Episode 11

Elect Ladies

with Guest Linda Stacey

Meghan: Hi everyone, welcome to the Latter Day Disciples podcast. I’m so excited to have another guest with me today, Sister Linda G Stacy. She is joining us to talk about elect ladies.  One of the things that I’ve been wanting to talk about even since before starting this podcast is the role of women in the last days because I think that it’s more monumental than any of us really currently understand. And in wanting to talk about this topic, Sister Stacy was one of the first people that I thought of. Linda is originally from Utah. She’s the oldest of six kids. She describes her parents as people who had great faith and who taught her at a very young age that she could have a relationship with her heavenly parents and could access the powers of heaven, which are two of, arguably the most important lessons we can teach our children. She spent much of her childhood in the mountains of Utah and learned at a very early age to respect the beautiful creations of God. Linda graduated in elementary education from BYU and taught for a few years, she’s always been very passionate about children and their needs and safety. Recently she even helped a good friend of hers manage an orphanage in Liberia, Africa. She also spent several years on the board for the Lemer County Child Advocacy Center and helped develop a curriculum for elementary schools in Fort Collins, Co, which is where we met.  In 2013 Linda piloted the justserve.org program for the church in Colorado.  She’s always felt very strongly that the community should work together to serve those in need. Linda met her husband around the same age that I met my husband, which is 9th grade and they were called to be on the seminary council together. They were good friends in high school but they didn’t date until after he got home from the mission.  Then they got married in the Provo Temple and are coming up on their 40th anniversary this spring. Linda and her husband have four beautiful, strong, amazing, powerful, talented daughters. And Linda has lost count of how many years she served in the Young Women’s program in the church. That’s how we met. She was in the stake Young Women’s presidency when I was a woman growing up. She says that she loved watching so many young women marry and have families of their own. She’s also served in Relief Society and has watched the struggles and strength of many women from that viewpoint. And recently, she and her husband were called to serve as mission presidents in the Toronto Canada Mission, which is so exciting. I’m so excited for them. They’re going to be amazing. She loves little humans, animals, nature, skiing, chocolate, don’t we all? Random dance parties, The Muppets, which I have questions about and playing the piano, and she will occasionally fly fish with her husband. When I wanted to do this episode as I said, Linda was one of the first people that I thought of, she and I have shared some very poignant and life shaping moments when I was a girl.  I knew her to be incredible and strong and Christlike. I knew that she had raised strong daughters. I didn’t know that she came from a long line of other great women in her family history and that she says that she has also been shaped by amazing women. And isn’t that always the case? I feel like if we look back, we can just say it was a series of amazing women that helped us to become amazing women. She credits her girlfriends back in college for their influence on her, she’s met many women of different faiths around the world who have been inspired and taught her. She has shared with me the awe that she has at the power of women. So little did I know it was the spirit telling me that you were the perfect person to have to talk about this!

Linda:  Oh, my goodness! That’s a lot to live up to.  I’m so honored to be here with you, Meghan. I love you. And even back in the early days when you were just a young, little thing, growing up, I saw so much potential in you and I always thought you were beyond your age and experience. So I’m not sure how much I can contribute here, but I’ll do my best. But I just love what you are doing. I love your podcast. I think it’s just amazing.

Meghan: Thank you. Thank you so much. You’ve always been so inspiring to me. So let’s talk a little bit about women, and particularly the women that surround us today. You know, we talked a lot about your background. You and I have influenced each other, there are so many women that we can point to and say, wow, they have such great influence. But I want to talk about looking at ourselves because I think sometimes we don’t see that the work of a woman is incredibly undervalued, in some ways; maybe especially by ourselves, I think sometimes we undervalue ourselves.

Linda:  Women are really hard on themselves and I don’t know why, and I’m guilty of it too.  I don’t know what it is, but it’s in our nature. We’re multitaskers.  You know, men, they just focus on one thing. I just had something, I can’t even remember what it was, something last week, but it was something with my husband and I thought, “Doesn’t he see all this other stuff that’s going on?” And he’s just focused on that one thing, in the moment. They tend to be really good at living in the present moment and women, we are carrying all these, you know, roles and all these places that we always are carrying, and all these tasks that we’re processing.  I think sometimes we don’t stop and give ourselves credit for the things that we’re doing. I have a really good friend who was just feeling so discouraged about life and feeling like she wasn’t measuring up and we were living in Minnesota time, beautiful lakes everywhere and she loved to just walk around the lake and be alone and was praying and crying and you know, we’ve all had those moments.  And she said she just had a very distinct voice say to her, ‘be kind to yourself’. And it was really powerful for her. As she said, it just really shifted her and  I think that Heavenly Father, if he were here, and the Savior, he would say the same thing to us, you know, be kind to yourself. I don’t know why women don’t see their value. I don’t know why that is the case, but I love that story. 

