One of My First Awakenings
In the months preparing my papers for a mission in early 2000, I was determined to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover before I met with my stake president the second time. I had read it piecemeal through high school, seminary, and institute classes, but never pushed through it like that before. It was my junior year of college, so I had to squeeze it in wherever I could among class assignments, editing the school newspaper, dance classes, and regularly scheduled college-life antics.
One day I was sitting in a lounge area of the school newspaper lab where I worked and hung out daily. The lab was nearly empty so it was a good place to finish a sandwich… and the Book of Mormon. I had just a few chapters left, and felt compelled to just finish — that day.
When I approached the words at the end of the book of Moroni, emotion began to build inside me. The words below shot straight to my soul.
Awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest be no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.
Moroni was talking right to me that day. And I heard him. He was telling me to shake off the things that were holding me back, wake up, stand up, and get going.
I did wake up. I did shake off the ideas and sins of my past. I got a mission call, worked on a mission, and have been learning from it ever since.
Sheri’s Wake-Up Call
I recently listened to Sheri L. Dew’s entire audio collection — the last of which was an address at a Women’s Conference. I love how she boldly declares what’s really going on. She minces no words and speaks with power and authority. That last talk is called, “Awake, Arise, and Come Unto Christ.”
(Go ahead and read it, and then come back. I’ll wait…)
After listening to that, I felt afire. I wanted to stand and shout, “OKAY! I’m here! I’m ready to do that something I was sent to earth for!”
Do you feel that fire?
Loni’s Nudge to Get Up and Get Going
I’ll save my assessment and in-depth commentary of that particular address for a later time. I’m writing today because of my friend Loni. Loni is a powerful force of a human as is, so at lunch the other day when she stopped me mid-ramble, and said, “Wait… you do websites, right? Do you have a blog?” I was wide awake.
Loni knows my passion for writing from chats over the years, and we had been talking nonstop for an hour and a half. I had described working with the incredible young women in my ward, and of my recent spiritual re-awakening reading and listening to books. She said to me, “Anna, we need your voice…”
I winced at her adamant words. “You have a unique perspective,” she said. “You can see what it means to be a woman in the world and not of it… You’ve figured stuff out that we need to know, that I need to read…”
The thing is, I already have a place to write — all set up and ready to go. Laura (Added Upon founder) has been bugging me since the beginning of this website to write. I just… didn’t. I am one of the busiest, not-bored people I know. Still, none of it matters as much now that I realize what is truly important.
Loni didn’t know that the #1 thing Satan and his jerk nerdbuckets (see glossary) tell me is this: “No one can hear you, Anna. And even if they could; they don’t want to hear what you have to say. You have such little influence…”
Seeing the direct conflict in these words set me alight, and right there I made a commitment to her (and to heaven) to write regularly going forward. Others have said similar things to me about my writing; Loni’s convincing words and the Spirit that reverberated between us during our visit were just the right kick in the pants to do this thing.
It is my plan — and y’all hold me accountable, please — to drop a new post on Thursdays. I’ve wanted to write these little (and big) insights and fun experiences I have, but haven’t because I’ve been sleeping, (and super busy), and listening to nerdbuckets.
The Clarion Call
As mentioned above, I have come to see that none of my busy-ness matters as much, now that I know what part of my life’s mission is. It’s my honor to consider myself part of Jesus’ team building His kingdom. I’ve always wanted to shout Jesus’ Gospel Truth from a mountain. Before now, however, I thought no one could or would even want to hear my voice doing it.
People will carve out time to do that thing they care about the most.
I’ve heard the call from the prophets living and dead for women to step up. I am not referring to “doing more.” And I’m definitely not talking about shaking my finger at the Lord’s anointed as I know some others are. I’m talking about doing different things to get the most out of this short stint we have on this planet. Because of the power of Jesus Christ, which He has already freely given to us women, these different things are super easy to do, practice, attain, and become. I’ve begun to implement many of these different things in my life, and it has made all the difference.
What are these different things? They build spiritual intelligence. They’ve trained me to rely on the Savior and become a stronger woman of God.
Curious? Don’t hit the snooze button. (Ha ha ha… I love puns.) Drop by next Thursday. The next installment of elevating spiritual intelligence through Jesus Christ will post then!