Time Out for Women's 2010 tour made a stop in Logan, Utah on Sept. 10-11, bringing a message of "Infinite Hope" to a sold-out crowd of 2,100 Mormon women.
"I don't know if you noticed, but we don't have a lot of men here," quipped Laurel Christensen, Time Out for Women director, "Sisters, this entire weekend's for you!"
"Our invitation to you," Christensen told attendees, "is to start a list of everything in your life you have hope for. Let yourself go on a journey this weekend. Perhaps you might discover something new."
Since 2005, TOFW's Logan venue at Utah State University has become a tradition for Latter-day Saint women from throughout northern Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and beyond. Kaylynn Todd flew in from New Hampshire. "This is the fifth Time Out for Women I've had the opportunity to attend," she said, "and it's always inspirational. I love the music, and it's fun to come with a group of friends and make a weekend out of it."
Laid off from her job 18 months ago, Todd has gone back to school to study business, and she appreciates Time Out for Women's message of hope. "With today's economy and what's going on in the world," she said, "Hope is what we really need."
Todd's friend, Nancy Stettler of Clinton, Utah, agrees. "I love how they inspire you," she said. "It reminds me of President Hinckley's quote to try a little harder to be a little better. You come to Time Out for Women with nothing, but your cup is filled and you leave with it overflowing."
Time Out for Women's 2010 lineup includes LDS speakers and musicians from around the country whose messages are designed to reinforce the 13th Article of Faith, "We hope all things..."
"We want the sisters who attend Time Out for Women to go home feeling like life is worth the struggle," said presenter Kris Belcher. "In my own life, when I've had it, the reason I have to keep going is my faith in Jesus Christ. When I don't think I can do it, I can turn to Christ, and He makes me enough."
Belcher, who lost her sight to cancer seven years ago, approaches her challenges with unique perspective.
"When you are blind and Christ is the only light you have in your life," she said, "He becomes a lot more real. That's why I keep struggling forward, so I can get to that place at the right hand of God where I don't have to struggle anymore."
Presenter Sheri Dew, president and CEO of the Deseret Book Company, shared a similar conviction of hope in the midst of heartbreak.
"God knows who we are, He knows where we are and He knows what our missions are," she said. "He also knows exactly what each of us needs to fulfill that mission."
Speaking of the influence Latter-day Saint women can have in building the kingdom of God, Dew listed understanding who women are as daughters of God, understanding the Atonement of Jesus Christ and learning to receive personal revelation as key components in accomplishing the "while you're on earth to-do list that each of us agreed to." "You can do what you were sent here to do," she said. "Come on! Keep going!"
"Sheri Dew's message applies to women of all ages, and everybody could have taken something from it," said Melissa Spencer of Logan. "Sometimes, there can be a sense in the world that women are marginalized, and I appreciate how Sister Dew is so empowering."
"I love coming to Time Out for Women and feeling the support of all the other wives and mothers," said Erin Tannahill of Herriman, who attended the event with her mother, Jaime Lindley and sister-in-law, Sabrina Lindley. "It makes you feel like you're not alone in your craziness."
"It's pretty inspiring and motivating," agreed Sabrina Lindley. "And it's just great girl bonding time."
New this year, Time Out for Women has introduced a service component at every venue. The 2010 Hope Kit Project will benefit women's shelters in each host city and was inspired by the life story of Mariama Kallon, who fled Sierra Leone as a child and now shares a compelling testimony of how the gospel of Jesus Christ led her from the devastation of war to personal peace.
Similar to the LDS Church's humanitarian hygiene kits, which Kallon received in Sierra Leone, the hope kits are provided to women in transition as they make a new start in life. Time Out for Women organizers planned to assemble 200 hope kits in Logan, which will be donated to the area's domestic violence shelter, CAPSA.
Other highlights of Time Out for Women's Logan stop included the music of Broadway actor Dallyn Vail Bayles and award-winning recording artist Hilary Weeks. Featured speakers included journalist DeAnne Flynn, psychologist Wendy Ulrich and educator Brad Wilcox.
"The work that women do is incredible," said Bayles, "and I hope they feel the spirit in an uninhibited way as they attend these functions. There are reasons why I picked the songs I sing at Time Out for Women, but I hope the sisters listening find something personal to them."Comment on this story
"I think if we truly understood that we are daughters of our Heavenly Father, that would help us understand that every time we call on him, he is willing to help us," said Weeks. "When we understand that relationship, we have a desire to excel and achieve and be all we can be."
Expected to reach 30,000 LDS women this season, TOFW has fall events scheduled nationwide including Hartford, Conn., and Boise, Idaho on Sept. 17-18 to.
For more information about Time Out for Women's Infinite Hope 2010 Tour, visit deseretbook.com/time-out.