Kristen Walker Smith, a bestselling author and co-host of the One Minute Scripture Study podcast, taught an Education Week lecture about lies Latter-day Saint women believe and the truths Christ wants them to know.
Smith began her Education Week four-day lecture series on Tuesday by covering the topic of not feeling enough. She organized her presentation in three sections based on different lies women believe and the truths which counteract those thoughts.
Lie: Others can do great things, but I’m too ordinary. Truth: I am amazing and destined to do great things. It’s just who I am.
Smith introduced this lie by telling the audience about how she constantly compared herself to her older sister while growing up.
“I based so much of my life around comparing myself to her,” Smith said. “I thought, ’I will just settle because I can’t do great things.’” She extended this thought by asking the audience if they had related to that feeling of comparison.
“Maybe you have someone in your ward who is the perfect woman,” Smith said. “She’s always there serving people, has a line of 25 kids but they always look fabulous every Sunday, her husband is perfect. Do you ever go online and look at people’s Instagram and think, ‘I will never be enough?’”
Smith said each individual is unique and is destined to do different things.
“God doesn’t make mistakes,” Smith said. “You are here on purpose because God can count on you to do the things he trusts you to do every single day. He doesn’t need you to be perfect, He needs you to be willing.”
Lie: I just can’t do it. I’ll never be enough for the Celestial Kingdom. Truth: I’m totally going to make it; with Jesus I’m more than enough.
Smith explained how people often compare their spiritual power to others’ and think they are not doing enough.
“We are our harshest critics,” Smith said. “We think ‘I should be a perfectly patient mother. I should be constantly aware of others’ needs and ready to fill them. I should be a scripture scholar.’”
Smith explained this is not how Christ sees people. She said He is there to help everyone along every step of the way to get to the Celestial Kingdom.
“Christ will do spiritual surgery on us,” Smith said. “That’s part of the plan. We just have to do our little part by staying on the path.”
Lie: God loves everyone, but not me personally. Truth: I am so loved it’s ridiculous.
Smith showed a slide with the phrase, “According to the world, I need to be ____ to be loved and accepted?” She then asked the audience to call out words to fill the blank. Answers included the words thin, popular, fun, beautiful, well-dressed and smart but not too smart.
“We all know the list,” Smith said. “We know the things we need to do to be loved and accepted.”
Smith moved to the next slide which read, “According to Jesus, I need to be ____ to be loved and accepted?” Answers from the audience included words such as obedient, kind, humble and loyal.
Smith contrasted these ideas in telling the audience how in reality, nothing has to go in the blank. “According to Jesus, you are loved,” Smith said. “He loves it when you are humble and obedient, but His love for you doesn’t change.”
She explained Jesus has seen all of people’s sins and has been with them during the times they have struggled. “He took your pains. You are worth it to Him.”
Smith ended her presentation by telling the audience she hoped they could feel better after hearing those truths. “I hope you believe more in yourself and love yourself more because God believes in you,” Smith said.