Friday, February 20, 2009

How Do We Use Our Influence?

Last night I had the great opportunity to sit next to my mom in the third row in front of Sheri Dew speaking at my mom’s stake Relief Society fireside. Every time I hear Sister Dew talk, I really have a desire to be a better person and to use my influence to touch lives more than I do. Most of what she said I have heard her say before or read in her books, but I didn’t mind at all. It was all important things that we hear and say, “Yeah, that’s true!” and then during our daily lives, struggles and joys, we may not remember. Unfortunately, I can’t write as quickly as Sister Dew can speak so you get my version of her words. Her talk was based on her book God Wants a Powerful People and I’d encourage you to read it if you haven’t.

Sister Dew started with a story about her Blackberry being ruined at the beach last week while in Hawaii and her desperation at being disconnected from her work, her friends and other important things. She thought she could make it without buying a new one until she got back home, but just couldn’t so she bought a new one. She mentioned how wonderful it be if we felt that same desperation each time we started to feel disconnected with our Heavenly Father. We can’t be a powerful people if we are not connected to Him to know His will.

“Women aren’t always aware of how pivotal women are to the kingdom of God, but Satan is.” He has “turned the heat up” in these days because he knows he doesn’t have much time left. Women have so much influence on those around us. No one has more influence on a child than a mother, on a man than her wife. Women have an innate talent for dealing one-on-one with others, where our influence can be felt.

(I’ll skip some of her talk, but it was all interesting.) Then she asked us to think about this: “If it were your assignment to develop a strategy to disrupt women’s mission, what would you do?” Sister Dew told us the 3 things she would do (and obviously Satan is doing).

1. Confuse us about who we are (Our personal identity, our identity as women and or identity as daughters of God).
2. Keep us from understanding what Jesus did for us and how that can heal and help us now.
3. Keep us from understanding and receiving personal revelation.

So the opposite of that is the strategy to help women fulfill their missions on this earth.

1. Learn who we are and that we have a mission. “You need to receive a vision not only of who you are, but who you’ve always been.” (Beautiful!)
2. Really learn who the Savior is and what He did for us. It is only through the healing and strengthening power of the atonement that we can fulfill our responsibilities and our mission.
3. We must learn the language of revelation. How do we learn a language? Immerse ourselves in it and practice it. So in this case, read the scriptures and pray. We may not know how the Spirit teaches us so we should ask Heavenly Father in prayer to teach us what it is like to be taught by the Spirit. “Feeling the Spirit is different than receiving instruction through the Spirit.”

That’s all I will share from her talk, but if you’d like to read or hear more from Sister Dew, go search her name here at BYU. She always lovingly reminds us that we aren’t living up to our full potential and invites us to imagine how different things would be if we all were. Can you imagine it? Even if the rest of the world didn’t change, what if ALL the women in the church lived how we know we should? What an amazing difference we would see in ourselves, our families and those around us.

Here are a few quotes from her May 2008 address at Women’s Conference Awake, Arise and Come Unto Christ that I was blessed to attend and cried all the way through, of course.

“There are five principles about influence we need to understand: first, we all have more influence than we think; second, righteous influence is a spiritual gift; third, having influence is not about elevating self but about lifting others; fourth, it isn’t possible NOT to have influence; and fifth, women of God have influence that has no limit and no end.”

“If we aren’t willing to diligently seek to be holy by seeking the Spirit, the best we can do in this life is the best WE can do—meaning, we’re limited to our own wisdom and judgment, which these days is spiritual suicide. The way to come out of the world, the way to have maximum righteous influence, is to live under the influence of the Holy Ghost.”

“We are here to influence the world rather than to be influenced by the world. If we could unleash the full influence of covenant-keeping women, the kingdom of God would change overnight.” (I added the bold.)

How wonderful that Sister Dew is fulfilling her mission on earth to help inspire and uplift others! I’m so grateful that I was able to hear her last night.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing. Mom gave me one of her books when I was depressed one time and I am a big fan of her writing. SHe's such a great person.

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  2. Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog today. Also, thanks for this great post. I love Sister Dew, she always inspires me and I loved her Blackberry analogy - a great reminder!

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  3. Beautiful website, I love Sheri Dew. She is certainly one of the most inspiring women ever. Also, the food here looks wonderful! I'll be back for more ;)

    Kristin

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