Monday, August 31, 2009

Counsel to Young Men

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Counsel to Young Men, by President Boyd K. Packer
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles


I've been thinking about trajectories.

My memories of athletics as a youth are fraught with embarrassment and humiliation. (Before we proceed, please know that I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad, nor am I fishing for compliments.) I remember well the elementary school days of choosing teams for kickball, soccer, and every other team sport. I hope the selective process is different now, but when I was younger, the PE instructor chose the two most popular children in the class and nominated them as captains. What followed was a painful popularity contest and perceived physical abilities assessment.

In some ways I'm grateful that I was consistently chosen last. (For one thing, it gives me something to laugh about now!) I chuckle as I remember the captains ultimately arguing not over who got me on their team, but on which team was stuck with me.

I lived up to my reputation.

I was reminded of these painful/funny experiences when President Packer shared of his experiences, which resonated with me:

I read about the man who went to a doctor to find a cure for his inferiority complex. After a careful examination, the doctor told him, “You don’t have a complex. You really are inferior!”

Even though I might still be chosen last if I were in a similar situation today, I don't think the process would break my heart, as it did then. In the interim I've learned that it's much more fun to give your all, use what you have, and do your best than it is to mope and meet low expectations.

With advice that is usually catered to young women, President Packer reminds of what is important:

You may see others who seem to have been given a more perfect body than yours. Do not fall into the trap of feeling poorly about your height or weight or your features or your skin color or race.

You are a son of God.

Someone who helped me realize my worth by observing him is my younger brother, Cortney. When I was shy and awkward, he always seemed to be having fun with who he was. I loved to watch him play sports (or do anything physical) because he gave it his all. Even though he wasn't elegant and perfectly coordinated, he showed me that things like falling down are a part of the game, and the way to deal with it is to rise smiling.

My younger brother, and many others, helped me alter the trajectory that I thought I was destined for.

The certainties of the gospel, the truth, once you understand it, will see you through these difficult times.

1 thought:

Rockin Rowe's said...

I recall watching those same types of arguments. Last to be picked. They made me who I am today, and I am proud!