings, ideas, activities and experiences will provide a foundation that will ignite the fire in marriage, she said. She emphasized it is very important to have a solid base, more than just physical attraction. “Love is friendship that has caught fire,” Williams said.

    Charity, compassion and communication are three suggestions Williams gave of qualities that will help stabilize marriages through the storms of life.

    Williams gave the audience hope for the future reminding them that God knows the righteous desires of their hearts.

    Williams” used an object lesson about her prescription glasses working perfectly for her but not for everyone else. She said each person needs his or her own unique prescription.

    Katrina Skeen a junior from Charlottesville, Va., studying economics said she liked how Williams taught that God has a prescription for everyone, so there is no reason to compare one”s weaknesses with others” strengths.

    “We need to love ourselves because I think a lot of the time people, including myself, can get caught up in comparing themselves to others,” Skeen said.

    Williams” talk made an impact on students who now look to her as an example.

    “Marleen Williams is a stalwart example of faith, charity and courage,” said Ann Makin, a graduate student from Pleasant Grove studying counseling psychology.

    Williams expresses her marital bliss when speaking of her husband, “This is who taught me all the joys of what a marriage can be,” she said.

    Williams not only impressed the audience but also her husband, Dr. Robert Williams.

    “I often feel that my main mission in life is to provide the support for her to be the person that she is destined to be,” he said. “She is such a wonderful person. I feel that it”s a kind of role reversal where my job is to support her.”

    Cultivating compassion and love for all mankind will help bring peace into our life, Williams said.

    “Peace is when your life is in harmony with the will of God,” she said

    Williams stressed the importance letting go of jealously, competitiveness and uncharitable judgments, which Satan uses in his attempt to ruin love.

    She encourages seeking for personal divine mission in life and to do those things that will help achieve one”s full potential.

    “We cannot rise to our full potential if we are trying to be someone else,” Williams said.

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