Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Time Out for Women II

            Yesterday I wrote about a Time Out for Women (TOFW) that I attended last weekend. I explained in that post what TOFW is and shared some thoughts from the speakers on Friday evening. Today I want to share some of the thoughts from the speakers on Saturday morning.

            Hilary Weeks provided the music for the morning session. She is a hometown girl and a graduate of Dimond High School in Anchorage. She shared a few thoughts with each of her songs, and I particularly liked this one: “Hold on to good compliments, and never hold back in giving good ones.” Her music is beautiful and is available to the public.

            Mary Ellen Edmunds was the first speaker on Saturday morning, and she spoke about prayer. She says that the commandment to pray is repeated more often than any other commandment. She suggests that we ask the Lord some questions: (1) Is there anything that I am doing that I should not be doing? (2) Is there anything that I am not doing that I should be doing? (3) Is there anyone I should help? She quotes Sister Patricia Holland as saying, “Prayer may be the hardest work we do.” She shared several scriptures about prayer that teach us how to pray: (1) 3 Nephi 18:20 – ask what is right, (2) Moroni 7:26 – as what is good, (3) Doctrine and Covenants 88:64 – ask what is expedient, (4) Doctrine and Covenants 88:63 – seek diligently, and (5) Doctrine and Covenants 25:12 – remember that the soul delights in the song of the heart. The last two bits of counsel are that we should do something to prepare to speak with Heavenly Father (read scriptures, listen to quiet music, visit a favorite spot in nature, etc.) and make sure that we do enough asking, listening, and thanking.

            Holly Christensen was the second speaker on Saturday morning. She is a local woman who told how she sought for several months to know how the Lord wanted her to serve. Because of her experience as a nurse working with cancer patients, Holly knew that “chemotherapy treatments leave young scalps too sensitive for traditional wigs.” When her friend’s young daughter had cancer, Holly decided to make a Rapunzel wig out of soft, comfortable yarn for her. One thing led to another, and Holly partnered with Bree Hitchcock to organize the Magic Yarn Project, a non-profit organization. As of April 2017 the Magic Yarn Project has provided 1900+ wigs to children in 23 countries at no cost. The wigs were made by 900+ Magic Makers (volunteers) and are inspired by Disney characters. They are magic because they “invite children back to the world of play and daydreaming” and “are a beacon of fun, laughter, and play during a scary time.” The above quotes and more information about the Magic Yarn Project can be found here.

            Wendy Ulrich was the last speaker on Saturday morning, and she spoke to the topic of gaining self-confidence. She claims that women are less confident than men and gives the following as evidence: (1) Women are less likely than men to express opinions in group settings. (2) Women underestimate ability and accuracy. (3) Women do not rebound as quickly as men from negative feedback. (4) Women are more likely to quit hard classes. Ulrich says that women’s lack of confidence keep us from tackling difficult projects and achieving our potential. She suggests that women develop the following skills in order to increase their confidence.

1. Having a plan and a clear goal increases confidence. What are your deepest desires? What are your values in this situation? What can you do to live those values?

2. Having a learning desire increases the chances of developing or practicing skills. Gaining these skills does not come without failures. More resilient students consider their failures to be learning experiences and opportunities to grow.

3. Accepting that anxiety is normal and goes hand-in-hand with high intelligence. (When Moroni worried about how the Gentiles would accept his writing, the Lord told him that “fools mock.”)

4. Putting our trust in God. He trusts us to learn and succeed.

            Anthony Sweat and Brad Wilcox spoke on Saturday afternoon. I will include their comments about faith, hope, charity, and grace in future Sunday posts. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Time Out for Women. I encourage my readers to plan to attend TOFW when it comes to your location.

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