In the year 1820 the Prophet Joseph Smith, studying to find answers for his own life, took James 1:5 to heart: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” He went into a grove of trees and asked with his whole heart for understanding. For direction. For help.

And he was answered in a way that changed his life, and mine too.

Love this picture my friend Maureen took of that sacred grove…for more of her beautiful photography check out @mematsenphotography.

I love that every talk in General Conference yesterday seemed to circle back to my favorite request: “hear Him.” Because we can all hear Him in our own sacred ways, our own sacred moments, our own “sacred groves.”

I love the hope, inspiration and love that spilled out of every one of those talks. I think I may have loved Elder Andersen’s the most because he talked so much about those sacred moments when we connect to God. I believe that is what this life is all about. I love how he encouraged us to treasure those moments, write them down, and I love that he promised us that as we do, more and more will come into our lives.

I felt like Douglas Holmes talk echoed that with so many thoughts I’ve been thinking about lately, and spoke right to my heart as well. I love how he talked about how seeing others as God sees them will help THEM see themselves as God sees them. Beautiful experiences come as we carry the love of God in our hearts for ourselves and for others. I love how he talked about allowing the Savior to help us transform into the best version of ourselves. And I loved his quote from Elder Maxwell: “if our youth are too underwhelmed by the power of God, they will be more overwhelmed by the world.” Oh I that is so true for all of us, especially at this time where the world is tilting so heavily to the side.

I could say so much more but conference is starting in FIVE MINUTES!

COME JOIN US! You can listen really any time (all the talks from yesterday are already online HERE) but there are two sessions today that, if you let them into your heart, really let them in with a heart ready to be comforted, I promise they will change you and give you hope. And you will feel some of those sacred moments Elder Andersen was talking about.

Here is the link:

I love that our prophet pleads for us not to hear his own words, but to “hear Him:” the Master Healer, the Creator of our hearts, the One who understands and loves us more deeply and beautifully than anyone else ever could.

He is there.

He is ours and we are His.

And that is such a magnificent thing.

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  1. Hi Shawni!

    Thank you for always being willing to share your faith!

    I found your blog as a freshman in college, after seeing your “I am a Mormon” video shortly before the April 2011 conference. Your blog amazed me because you were so “normal” and I haven’t stopped reading since. I credit your blog, along with the fabulous online missionaries, for getting me to tune into that April 2011 Conference, and for eventually stepping foot in an LDS chapel for the first time. In the years since finding the church, love that I now have a “bigger picture” viewpoint when times get hard. There aren’t any temples near me, but I’ve always made a point to visit and walk the grounds whenever I travel near one. In fact, my career started bringing me to the Mesa area over the last few years, and I’ve loved getting to visit the Gilbert Temple!

    Nine years after tuning into my first conference, not only did I get some clear answers to big questions, but it was announced that a temple would be built in my city of Pittsburgh!

    I wanted to thank you for your example and share the huge part you played in bringing me to Christ.



    1. Oh Ciara! THANK YOU for this sweet message. Makes me so happy, wish I could give you a big hug! Thank you for being willing to share your faith as well!

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