Meghan: Yeah,  it’s so true.  I was laughing as you were talking because I literally had a conversation with my husband today about kind of the same thing.  I even said this to him, “You can just do whatever you want whenever you want, whenever you want to do it.”  I feel like our lives are so.  like we’re always thinking about [what needs to be done]. If we want to do anything, it’s always about like, OK, well, what about my kids? What about my husband? What about the time? What about the other things that are on my plate that I have to do? It’s always shifting and trying to manage all these priorities and it’s impossible! And I feel like my husband can just go and say,  “This is what I’m doing.”  Like you said, they can just focus on one thing at a time. And I’m so jealous.

Linda: I know. You know, my husband sometimes will pull me aside and say, “Well, look at all this stuff you’re doing!”  And I think, ‘ Oh yeah, I am doing some of that stuff.’  And thank heavens for those men in our life and our husbands that can assist us in that way. But you know, we were in a meeting with Elder Bednar and oh goodness, it was so funny, he was speaking to the missionaries and he said, “You know, we give the missionaries a list of ten things to do and the elders come back and and they’re so excited because they did two of those things. They’re so pumped!  Like, we’re amazing, we got two of these things on this list done! And the sisters come back and say we got eight things on this list and we’re such losers.”   I don’t know why but we’re just built differently. I guess I’m glad that he made us differently, we can complement each other and hopefully compensate for each other but I think that story is so funny. 

Meghan:  Yeah, I mean depending on the contribution of what the two and what the eight were, together, all of the elders and sisters got them all then, right? 

Linda: Right? I love that. I do love that.

Meghan:  Which is good but it does often feel like we carry a lot. And adding on to that idea that our heavenly parents want us to be kind, if we could also see ourselves the way that they see us, they would see that we are doing the eight things and that that’s great. They don’t have an expectation for us to do all the 10 things all the time.

Linda: That is so true.  You know, I found my little 8 year old standing on my bed, trying to look in the mirror, and she’s trying to balance on the bed and  I said, “What are you doing?” It was actually my little Jennifer. And I said, what are you doing? And she says, “Mom, I wanna show me myself.”  And I love that,  I’ve never forgotten it, you know, because I think that childhood is like ‘I’m cool, I’m great’. And just to have that perspective of who we are and where we come from and I think to really get to a place where we value just how chosen, elect we are, I don’t know what words we use or how divine we are, is the plan of salvation,  if we understand fully the plan of salvation we can really grasp who we are. And I think everything just comes back to that.  I don’t know anyone else who has that full understanding that we have. You know where we came from and why we’re here and where we’re going and when you put those things into perspective, it really, really changes the way we do see ourselves;  that we have divinity in us.  And to understand the plan of salvation, that this life, mortality, is messy and we’re always going to be struggling and falling and picking ourselves up again and again and again. Which is why we have the Savior and why we have the Atonement. And I’m sure they’re smiling at us a lot,  like my friend, just hearing that, ‘Be kind to yourself, you’re learning and you’re growing and this is part of the process.’  I do love that knowledge that we have. I loved when the Proclamation on the Family came out, it’s just such a beautiful description of who we are and to keep that in mind, it changes your whole perspective, it changes everything.

Meghan: And if I could be so bold, just a thought that came to me while you were speaking is that if we, the covenant women of the Church have been given so much knowledge, then it really leaves us very little room to entertain untrue thoughts. 

Linda: Isn’t that true? Joseph, when he gave a revelation to Emma and the Lord was speaking to her, said, “Lay aside the things of this world and seek for a better.”  And the Prophet also told us recently, and I I love this Prophet so much. He’s just such a fan of women and I love him. He recognizes who we are and I love that. But you know, he said, “The Holy Ghost will prompt you to know what to spend your time with and I think when you are spending your time with those things that are of higher value, higher divine worth, you’re right, we don’t entertain those thoughts that are devaluing us. I think the world right now really does devalue women. I think they feel like we’re a little bit oppressed in our faith and our religion and I just think that if they fully understood everything that we understood,  they would see something very different. But I do think that if we are focusing on those things and we are not in a place where Satan gets a hold of us and tells us, ‘you are just not good enough’ or ‘you messed that up’ or ‘you’re not a good mom’.  Or anything that he tells us. 

