I have a new favorite Book of Mormon hero.. Abish! When she recognized God's power in action, "she knew that it was the power of God... therefore SHE RAN FORTH from house to house making it known unto the people." She later used faith to raise the queen from a death-like sleep. "The power of Abish’s... testimony was instrumental in changing an entire society. The people who heard her testify became a people who “were converted unto the Lord, [and] never did fall away,” and their sons became the stripling warriors!" -Elaine S. Dalton This is the power of true faith.. to feel, believe in, and recognize God.. to have righteous desires, particularly a desire to build the kingdom of God.. and then to ACT promptly and with eagerness. In doing so, the power of faith can work through us. Her example is so beautiful to me!!! I am not doing it justice so don't take my word for it ... read Alma 19!! When I read these three words this morning in my scripture study: "she ran forth," I felt a sacred invitation and divine urging compelling me to go forward with the type of enthusiasm Abish had.. to lift, share, and love others, inviting them to see the truth, inviting them to come unto Christ.
Then I realized, there is an important pattern here. The pattern applies to everyone, but perhaps especially to women. So ladies, listen up!
After she ran forth and testified, she gathered the people to see. Then they started talking, complaining, speaking lies about Ammon and God, and just arguing with each other. This upset her profoundly!
Her emotions were intense and caused her to cry!!
These intense emotions caused her to take action.
I visualize her reasoning together with the Lord (D&C 50:10) then she humbly but hopefully thought "perhaps" if she touched the hand of the queen she might raise her from the ground. She didn't command or expect this to happen, but...
Her extreme emotions combined with her incredible faith in God
caused her to DO something! And THE MOMENT she did it, it worked!
The queen raised up! The multitude saw and many were converted!
So let's not miss the importance emotions play in a pattern that can lead us to act as agents who access the power of God through their faith.
Have a powerfully strong testimony
Have a desire to strengthen the testimony of others
See how the actions of others are negatively impacting themselves and/or others
Experience your feelings and/or emotions (don't resist or suppress them)
Let those energies work in you
Counsel with the Lord
Take action with faith in Jesus Christ, trusting that His will be done
I took some liberties here. It might not be a perfect pattern to follow every time, but you get the idea. It appears at least one lesson from Abish's powerful example is that our emotions are a gift and a catalyst. So let's re-frame the way we think of our emotions!
Exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate feelings are pleasing unto God. -Jacob 2:7
It's okay to not feel okay all of the time. And it's okay to be emotional and let those emotions show. Please allow yourself to feel what you feel. Elder Holland taught, "tears are alright." Indeed your tears and your sweet, delicate feelings are pleasing to Him who created you. Do not smother them with false ideas that you are weak or bad for not feeling happy 24/7. Be authentic. Let your emotions drive you to the One who can heal and deliver.
He is a Man of Counsel. Together you can let those tender feelings refine and stretch you into your beautiful, true self. He wants to comfort your painful feelings, but He can only do that if you sacrifice them to Him honestly. Pour your heart out to Him; release what is painful. Together you can establish a plan to create change. Together you can work wonders to strengthen your faith and the faith of others. That is His will. Let His will work in you. Not in spite of your strong emotions, but as part of a pattern that includes those strong emotions.