[photopress:smiling_girl_1008.jpg,thumb,pp_style]By Danielle Ellis
“Joyful Life” was the theme of the Las Vegas Time Out for Women, held at Cashman Center September
19 & 20. Nearly two thousand women gathered to hear counsel from Sheri Dew, Wendy Watson Nelson, Virginia Pearce, Tom Smith, Chris Stewart and more. Music and inspiration were provided by Hillary Weeks and Jason Deere, and there was even a video segment from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Sheri Dew spoke of the influence of women and said, “You never know the full extent of your influence.” She told the story of a Hawaiian woman named Ma who took in an ailing Joseph F. Smith when he was an orphaned 15-year-old missionary.
All the accounts of her care say that she saved his life as he recovered from severe food poisoning for three months. He considered her as another mother. Considering that he grew up to be the prophet of the church, and wrote Gospel Doctrine, which is still in use today, Joseph F. Smith’s influence is still growing. And yet none of that would have happened if Ma had not saved his life.
Sister Dew likened that to the work all women do every day. Though our acts may be just simple, everyday acts, within a very small circle, they create everlasting influence. She closed with an object lesson on what really matters. She picked up the current issue of Money Magazine, whose back cover ad was for AIG. Despite their claims of financial strength, less than three weeks later, they were insolvent and had accepted an $85 billion buyout from the federal government. She testified, “Nothing of this world lasts. The only things that last are eternal.” Referencing the AIG ad, she remarked “’Strong enough to be there’? Only the Savior is strong enough to be there.”
Wendy Watson Nelson spoke on how great questions lead to great relationships. When we ask good questions, we all “unfreeze” and “suddenly become very bright and full of solutions” to our seemingly intractable problems. She encouraged that we should tell our life stories not as victims or survivors, but as “the hero, with the Lord by my side, with the power of the temple.”
Virginia Pearce spoke on how prayer can help us to find a joyful life. She wore on a necklace her great-grandmother’s wedding band. That band had been lost in straw mattress ticking. It was precious to her great grandmother because at age twenty-two she was already widowed with two little girls. The ring was her memento of her young husband, who died of a strangulated hernia after hanging the east doors of the Manti Temple. Through prayer, the ring was found.
Virginia continued, “Think of her prayers in the wagon as she drove her husband for help. Think of her prayers in her loneliness after his death. Think of her prayers as she tried to support her two little girls.”
She concluded that not every prayer is answered with the answer we want. Sometimes, prayers are answered just to let us know that the Lord loves us, and is with us in our trials.
Jason Deere, producer, songwriter and artist of Joseph: A Nashville Tribute to the Prophet and Trek: A Nashville Tribute to the Pioneers performed his inspiring music, and shared a funny Las Vegas memory.
Deere said he served his mission in Las Vegas, and lived in an “awful little pink trailer off of Boulder Highway.” He quipped, “I always say, ‘two missionaries living in a pink trailer have a lot of explaining to do!”
The women who attended this event had a great “time out” from their lives, with an opportunity to fill their cups to overflowing before returning home to face their lives with new perspective on ways to live a “joyful life.”