Tuesday, April 12, 2011

LDS Writer Blogfest: LDS Women are Incredible!

I'm very excited to be a part of this Blogfest today, hosted by Krista V. and Kayeleen Hamblin.

I don't blog about my religion or beliefs very often, so this was a challenge for me to come up with a blog post just about that. Some of you may know we just had our semi-annual General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They had some amazing talks on some amazing subjects. There were so many things I needed to hear, and I already can't wait for the next one.

For this blogfest, I had a really hard time choosing just one talk to write about. But ultimately I decided on the one by Quinten L. Cook. His talk was on LDS Women are Incredible.

He started his talk out with this story.

"Author and historian Wallace Stegner wrote about the Mormon migration and gathering to the Salt Lake Valley. He did not accept our faith and in many ways was critical; nevertheless, he was impressed with the devotion and heroism of our early Church members, especially the women. He stated, “Their women were incredible.”
Our women are not incredible because they have managed to avoid the difficulties of life—quite the opposite. They are incredible because of the way they face the trials of life. Despite the challenges and tests life has to offer—from marriage or lack of marriage, children’s choices, poor health, lack of opportunities, and many other problems—they remain remarkably strong and immovable and true to the faith. Our sisters throughout the Church consistently “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”

Such amazing words to hear.

This is part of our Doctrine: Women are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves them. Wives are equal to their husbands. Marriage requires a full partnership where wives and husbands work side by side to meet the needs of the family.

I honestly don't know what I would do without knowing this simple truth. I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me. He knows what my weaknesses are. He knows what I'm struggling with. He is always there. Always listening.

An experience of mine made me realize how much compassion the women in the LDS church have. I have always tried to help out, but haven't done everything I can to help other people.
I had a hard time going to church when I was pregnant with my third child. I was very sick, and was in a lot of pain. The relief society in my ward found out, and soon the phone was ringing off the hook. The women in my ward called and asked when they could bring dinner. Now, I'm not really someone who likes to be waited on. I'm pretty independent, but I knew I needed help, and they brought us meals for two weeks straight. After my sweet baby girl was born, they brought more meals.

It's so amazing how thoughtful the women in the church are. If someone needs a meal, there is always someone who volunteers. If someone needs help with their children, they jump at the chance to help. There are so many ways the sisters of the church show their love.

I wanted to share another story Brother Cook mentioned in his talk. He spoke of women who thought they weren't worth as much because of different choices they had made in their lives.

When I was in New Zealand last year, I read in an Auckland newspaper of women, not of our faith, struggling with some issues. One mother said she realized that in her case, her choice about whether to work or stay home was about a new carpet and a second car that she didn’t really need. Another woman, however, felt “the biggest enemy of a happy family life was not paid work—it was television.” She said that families are TV rich and family-time poor.

I loved these examples.

He also gave us two principles to keep in mind throughout our lives.

Number one: No woman should ever feel the need to apologize or feel that her contribution is less significant because she is devoting her primary efforts to raising and nurturing children. Nothing could be more significant in our Father in Heaven’s plan.

Number two: We should all be careful not to be judgmental or assume that sisters are less valiant if the decision is made to work outside the home. We rarely understand or fully appreciate people’s circumstances. Husbands and wives should prayerfully counsel together, understanding they are accountable to God for their decisions.

I was so happy to hear this. I am a stay at home mom, and sometimes I feel like I'm not worth anything. I don't make any money, I don't have a career, and I don't have a degree. Am I worthless because of it? No. I am raising 3 beautiful children, who need me. I've been able to see them achieve every milestone in their little lives and it has been such a blessing. I also have a friend that works outside the home, and I have never thought less of her for not staying home with her children. I would never look down on her. Ever. Women have to do what is best for their family. For me, it's to stay home with my kids. For her, she is able to spend time with her kids and work outside the home as well.

The point is, we are all amazing women. Even those that aren't my faith. We are amazing. We are making a difference in the world. Raising children, or writing great books. Being wives and sisters, grandmothers and daughters. Being an example to those around us. We have to much to offer, and so much to give.