Meghan: Yeah, I think that’s so true. And that’s something that I’ve noticed too, is that the more that I’m seeking my divinity and the more in tune I am with the spirit, the less place I give for Satan to destroy my faith. And I think that you’re right, I think that that’s what Heavenly Father was telling Emma and telling each of us, as you said through President Nelson, who reiterated that all the women of the church needed to study Doctrine & Covenants  25, Doctrine & Covenants 84 and I want to say it was 104? But in that, I really do think that what he’s saying is, ‘I need you to lay aside what the world would have you think, what Satan would have you think; and I need you instead to search for what I know, what God knows about each of us.’  And I think if I could give one gift to covenant women and to all women in the world, it would be for them to have a glimpse of who they were pre-mortally. 

Linda: Right. Exactly.

Meghan: One of the things that’s an interesting doctrine about the fact that our God is a God of many worlds, and what’s unique about this world is that this world is the hardest because Satan is here!  God compensated for that by sending some of his strongest spirits, not only were we designated to come to this earth, but we were also designated to come right now, which is arguably some of the most challenging times in history. History’s always been challenging. There’s always been plagues and famine and war.  I can’t imagine some of the trials that women in the past had to go through with things like mortality and losing their children and all of the challenges that they had. But I feel like all of that’s kind of compounded now, like we have all of the challenges. But you know, God didn’t send this here to fail, and he didn’t send us here so that we could feel crappy the entire time we’re here. 

Linda:  I think that we also have been destined for this time.  I was reading something from President Kimball, I think it was in 1979. I’m probably saying the wrong dates, but he had just prophesied that the women of this time (and President Eyring said that we are there now), that these are the women that have been chosen for this dispensation, we are distinct from the women of any other dispensation. That is so beautiful.  And that was from our prophet, when he was President of the Quorum of the Twelve.  Well, we just have so many promises.  We have been told that we have been reserved for this time, that we’re destined for this time and is from a prophet and so in saying that, he has also told us that we can do it, we can do these hard things and that we have power to do it!  We are going to be asked to do great things to usher in the Savior during this time.  I love that you have this podcast that’s focusing on preparing us for the Second Coming.  He gave a talk on the temple that was so powerful to me, I’ve never forgotten, and gave us just the most beautiful promises that can come from being in the temple. And he’s given us so many promises. Every woman and every man who makes covenants with God and keeps those covenants and who participates worthily in priesthood ordinances has direct access to the power of God. Every time you serve and you worship in the temple, you leave armed with God’s power and his angels have charge over you! This powerful talk. This was given by the Prophet when he first came in and he announced new temples. But before that, he talked about the promises that can come from serving in the temple. That’s an incredibly powerful thing to process… angels that will have charge over us. He knows this time is difficult. This time is hard. We’re raising kids in such an immoral world right now, so much more than when I was young and he said, I know you’re in this place but I’m going to give you power to be able to do what you need to do. And not only that, but to help the world too, to strengthen the world and help them. We’ve even been told, and he’s told us, that we will have an influence over the world that will affect the Church and the world. 

Meghan:  You’re totally right. And it’s doctrines surrounding the concept of what does it mean to be chosen? Well, we were chosen for the last days. Chosen to do what? Well, we are chosen to strengthen and build up the Kingdom of God and to serve and love others, to help them come unto Christ.

Linda: Totally. And we’ve been told by prophets, by Elder Eyring, by President Kimball, who have both spoken about this, about how women have a distinct power to bring love to the world and to judge good from bad. And it’s a spiritual gift, a divine gift. I love that they have talked about that.  Isn’t that true? We need both powers, don’t we? We need people who can stand up and be strong and fight like all of the boys in the Book of Mormon, as well as the men that have a gentleness that will be such a powerful, powerful tool in the last days. And he’s also taught us,  (I love this phrase) that we are guardians of morality. And that’s what we are as women in these last days and that can be within our family and it can stretch beyond our family. I think we even have a responsibility to reach out into our community and into places where we fight for those values, that of morality. I had a good friend, she was not a member of our faith, she was Christian. Just a good Christian woman. And in her neighborhood at the time, this was before pornography was online, this was before we had any of this stuff, (this is going to really date me) there was this little shop going in near the schools and near the neighborhood there was a pornographic shop. You could go there and buy pornographic magazines, movies, whatever, it was just a very awful place. And she organized a petition and organized people in the community to fight that and eventually won. And it did not come into her neighborhood. And I think, what if nobody had done anything or no one had said anything? I think the Lord is counting on us to stand up in these last days in defending those things. There’s an organization here in Denver called Vote Your Faith. I was just recently made aware of it. It’s Christians who want to make sure that Christian values are maintained, that our Constitution and the things that our country was based on are voted for. I think sometimes we tend to be a little passive as Christians and I love that somebody organized a non denominational  group so all the denominations can come together to defend the values of this country and what it is established on. I love that.

