Time Out for Women encourages women to seek out talents, gifts to share light with others

By Wendy Jessen

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, March 18 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

A group poses with the "Sistas in Zion" Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes at the Time Out for Women event in Richfield. The group includes front, Wendy Jessen and back from left, Danielle Orton, Nicole Christiansen, Tamu Smith, Capri Christiansen, Zandra Vranes. Audree Merrell and Celeste Johnson.

Celeste Johnson

RICHFIELD — Women at Deseret Book's Time Out for Women in central Utah March 14-15 heard inspirational messages from authors, musicians and others and were invited to seek out their own personal gifts and talents to share light with others.

The theme, "Inevitable Light," encouraged attendees to "Neglect not the gift that is in thee... Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them" (see 1 Timothy 4:14-15).

Friday night, the presenters included by guitarist and singer Justin Cash and author Emily Watts and T.C. Christensen, director of "17 Miracles" and "Ephraim's Rescue."

Watts discussed how people live life in fragments, and how they have to give of themselves in so many places such as work and home and to spouses and children. She suggested remembering why women do the things they do to avoid becoming overwhelmed by their many responsibilities.

Christensen taught about "spiritual wolves" and how people need to turn and run from evil. Regardless of the situation, they need to be strong enough to stand up to the spiritual wolves and yell "never come back."

During the all-day Saturday session, presenter Chris Williams, author of "Let It Go," shared tips on maintaining perspective by looking to God for direction. He also talked about how God is a healer.

In my personal life, I have learned how true this is through some trials I have experienced. As individuals have an "enlarged perspective," Williams stated, they "allow miracles to happen. When faith happens, light is inevitable."

Mercy River, a musical trio comprised of Whitney Permann, Brooke Stone and Soni Muller, performed upbeat and inspiring music throughout the day and also shared stories, perspective and messages about hope, light and the beauty that women each have.

Muller's thoughts about actually telling people — not just thinking — the good things you see in them was a great reminder to spread positive words to others. Words can help lift and encourage others, which Mercy River illustrates in its song "Speak Life." Listening to their voices sing in harmony as their testimonies shined through was a highlight of the day for me.

Author and attorney Merrilee Boyack taught, "each of God's children are completely unique." She explained how each member in a family brings unique gifts that benefit the whole family. Parents can help children discover their gifts and talents and encourage them in their efforts to develop them. As a mother of six children, I felt this was great advice and insight.

D. Kelly Ogden, professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, shared lessons that can be learned from gravestones and living up to the messages individuals may want shared on their own. Author and speaker John Bytheway spoke on forgiveness and repentance.

Sistas in Zion Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes told attendees how to have S.A.S.S. — search, act, savor and share. While they were certainly humorous, their message that all have something to offer and "not only is it enough, it is needed" helped attendees to more fully believe in their gifts and talents as they develop and share them with others.

Time Out for Women helped to strengthen my resolve to go about doing good in the world and share my "inevitable light" with others.

For information about Time Out for Women and Time Out for Girls events, including cities, presenters, cost and registration, see www.tofw.com.

Wendy Jessen is a Southern Utah University graduate and a stay-at-home mother of six. Her email is wendyjessen26@gmail.com and she blogs at mormonmomofsix.blogspot.com.

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