Education Week: Religion professor tells audience to focus on Lord’s power

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By Brinley King

Editor’s note: Education Week coverage can be found in this section of the website.

Religious education professor Gaylamarie Rosenberg tells Education Week participants on Wednesday to focus more on what they can do instead of what they can’t do. Satan wants people to focus on weaknesses and discouragements, she said, but people should turn to the Lord and focus on His power. (Addie Blacker)

People should focus more on what they can do instead of what they can’t do, Gaylamarie Rosenburg, a BYU religious education professor told a BYU Education Week audience Wednesday.

The Lord does not doubt anyone’s ability, Rosenberg said in her class entitled “Overcoming self doubt and fear of not being enough.”

Rosenberg said one of the most liberating principles found in the gospel of Jesus Christ is agency and that people get to determine their own willingness to serve. Everyone has the ability to choose amid self doubt and fear — people can choose what they focus on, and what they believe.

“We should recognize that we all have self doubt, and that is normal. We just can’t live in it. If we believe and give into self doubt, we could really miss out on so much,” Education Week participant Sarah Bodine said.

Rosenberg warned participants that Satan is the one who focuses on weaknesses and works hard to make people look only at discouragements, but “the point is to not stay discouraged.” 

A way to diminish self doubt and fear is to turn to the Lord and focus on His power, Rosenburg said.

She quoted Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who said, “Rather than dwelling on the immensity of our challenges, would it not be better to focus on the infinite greatness, goodness and absolute power of our God? We need not be paralyzed by fear, instead we can move forward with faith, courage, determination, and trust in God as we approach the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

Rosenburg noted that regardless of a person’s spiritual standing before the Lord, if they want to decrease the fears in their lives, they will need to increase their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

“The Savior desires to empower us. He desires to help us,” she said.

Lynne Thorley, a participant from Lindon, said she wants to pray differently to help her trust more in God’s will for her and ask Him to get rid of her fear. “It is through our own choices.”

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