Meghan: I love that too, and I love that it seems to hearken to the idea of ‘what did we covenant pre-mortally  to defend’?  So many women who, as you said, are not necessarily members of the Church, but how do we know that she promised Heavenly Father that she would fight for Christian values?  And that benefits the Kingdom of God. I find that so impressive. That’s another big thing that I wish we could tap more into, is considering ‘what did God send me here to do’? ‘What did I covenant to do’? Then take strength from that understanding that we covenanted to do that because we believed that we could and would do that thing, no matter how challenging that was.

Linda:  I love this so much! The prophet gave us some steps to get personal revelation for I think this very thing he said, “What are you seeking? What wisdom are you seeking?”  Which could be, you know, what is my spiritual gift? What am I going to be called to do, either in my own family or in my small  circles or a bigger circle.  We all have different talents in that respect. And it’s amazing that we were created with such unique characteristics that were all uniquely different. It’s just mind boggling actually, but he said, “What are you seeking for? What wisdom are you looking for?”  The second one: “Pray over your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses, the longings of your heart.”  Number three, he said, “Just listen. Listen to what the Lord has to say to you.”  And he said, “Hold still and listen to what he has to say.”  And I have found that that works for me, but I’m kind of a busy body and so I always have a hard time sitting still very long. I think the Lord knows that about me and I have received answers in so many places, and I think when we pray for things, we need to be open to that, see what’s going on around us and say, oh, that’s an answer to my prayer that came through a friend or something. read or it’s come in so many ways through hymn or whatever. So he said  after you get those promptings to record them, to write them down, which I always struggle with just writing down your thoughts, writing down the feelings that come to you and then taking action. And I love that he just gave us a formula, to really find out what our gifts are, what is expected of us. He’s promised that the Holy Ghost will teach us and will help us. I love President Nelson so much. He’s just given us so many tools. I feel like more than any other prophet, which maybe is speaking to us as to what time In the situation that we are in right now.  It’s almost like you can’t keep up with all of the beautiful promises and blessings he’s given to us, which we know comes from the Lord, to be able to do what we need to do in ushering in the Savior.

Meghan:  Absolutely. And the promises that he’s giving, I hope we take them literally. Because this is something that I’ve noticed about myself in the last little while…You’re talking about these steps, you’re talking about seeking personal revelation, writing it down. I’ve had a really unique experience in starting this podcast and also because I’m a gospel doctrine teacher in my ward. And what I have found is that in preparing to teach I am instructed so much.  I have to write things down because I need a structure for these podcasts. I need a structure for my lessons. And as I do so, I open up this conduit to the Spirit. And I have learned more in the last two months than I think maybe I ever have in my life. And I’ve faithfully been a member of the Church my whole life. This is not surprising to you, but I was the kid that when I got my scriptures on my baptism day, I just read them everyday. Oh pretty much after that point. Like yeah like I was just that kid but it hasn’t opened up to me until now. And so I guess I would just add that witness of this process of seeking revelation,  if you do these steps, it will come.  And then listening to the prophet’s’ promises and taking it as literally as possible.  I think sometimes we think that they’re talking metaphorically or symbolically because we get a lot of that kind of instruction.

Linda:  Angels will usher you, they will have charge over you.

Meghan: And how literally are we taking it?  And I think it connects really importantly to the other part of that promise, which was that when women leave the temple, we are armed with God’s power. What is God’s power? That is priesthood power. And I know that this is kind of a hot topic and maybe it’ll be bad that I’m going here; one of my biggest fears is that women in the church will spend so much time focused on the fact that we are not quote unquote holders of the priesthood, that we will eventually wake up someday and realize that we had privileges all along that we disregarded. 

Linda: Totally.  I’ve seen this so much and you have too, you’ve seen it so much. Just yesterday I heard Elder Anderson say that really those who hold the priesthood, is just scaffolding.  They have been assigned to use the priesthood as scaffolding, but in the end we know that we need each other, that the man without the woman or the woman without the man or the family unit is really the priesthood power and it doesn’t matter who’s administering it. Some people really get hung up on who’s administering the priesthood, that you’re right, they don’t see, oh, I have all the power that the priesthood holders have, I have all the access to that. We’ve been promised that and even President Nelson, I loved his talk, I can’t remember which talk was, but when it got done, I texted one of my friends, who is a single woman who lives alone, and I said, “Wow, that was just such a beautiful talk to single moms or or people who are alone,  divorcees or whatever that they have all the power of the priesthood, if they’re keeping their covenants in their home as much as if a priesthood holder was there.”  He’s just been so powerful in so many ways. What are your thoughts?

