By: Rebecca Irvine
One of the things I enjoy doing, although it has been a rare occurrence, is speaking. I especially love speaking in sacrament meeting. Yes, I get nervous, but I love the challenge of putting together a well-balanced talk and then delivering it (which is a challenge in itself).
Well, a month ago I was asked to speak in sacrament meeting. I accepted willingly, with a smile on my face, and immediately began my background and research work. I spent a number of mornings looking up scriptures, pondering various conference talks, and then deciding which personal stories I might share. My scripture journal was more well used this past month than it has been for quite a while.
Yesterday was the big day. My stress level was high because I also had to teach Sharing Time in primary and attend ward council before church. As I sat on the stand waiting for my turn I shivered with cold despite having clamy palms. Communication apprehension was running high.
But it was all for nothing.
By the time it was my turn to speak there were only two minutes left in the meeting. You see, the bishopric had scheduled two youth speakers in addition to the three adult speakers (not to mention the choir number). And having been the mom sitting in the audience with the squirming children before, I could not bring myself to force everyone to sit there and listen to my 15 minute talk. That would be just a little selfish, right?
So, I stood up. Scrapped my talk. Spoke for two minutes on my assigned topic. And then sat down.
I think this is a lot like working on a manuscript for years and then getting turned down by a publisher. A great deal of sweat and tears, seemingly for nothing. At least with writing the manuscript can be resubmitted elsewhere. What are the chances I will be asked to speak on the same topic again in church?
I am guessing not good.