My Journey Back to Joy: Part 3

[These are the transcripts from a keynote address I gave at an LDS Women’s Conference in Yuma, AZ. Here is Part 1, Part 2.]

I just want to take a few minutes to share with you where I find my joy. Because after all, “women are that they might have joy.” Do you believe that? Really? Women “are.” Meaning women exist, were created, live and breathe and move, that they (we!) might have joy. I do. I believe in God’s words. All of them. But it doesn’t say women will have joy. It says, might have joy. It’s up to us. We just have to know where to look.

A few years ago, I found myself waiting at the bus stop one morning on my way to work. The long, cold winter was taking its final bow and this particular morning was crisp with Spring air on the verge of blooming. I was serendipitously facing east as the sun rose up behind the dark mountains, rays shooting out from oblivion and spilling down the hillside, soaking the valley floor in its warmth. I closed my eyes, tilted my head, and breathed it in. I couldn’t help but offer up a quick “thank you for the sun today,” to my Heavenly Father. And in return, I got the most wonderful response. I felt the Spirit whisper, “You’re welcome. Today, it’s for you.”

Now some may think that’s awfully ego-centric–to believe that the sun rose for me. But I believe that the reality of our Father-daughter relationship with God is Just. That. Personal.

He knew what I needed. And He gave it to me. An offering from the place He carefully crafted for the raising of His children.

I love the children’s song,
Whenever I hear the song of a bird,
Or look at the blue blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face,
Or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose,
Or walk by a lilac tree,
I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world,
Heavenly Father created for me.

I recently wrote about another morning when I was reminded again of the value in stopping to recognize the multitude of beauty and bounty of gifts all around us. It was the morning I “caught” President Gordon B. Hinckley taking a mid-day walk around the gardens on Temple Square. Every few steps he stopped and pointed out the flowers to the guards walking with him. Now I know it’s cliché in every way, but when was the last time you stopped to look at, let alone smell the roses? When was the last time you remember hearing the birds welcoming Spring? When was the last time you took your shoes off and let your feet sink in the sand? When was the last time you laid on the grass and watched the clouds passing overhead?

My very favorite poem is by Mary Oliver. It reads:
Everyday I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It was what I was born for—to look, to listen, to lose myself in this soft world—to instruct myself over and over in joy and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant—but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh, good scholar, I say to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these—the untrimmable light of the world, the ocean’s shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?

May I testify that the earth is full and there is joy to be found in her.

Look for it.
See it.
Recognize it.
And thank Him for it.

Click Here for Part 4

Share This!
Share On Twitter
Share On Linkdin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit


  1. I’ve really enjoyed reading this! I would have loved to hear you speak.

    Told my parents about what you wrote…mom remembered how you did the calligraphy for her “Lady of Shalott” picture and dad remembered you in “Pippin” – which is one of my family’s favorite musicals. They say hello :)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Show Buttons
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkdin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Hide Buttons