Meghan:  Yeah, it’s been really interesting for me because, again, this isn’t  something that I particularly struggle with, although I think I see where women get caught up on this, but I really take these promises literally. From my opinion, and even drawing it out to the future, you know the church is not going to be a thing in the future. The church is not an eternal entity.

Linda:  The world we exist in is not going to be around. I mean, are you talking eternally?

Meghan: Yeah. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a Telestial organization. There will be celestialized versions of that, such as the Church of the First Born which is a celestial organization, but the basic unit, as you said, is the family.  Right now, I believe that as you said, there’s scaffolding set up. And I believe God is the one that set it up. And it looks a certain way and I believe that it is serving a specific purpose right now, but this is not an eternal thing. Right now I want to be really clear because I don’t personally believe that there is going to be a time where women are going to be ordained to the priesthood, because I don’t think we need to be ordained to the priesthood. We have access to all the same powers of the priesthood. That is what the prophets have been trying to tell us. Our error is being so distracted by the fact that we’re not ordained to the priesthood that we are shirking a more important responsibility, which is learning how to use the priesthood we have. 

Linda: Which I think is exactly what Satan wants to have happen. He’s very happy about that.

Meghan: What if celestial, what if covenant women  grew in their faith and their understanding of the atonement of priesthood power, that they could heal their children?

Linda: Right.

Meghan: What if they could call down legions of angels to protect their family? What if they could literally move mountains, which is our right and our power to do.

Linda:  And we have been promised that we will have access to all wisdom and all knowledge and everything that God has to offer us. We have access to that.

Meghan:  Yeah. I think Satan’s worst fear is to have covenant women understand how to use the priesthood? I was thinking about the story of Amanda Smith, who lost her husband and a son at Hans Mill.   I was thinking about how she had a son whose hip was blown out, he was shot and the bone, the cartilage, everything, was out there for the world to see. And the very first thing she did was cry unto the Lord and say, “Lord, teach me what to do.” Through the power of her priesthood covenants and communing with the Holy Ghost she created a poultice and she regrew her son’s hip.

Linda:   It’s incredible to me. It’s so powerful to review those stories. If anyone has not read the Saints volumes they should. Have you read any of the Saints?

Meghan: I have, they are great.

Linda:  I am going to start them all over again. The stories in there are just so faith promoting. We, by nature, are different;  women have certain things with their gender and men have certain things with their gender and it’s just obvious in many ways.  I think part of that is connected to the administrative part of the priesthood that the Lord gave men. And women have other things and I’ve never been hung up on that either, because I’ve always felt that I’ve always had access to all the power that I’ve needed and more.  I don’t care who gives me a blessing or who administers it because I’ve had blessings given to me. To me, it’s just mechanics. We’re very distinct and very different in many ways. The Proclamation on the Family talks about that and I think for some reason, this is how the Lord set it up. And you’re right, it’s just for this mortality. Even now we’re on the same level, really. We can’t administer things without each other. I know people really struggle with it and people have been very critical of the church, but I think that God has a purpose in everything and we need to move forward and not get hung up on this because I think that does affect us and does affect us in our administrative duties as a mother, as a parent, as a friend.

Meghan:  Well, and it made me think,  you gave the example of getting a priesthood blessing and where does the power come from when you get a priesthood blessing?  Is it the man who’s putting his hands on your head, or is it your faith to have the blessing and enacted upon you.  It’s 100% up to us. It’s the same thing with the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Ghost, we don’t receive the Holy Ghost because a priesthood holder told us, ‘you’re receiving the Holy Ghost now’,  we receive the Holy Ghost by, daily, hourly, minute by minute, inviting him into our lives. It’s a constant effort and it has everything to do with us and our agency and absolutely nothing to do with the guys that put his hand their hands on our head.

Linda:  So well said. And going back to the steps that the prophet gave us to get the power of the Holy Ghost in our life, to get that daily revelation, he did say that as you repeat the process day after day, month after month, year after year, you will grow into the principle of revelation, and I would add to that also the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Our stake president, a couple weeks ago said he wakes up in the morning and he sets a timer for 10 minutes and studies Come Follow Me. I thought, “Wow, stake president,” because in my mind, you picture the stake president getting up and studying Come Follow Me for hours, so I love that he shared that with us because I think it’s those little drops of oil that we’re adding that eventually get us to a place where we we are strong, we can do what he’s asked us to do, that we have the power that we need.  The prophet promised us that if we did these things, that it will open the heavens to us and that we will be amazed. We will be amazed at the changes that we will experience ourself if we do these things and consecrate ourselves. And we know what that means to consecrate ourselves. Emily Freeman, I love her. I don’t know if you know her.

Meghan: Oh, yes.

