Recently a brother walked up to me and said, “How do you always manage to deliver Sacrament talks that are inspiring and not boring.” Honestly, I do not know this thing for sure I can testify that this gift comes from my Loving Heavenly Father.
When I was six years old and up until I was fifteen, I suffered from severe stammering and stuttering. I would remain quiet and not talk with anyone because if I did talk, people might laugh at me, which was embarrassing and awkward. I wanted to overcome this problem, but my family’s financial circumstances did not allow me to visit a speech pathologist or therapist. I enrolled in a free public speaking course conducted at school. I gave up football and cricket to attend this course for three years. The teacher recognised my challenge and encouraged me to memorise daily conversations, speeches and articles.
In addition to this, I started participating in debates, elocution and oratorical contests. Event after event, program after program, I kept participating and losing. Friends at school ridiculed me for collecting participating certificates. My intention was not to win but to overcome my stammering. I started reading the book of Mormon loudly every day, participated in seminary and memorised scripture masteries. A particular scripture caught my attention, “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble …….for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”1
In my final year of high school, I won the school level, district, regional and finally, South India’s best speaker award. I continued to win many accolades in graduate and Post Graduate School. What was once a problem, and a weakness became my biggest strength; I made speaking my profession and career.
The difference between delivering a lecture/presentation at work and church is that I must depend on the spirit to guide my talk and lessons at church. My loving Heavenly Father gives this gift, and I rejoice in using it to praise his name.
- Ether 12:27