Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Notes from Women's Conference: Rely on the Lord
The opening speaker was Sandra Rogers, Chairperson of the Women's Conference and Internation VP of BYU. She spoke of relying on the Lord (theme for the conference). In support of that topic, she told a hysterical story of driving in the Dominican Republic. She had no idea where to return a rental car and contracted with a local taxi driver to show her the way. However, at the last minute, she saw a sign that seemed to point her in a different direction than the taxi went and she veered off at the last minute, causing her to get stuck on a road she did not want to be on, sending her on a nearly endless loop, and almost missing her flight. She said she had followed perfectly but then grew prideful of her own knowledge and abilities at the end when it really mattered...to nearly disasterous results. Faith. Trust. Humility. Endure to the end. She also spoke of the current trying times in the nation and in the world and urged us to find joy despite it all. “Adversity refines us as it turns our faces and hearts to the Lord.” She referred to the hymn, "Now Let Us Rejoice", (for a MoTab version, click here ) one of the first hymns of the Church written by WW Phelps in the midst of great affliction. In 1833, a mob threw his wife and baby onto the street and destroyed the press on the upper floor of their home. They burned all the books and papers inside. Later, over two hundred homes were given much the same treatment. This brutal incident was the inspiration for this powerfully comforting song, which was also sung at the dedication of the Kirtland temple. She then invited chorister Merrilee Webb to lead us in that hymn. This was no ordinary performance, and she's no ordinary chorister. More like chorister on steroids. She had us laughing and crying. Anyway, I can't do it justice by describing it, but it was really amazing and affecting to stand and sing those lyrics with 18,000 women. Toward the end, she challenged us, "When you walk into the room, you can add to it or take away from it..." It was a great way to start the day.