Linda:  I just want to be her, I’m just gonna put that out there. She was talking about having children and being busy and trying to find time to read the scriptures. And we all know what that’s like. I remember those days and you’re in them.  I loved what she said and I will never forget it. She said, “I would open my scriptures and I would just leave them open anywhere in my house. And if I went up to fold laundry, I’d have my open scriptures there. And I might read a couple verses” and  she says, “but I just left them open in places around my house.”  I really thought this was great. Then she said her hand was really bothering her and so she went to the doctor.  He was trying to figure out what was causing her hand to hurt so he asked her, “Are you lifting something on a daily basis or doing something that’s aggravating it?” And she thought about it and she said, “Actually, yes. My scriptures. I keep lifting them and carrying them all around the house.”  That just cracked me up!

Meghan: That she would injure herself carrying her scriptures around everywhere!

Linda:  It made me want to leave my scriptures open, all the time, on my dining room table, on my nightstand, wherever.  It comes down to just those little drops of oil.  Again, going back to women,  I don’t know why we have more of this perfectionistic personality but you know if it’s all or nothing that makes it hard. I think sometimes we need to be okay with setting the timer for 10 minutes, if that’s what it is.

Meghan: I love that example from Emily. I didn’t know that story. She’s so cute. I love her, too. What it made me think of is that  I already feel this urgency from the prophet, from the apostles and I think that they have been saying that there’s going to come a point in time where we have to decide if we’re going to live in the world or if we’re going to be all in in the gospel.  I think that they have actually used that language.

Linda:  And aren’t you feeling that right now? I mean, aren’t you just feeling that right now?

Meghan: Totally. What I wanted to say is that these promises that are given to us, they can become our spiritual goals. I don’t think we always think of it that way.  I think sometimes we think, ‘Oh, that’s a nice promise’ but we don’t internalize it enough to say, ‘OK, that’s my goal.’

Linda:  “I want angels to have charge over me.”

Meghan: Yes! ‘I want priesthood power.’ I want the one that you just said, ‘I want to experience marvelous changes.’

Linda:  ‘Or the heavens opening up for me.’ Literally.

Meghan:  Literally opening up.  To take those promises and say, ‘OK, that’s my spiritual goal’. And if that’s the case, and if you go all in on that and that becomes your desire, it becomes a lot easier to leave behind some of the unnecessary, like what we were talking about with Emma Smith, ‘Set aside the things of this world and seek for things of a better.’  When you have that spiritual goal to say, ‘ I want to commune with angels.’ I don’t think that’s an unreasonable goal.

Linda:  Right.

Meghan: We can then say that and say, ‘OK, well, if that’s my desire, if that’s really ingrained in me, then I don’t want watch TV and I don’t want to listen to that kind of a music, and I don’t want to engage in these activities that aren’t feeding me all I want to do is whatever God tells me to do minute by minute.’

Linda:  I don’t think we understand the urgency of it either.  I agree with you. I think the prophet does.  And our apostles.  I think sometimes we don’t understand the urgency. I love that the prophet said the Holy Ghost will prompt us what we no longer need to spend time with, he said that in his most recent talk. I just love that. And also I love this quote. He told us that if we live up to our privileges that angels cannot be restrained from being our associates. So there’s another goal, that we will be associated with angels and we are going to need that, aren’t we? We’re going to need that. What did he (President Nelson) say? You’re going to need your  spiritual vitamins, hold on tight because it’s coming. And take your [other] vitamins.

Meghan: I’m glad that you’ve felt the urgency too, because obviously I do.  Honestly the more I’ve been doing this podcast, the more I’ve been having to learn and grow myself; the more urgent I feel, which is interesting. Urgent yet peaceful. It’s really an interesting combination of feelings, there’s not an anxiety attached to it. It’s very much how when you hear President Nelson speak, because it’s like it’s very urgent, but it’s very loving and it’s very peaceful at the same time. So I’m glad you’re feeling that too.  I think sometimes we get distracted, we get caught up in the things of this world, maybe we lose sight of what’s most important. But I would also say that the people that I feel are most in tune with the spirit and who are most aware of the things that are going on in the world and who are most awake to the lateness of the hour are women.  I have seen less men be quite tuned into that yet.

Linda: Right. We might get some flack from that but (I’m joking).  President Eyring just spoke to us fairly recently and he said that. He quoted President Kimball who said it’s the women in the final days…

Meghan: …that will be driving this work. And I don’t mean that to denigrate men. I think men are great. And I can talk about this because my husband and I have had this dynamic where  I feel the urgency, I feel like I see things coming and he’s more focused on the day-to-day things of supporting our family. I’m trying to do my job and it’s very good because it keeps me grounded and then at the same time I push him out of his comfort zone so that we’re preparing.  It’s one of those very good dynamics.

