I had the opportunity to speak at a stake women’s conference back in September.

It was entitled “Sisters United in Christ” and it sure got me thinking about how powerful we can be when we unite.

Which then got me thinking about division, and what in the world causes so much of it these days.

I put this question on my Instagram account to gather input:

And it was so interesting to see all the answers that flooded in. (I don’t know how to show them any better than this assortment, and I don’t even know if you can read that tiny writing very well, but wanted to share a sample):

Biggest answers were jealousy, comparison & judgement.

“Our feelings of inadequacy from comparing ourselves to others.”

I also posed this question:

Some of the answers:

“Feeling safe,” “feeling needed,” “more listening,” “Service,” “reaching out,” “Love as opposed to pride.”

I think every answer boils down to “connection.”

Oh how we need it!

And how it gets lost sometimes.

For some reason I was so nervous about this talk!

I have done quite a bit of public speaking so I don’t know why this hit me so hard. It was interesting though, I had a pretty cool experience handing it over to God, and it felt like such a burden lifted.

And I loved being able to talk with those wonderful women.

I am just going to jumble a few of the thoughts I talked about together here in no particular order because people sent me some stuff I loved and want to share.

I talked about sisterhood.

What does it mean to be a sister?

How much I adore these sisters of mine.

And I so adore these sisters I get to witness as well:

(That was after Lucy’s surgery a while back.)

We talked about how when we are sisters (because I do believe we all are), we see the best in others. We let ourselves be vulnerable. We realize everyone has their own stories. Everyone is coming to the world with such different lenses. And when we listen, when we put ourselves in their shoes, we begin to really understand that sisterhood.

(Everyone gave such great comments.)

We talked about how sometimes it’s so EASY to judge (and thus, create division), when we don’t know the whole story.

It’s so natural, human nature as we try to figure things out.

I told a story of how someone told me once that they had gone to my same high school and they felt like I always looked down my nose at everyone.

I was shocked because this is how I felt in high school:


Ok, I blossomed a little from that by the time I got to high school, but I still felt like that girl right there. I was so shy! So I felt horrible that someone would think I didn’t think the best of them.

Everyone has such different lenses from which they see life!

I love this:

I loved this too (people sent me some good stuff from those Instagram questions)…it was Steve from Blue’s Clues just talking about how we have made it through some tough times, and that it’s pretty cool that we have.

There were literally tens of THOUSANDS of comments on that thing:

People need to know that they matter.

That they are enough.

And we can help with that if we will listen and love and lift (like Steve did:)

Someone also sent me this:

Just stuff to think about.

Loved that I got to stay and get to know some of those wonderful ladies after I spoke.

Love this woman who put it all together…who happens to be second cousins with Dave and also best of friends with my Aunt:

Can you see that light in her? She is so wonderful.

One more little thought on these same lines:

Lucy and I just watched “Wonder” again, and oh man, what good lessons about uniting that movie has! Loved this quote at the end:

“Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.
If you really want to see who people are, all you have to do…
is look.”

Sending out love to all my SISTERS out there this Tuesday morning (ok, and any brothers who are reading too!), along with all these jumbled thoughts!

If you don’t know it already, you matter! Never forget that!

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  1. Shawni
    I thought of you when I read Cup Of Jo’s blog today. Her grandmother recites poetry and it made me think you would enjoy this
    Just sharing

  2. LOVE THIS!!! My kids are grown now, but every morning when I dropped them off at school I said “be kind and remember, you never know the burdens others are carrying today”. Now, in the empty nest season of life and as I’m mentoring young mothers at church, I’ve changed that mantra a bit to “remember, you never know the burdens others are carrying unless you ask”. I think we all need to do more asking.

  3. My Dad gave a talk at a stake leadership meeting recently and I wish the whole world could hear it too… His two points were: Purity (having a “pure outlook”, anything and everything that could be deemed under purity), and Charity. These two attributes encompass forgiving and repenting, fresh views, outlooks, love, power beyond our own, unity. And they are gifts from God as we seek them!

  4. I’m so happy to see at least this snippet of your talk! So wish I could have been there to see your light while talking about this deeply needed topic right now!. Love you!

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