All in all, I just want to say this. I know this church is true. I know it with all my heart. It has been one of the greatest things in my life, and I'm so blessed to be a part of it. I'm so thankful I can raise my children in this gospel, and watch them grow and understand that their Heavenly Father does love them, and is there for them whenever they need Him.

There are a bunch of other blogs participating in the LDS Writer Blogfest today. I have all the links below. Stop by and say hello! :)

If you want to know more about what I believe as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, click here.

Annette Lyon: “Desire”
Annie Cechini: “The Spirit of Revelation”
Ben Spendlove: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Chantele Sedgwick: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Charity Bradford: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Jackee Alston: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Jenilyn Tolley: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Jennifer McFadden: “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home”
Jessie Oliveros: “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home”
Jolene Perry: “It’s Conference Once Again”
Jordan McCollum: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Kasey Tross: “Guided by the Holy Spirit”
Kayeleen Hamblin: “Become as a Little Child”
Kelly Bryson: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Krista Van Dolzer: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Melanie Stanford: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Michelle Merrill: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Myrna Foster: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Nisa Swineford: “Desire”
Sallee Mathews: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Sierra Gardner: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Tamara Hart Heiner: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”
The Writing Lair: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”


Sierra Gardner said...

This was such a wonderful talk. We really are surrounded by wonderful women. I'm always blown away by how amazing the ladies in our RS are.

Patti said...

We really need to remember to lift each other up and not judge other people's decision. I think a lot of people who are working wish they could be stay at home moms - at least that's how I feel.

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

I feel exactly the same way! And have had some of the same experiences, especially with my last pregnancy. I love the compassionate and nurturing role that women can fill. It's amazing.

Annie Laurie Cechini said...

It's awesome that the Lord trusts us enough to think for ourselves, make choices, and do what is best for our own individual families. Love it. :)

Jolene Perry said...

chantele - that was so awesome. I will say this over and over - no women are treated as well or as respected as much as they are in the LDS faith. The older I get, the more firmly I believe it.
Thanks SO much for sharing!

Melanie Stanford said...

Being a stay at home mom, I've felt wortless too- like I can't do anything, like I'm useless. That talk and your post was a great reminder that we are all worth something and that we are loved.

Michelle Merrill said...

Yay! I'm so glad you did the blogfest too :) The Relief Society rocks right? I was on bedrest for four weeks with my twins and I had NO family around. None. The church had someone come in every day to help with my oldest child. It was awesome and I never could have done it without them. But your right, there are awesome woman everywhere. Thanks for sharing :)

Maggie said...

What a great blog hop. I didn't know about it. I loved this talk at conference as well. I can't wait to get the Ensign copy and read it again.

Ruth Josse said...

Women really are wonderful in their countless strengths. I am thankful for the beautiful exmaples that surround me. Thank you for sharing your testimony Chantele.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Great thoughts, Chantele! I especially liked reading your testimony at the end. I hope a lot of people stop by to read it. Thank you again for participating in the blogfest.

Unknown said...

Oh no! I forgot to thank Krista and Kayeleen for hosting this when I posted. Now I feel bad! I did love your thoughts though. What a beautiful testimony!

amberargyle said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

MTeacress said...

I loved conference. It's always such a boost for me, and Brother Cook's talk was wonderful. :)

Anonymous said...

Great post, I love your testimony :)

Jessie Oliveros said...

I had a career and admission to a master's program, but it wasn't what I wanted. I wanted to stay home. I love it every day. Even the days I want to gouge my eyes out.

And I REALLY love Relief Society. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Stacy Henrie said...

What a neat blogfest and what a beautiful post -I loved that talk too. The need to do what's best for our individual families is something I'm learning more and more as I get older.

Kasey @ The Beautiful Thrifty Life said...

You forgot to mention that you are also a remarkable writer! I loved this post, especially the personal examples you gave, and I also loved your interview with the princesses. It literally had me laughing out loud. Thank you for the reminder that we are incredible!! :-)

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Thanks you guys! :) You seriously made me cry!

Charity Bradford said...

Chantele, amazing post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this great talk. I love that we all have different aspects of the talks that touch our hearts.