Linda: Yeah, I love that!  He said, “You sisters will be at the heart of creating a society of people who will join in glorious association with the Savior.”

Meghan:  That’s one of those talks, the one that you’re quoting, Sisters in Zion by Henry B Eyring, that I hope, I hope everyone reviews it, and I hope that’s one that we choose now to see literally. Because if we do, he was telling the women that we and our mothers and our grandmothers and our children and our grandchildren will literally be the ones to build Zion. This is not far away! Right now all these generations are alive. Which tells us that most likely all these generations are going to be alive when the Savior comes. It’s incredible that he said things that literally. 

Linda: I know I love it. I love it so much.

Meghan:  I do see it so strongly that I see women being the ones who are kind of taking the reins to say,  ‘the hour is late and we need to be prepared,  my family needs to be prepared’.   I’ve been really inspired by women that I know.  A lot of really good friends of mine are choosing to distance themselves from the world and instead being invested in the spiritual and physical well-being of their family for what lies ahead.  It’s so great to see.

Linda: It’s so incredible, the stuff that’s around us that’s distracting us, it’s just almost mind-blowing. Only because I’ve lived long enough and can remember times that were so simple back in the day.  I remember when we had to wait all year to watch Wizard of Oz on TV, it was like that with everything.  Now, with social media, well,  social media is a whole beast in itself that we’ve even been asked by the Prophet and church leaders to use it for good, which is what you’re doing. I love what you’re doing with your podcast and the things that you post, but it certainly can be a huge distraction and a time killer. I think everyone experiences that. I think everyone struggles with it to a certain degree and just to pull out of that and to get to a better place, we need help. We need help.

Meghan:  I think I’ve discovered a trick. I haven’t perfected implementing my trick, but kind of as we’ve been talking about, the last few weeks, I have developed some of my own really specific spiritual goals. With having these things in my heart, I really do feel this desire to leave the world, which is not possible, because I’ve got my 3 little kids and I want to be informed.  I want to know what’s going on in the world. I want to keep the relationships that I’ve established. Social media does help to do that. Obviously I’m doing this and so I was trying to figure out how to balance because there’s part of me that just wants to leave it and not look back. And then there’s the other part of me that’s like, no, these are necessary things right now. They won’t always be.  There are two keys; number one,I think that our error and our concern should be in our dependency. Meaning that if we are so reliant on these things that we are distracted or we have absentmindedly pick up our phone and start scrolling something or if it’s hard to resist the pull of something, that’s a bad sign, because soon these things won’t be available.  It’s almost like an addiction. And when our spirits leave our bodies, we’re still going to have addiction, except we don’t have a way to fulfill it.  And I see that being something that we might face in the near future, where it’s like we’re used to having so many of these conveniences and instant gratification and I don’t think that we’re always going to have that and then we’re going to have a dependency and an addiction like response to not having it. That’s what I would say is number one, how to evaluate; OK, how dependent am I on this? And then give yourself a challenge and say, ‘Hey, I’m not going to touch my phone for an hour’.

Linda: Right. I love it.

Meghan: Or three hours. Or, ‘I’m not going to listen to a podcast today’. That’s been one of mine. I have some podcasts that I really love and they’re not bad.  And this is the other challenge too.

Linda:  Or I have books on Audible.

Meghan: Right,  it’s just that podcasts are my go to and I do it everyday and I’m thinking I’m a little bit too reliant. So today I’m not going to listen to a podcast and it’s stretching my spiritual stamina. And then the other thing that I would say is if we can get to a place where we know how to tune into the Spirit,  automatically, and we’re worthy to do that, then we can ask the Lord minute by minute what we should be doing. Not in a compulsive way,  I don’t think he cares if we’re eating cereal or eggs for breakfast or something like that, but if we were to say ‘Lord, I have this desire to go scroll my new site.  I have new news articles and headlines and want to see what’s going on. Is now an OK time to do that? Will that be beneficial for me spiritually, or do I need to focus on something else right now?’ And I’ve noticed that he will guide you even in those little moments with things even as simple as, ‘Lord, my kitchen is dirty but my kids are grumpy, what do I need to do?’  And sometimes the answer is, you should clean the kitchen, and sometimes the answer is you should go play with your kids. He’s the one that can perfectly help us navigate all the little choices.

Linda: I think it’s hard for us to comprehend somebody who can be that loyal and be on our right hand and our left hand. Because in our mortal state we think, ‘I could never be with someone that much and be guiding and helping them’.  Yet he is willing to be there, every step, which I think we’re going to need in these last days. I love what you said.  That was just a great suggestion. I love that, just to call upon him more than we usually do, and with temporal things as well, because he said all things are from him, both temporal and spirit.  So I love that, when you ask, ‘Should I clean my kitchen or should I go play with my kids?’  Just relying on him more than we do, I think we don’t do it enough. And he’s offered that to us.

