“Too Nervous to Speak Up,” Ensign, Aug. 2000, 66–67
Shyness and nervousness have always made my life difficult. High school and college were trying because I was too afraid to answer questions verbally. Job interviews were equally hard, and it was difficult for me to secure employment.
After I joined the Church, sometimes I did not go to Church meetings for fear of being asked to offer a prayer. I felt bad having a testimony and not sharing it with my fellow brothers and sisters, but I was too nervous to speak up. One Sunday I was asked to offer a spiritual thought the next week. As I walked home after church that Sunday, I thought seriously of never returning.
That afternoon I decided to have a nap. Before I dozed off, my six-year-old son, David, walked into the bedroom holding a copy of the Pearl of Great Price. He had opened the book to Moses, chapter 6, and he asked me to read it to him. Reluctantly I told him I was tired, and I closed the book. He pleaded, “Please, Mommy, just read here.” He again opened to Moses, chapter 6, and pointed to verse 31. I started to read about Enoch:
“He bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?
“And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good” (Moses 6:31–32).
Even before David asked me to explain these scriptures, I had a new feeling within me. In the best and simplest way I could, I spoke to him in Kiswahili, our native tongue, and explained that the Lord promised to help Enoch and to make his weaknesses his strengths (see Ether 12:27). David smiled at me and told me to continue resting.
I did not go to sleep but spent the time pondering the realization that I am a special child of God and that He had a purpose in sending me to earth.
The next Sunday I was nervous, but I gave the spiritual thought. I was later called as a Relief Society teacher, and with the help of the other sisters and my loving Heavenly Father I was able to teach the lessons. I was subsequently called as first counselor in the branch Relief Society presidency.
It is amazing how the scriptures can bring light into our lives, both spiritually and temporally.