I cannot stop thinking about the SALT LDS Retreat I went to on Saturday, September 8, and I wanted to share some of my golden nuggets from the event.
It was held at the Marriot City Center in Salt Lake City, UT and was an all day long event. We started and ended as one big group, but had breakout sessions and roundtable discussions in between.
The first speaker was Elise Curtis, the founder of SALT. She talked about “Blessed is she that believed,” and it resonated with me because of the quarter-life crisis I feel like I’m going through currently. Are you recognized as a believer? She challenged us to think about why we believe throughout the day. Alma 32: 26 & 27 – let your desire work within you and then act!
The second speaker was Tamara Chamberlain, and spoke to us about The Atonement. I loved her right away because she told us about her love for Oreos, and I am a little obsessed with them myself. But the reason she told us about Oreos was because of this commercial she saw (GO WATCH IT! Wouldn’t it truly be wonderful if an Oreo could do all those things and more?) and how it made her think about the word wonder. Do we stand in awe and wonder of the Gospel? Wonder: a cause of astonishment or admiration. Let’s pass the wonder on, like in the commercial! Tamara then told us about 4 wonders of the Atonement: 1) complete forgiveness, 2) power of healing – repentance is God’s plan, knowing that we will fail, 3) change of heart, and 4) reality of our divine nature. What fills our time often reflects who we are. What is the daily state of my heart? “Oh, it is wonderful that He should care for me enough to die for me. Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me.”
We then had 3 different breakout sessions, with lunch in between, and had the option to choose between 2 different sessions. At the beginning of each breakout session, a Sister shared her testimony, and they were all beautiful and so touching.
The first breakout session I went to was with Lydia Defranchi-Nelson called, “But Mary Kept These Things, and Pondered Them in Her Heart: Letting Revelation Percolate in Our Lives in a Culture of Instant News.” It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but still very good. Lydia talked about how we are constantly bombarded by information these days and how we CHOOSE what we allow into our minds. Does the information you’re receiving serve a purpose? Maximize your time and space with The Spirit. There is no neutral ground in the universe. Wait (in discomfort) on the Lord – His timing is different than yours.
The next breakout session was, “Finding Joy in Motherhood,” with Cheri Magill and Melisa Osmond. Cheri spoke first and asked, “What makes you a good Mom?” At the end of the day, it’s the fact that we keep trying. Your child’s behavior is not a reflection of your ability to Mother. Recognize what is in and out of your control. Every day is a fresh start. The obstacle is the way. Motherhood is REFINING. How has God helped you through your wilderness (and how are you documenting it)? Stop trying to prove something! Create a “Mom Mission Statement.” You’re not missing out on today because you’re holding tomorrow in your arms (loved that one!). She played some beautiful songs for us that she had written about Motherhood, and then Melisa took her turn. She told us that hard times build our character and to EMBRACE the Mom you are! VALUE Motherhood. She talked about a hard experience her family went through, but how at the end of it there was joy. There will always be joy.
And the last breakout session I went to was, “You Create Your Life,” with Brooke Snow. I had a slightly hard time in this session because of my dealings with anxiety and depression and how that can sometimes inhibit your ability to choose how your life goes, but it was still good and gave me things to think about. I have the power to CREATE! Things we see, say, and feel turn into actions which equal results.
The roundtable discussions were next, and we got to pick 3 to go to. I went to “Mindfulness for Moms: Simple Practices For a More Peaceful, Present, and Purposeful Life” first with Kim Christensen. She told us about an experience she had that turned her to mindfulness, which means remember, awareness, connection. She shared 4 things that help her be mindful: 1) seek meditative moments (intentional if possible), 2) rewire your thoughts – observe the thought, where it came from and why it’s there, and guide it (affirmations), 3) don’t let your phone rule your life (experience first, post later), and 4) let go of perfect in favor of being you. The second one I chose was “Regaining Peace Each Day, Each Hour, Through Learning What It Means to Become New in Christ” with Briana Johnson. She talked about how we can walk with Christ to have peace. How would having more peace change you? When all other relationships fall away the one with Christ remains. In life, you’re not always going to be happy but you can have peace. Live undaunted! Be riveted! And the last, but certainly not least, discussion I went to was “Everyday MOMents: Discovering Christ in the Details and Filling Our Holes with Him,” with Jessica Poe. She shared a few scriptures and quotes with us about discovering and having new eyes. We discussed the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-6) and how he made an effort to see Christ and was rewarded for it. Find Him. Feel Him. Share Him. She shared an amazing story about how she develope a hole in her dura and what it took to heal it. You can’t always heal yourself. Healing takes order. Christ’s blood is what heals our holes – The Sacrament.
We all came back together after the roundtable discussions and talked about what to do next. Brooke Watson led the discussion and said, “Christ takes what we have and makes it enough.” Bam! Needed that too. She gave us a call to repentance of sorts, to do better and be better. Repentance is a fresh view of oneself.
Our final speaker was Kim White and she spoke to us about how God is in the details. She has been battling cancer for 4 years and is literally a walking miracle. She told us about various things that have happened to her throughout her cancer journey and they are by no means coincidences. God can handle anything you need to say to Him. Don’t take life for granted. What an amazing woman she is and I am so grateful she was able to share her strength, wisdom, and testimony.
What an amazing event it was! I needed it more than I thought I did. I met new friends, IG friends in person, and spent time with old ones. This day hit the refresh button for me, and I hope that even though you may not have been there yourself that something I shared with you touched your heart and mind.