I can't even tell you how much I love this idea, and how amazing this broadcast was.
The entire week leading up to the cruise, I felt like I was running around frantically trying to pack the most perfect clothes, get the most beautiful pedicure, and have the most stylish hair cut/color so that I would look as pretty as all those other women on the ship...whoever they were. That is a frustrating and unachievable goal...to try to be as beautiful as the most beautiful person your head can conjure up. And let me tell you, the most stylish haircut doesn't matter one bit when you're traveling in Central American weather.
After comparing myself to all 2000 people on that ship for an entire week, my self-confidence was pretty minimal. It took awhile after returning home for me to get back into normal life and remember my priorities. My head was still replaying events and thinking that I could have looked better or worn something more appropriate than whatever I had picked. Isn't that crazy? I completely lost my mind for a short time.
And then, on Saturday night, walking into that chapel with my daughters and sitting next to my friends, I was reminded of the things that are really important.
The theme of the meeting was keeping covenants and being united in worldwide sisterhood as daughters of God. I love that the little girls as well as the young women were able to hear those messages. What an empowering feeling to hear several times that night that we, as daughters of God, have been given divine gifts and that we have a unique purpose on this earth.
I loved this talk the most by Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President:
What a great privilege it is to be here on this historic occasion and address all the women of the Church, ages eight and above. There is tremendous strength in our unity this evening. Tonight we rejoice in our many different roles as women in the Church. Though in many ways we are different and unique, we also acknowledge that we are all daughters of the same Heavenly Father, which makes us sisters. To be sisters implies that there is an unbreakable bond between us. Sisters take care of each other, watch out for each other, comfort each other, and are there for each other through thick and thin. The adversary would have us be critical or judgmental of one another. He wants us to concentrate on our differences and compare ourselves to one another. We as women can be particularly hard on ourselves. When we compare ourselves to one another, we will always feel inadequate or resentful of others. Sister Patricia T. Holland once said, 'The point is, we simply cannot call ourselves Christian and continue to judge one another - or ourselves - so harshly.'What a different week it would have been if I had thought of all those women on that ship with me as daughters of God instead of as my competition. As I looked around that chapel, and then went out for ice cream with all of those women on Saturday night, I hoped to be able to keep that feeling of sisterhood, not only with the ones in the room, but with all of the women I come into contact with. More love and less comparing. More uplifting and less competition. More thinking about them instead of thinking about myself. More wondering what I can give instead of what I will get.
I'm so grateful for this women's meeting, for gentle reminders to do better, and for the changes that have been made to allow so many of us to attend together and regularly. I'm grateful for the upcoming Conference broadcasts this weekend and for the opportunity to hear from church leaders.
You can go here to listen to Conference at your house this weekend.