Meghan:  And this is the essence of what the Prophet has been trying to teach us; is to Hear Him, at all times.

Linda:  Totally.  And the Prophet has really emphasized the temple which has been, to me, a lot more than usual and maybe it’s because the temple is still?  Social media and television are not there, and really, all these things, music and all this stuff that can distract the brain. Maybe that’s why, so that we can be there and be in a still place where we can hear him and focus so much on the power of the temple and the treasures that are there for us. I love that.  I think people are getting to the temple more after he has talked about that for that very reason.

Meghan: Yeah, I love that too.

Linda:  I don’t know if you remember right after the Twin Towers went down we had a youth fireside.  It was just a few days after the Twin Towers, and we were scrambling. We thought, ‘Oh my goodness, we’re meeting with all the youth this Sunday night, we have a stake fireside that’s scheduled…’ President McClure said, “We’re going to do the fireside. We’re going ahead with everything.’  And it was a really, really interesting fireside that night, that I recall.  The twin towers had just gone down just days before and in that time he had talked with the other stake presidents in the area, which was common as they would discuss things or be working on things together. He said, “In all those conversations we never once mentioned 9/11” and he goes, “we know who’s won the battle already and that sense of peace that you have with that and yes this was horrible but we know who’s won the battle.”  And I was thinking, ‘Man, I was calling everybody and talking to everyone and following the news.’ Yet I found what he said so comforting. And for him to share that he had had that understanding and didn’t even discuss it in his phone conversations?  I have thought a lot about that, that there is a peace and fear that come together but to keep that in mind that the battles have already been won. We know we’re going to go through hard things. We know we’re going to suffer difficult things. But we’re also going to see some incredible things.  And to be on the front lines of that and see the power and the good that can come is going to be an incredible thing. This is an interesting juxtaposition but sometimes I think we’re so afraid and we’re so focused on all the horrible things that are going to happen In the last days, and the Book of Mormon is for this time,  I’m already seeing that. I don’t know about you but I saw something on the news the other day that I can’t even share online here because it was so horrible. And it was out of the Book of Mormon!  I had thought, ‘Oh, it’s never going to get to that place. It’s never going to be that bad’. And it was on the news and those times are around us and starting. But in that same breath we know that we’re going to see some incredible things for ourselves and from those who are strong and walking on the covenant path, just like in The Saints, the incredible things that they did, and the things they suffered from persecution and yet in the middle of all that were just some incredible beautiful, powerful things.

Meghan:  It’s so powerful.  I think that something that we as women, especially need to focus on is developing a certain perspective right now.  Because as you said, things are going to get hard, we know that there are going to be years of tribulation and that it will be especially hard for disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s beginning to be a little unpopular, yet It’s going to be a lot unpopular to profess the name of the Savior.  I think one of the things that I’ve been learning and seeing is that we can look at it like a trial by fire and we can worry about being burned; or we can look at it as a purification process and as the thing that will enable us to reach our spiritual goals. Because the Lord will have a pure people. And it’s up to us to decide whether or not we will let that process, these trials and tribulations work in us to make us pure. Or not.

Linda: You’re right, that’s how we get purified, through the parts of mortality that are difficult. And I don’t think any of us are going to skirt past those.

Meghan: No, I certainly don’t think we will.  Joseph Smith said that the Saints are not going to escape unharmed, but we know that we can and we will avoid a lot of it. And I love the example that you gave about 9/11, about how that was such a tumultuous time. There was so much chaos. There was so much hurt and fear. And yet for those who were focused on the Savior there was also a perfect peace and it didn’t matter.  It didn’t matter that all of these horrible things were going on in the world because they were doing Christ’s work and they knew that Christ’s work was going to save them and save other people, in a very real sense.

Linda: I love that. I’m actually really excited to be serving full time where we can bring that message of hope to the world and the plan of salvation that our Heavenly Father has for us. It’s an incredible, beautiful plan to me, and someday maybe we’ll understand it fully, but the process of us growing and developing and becoming God-like and becoming and developing the characteristics that Heavenly Father knows will bring us true joy and happiness, which is why we sometimes call it the plan of happiness.

Meghan: And I think sometimes we underestimate the timeline in which God can fulfill his work with us.  I would say the majority of us limit ourselves by putting achievements after this life, saying,  ‘I’m not going to be perfect now. I’m not going to understand this now. This isn’t an experience that I can have in this life.’ And God Is not the one putting those limitations on us. He has said that if we ask, and if we are faithful and obedient to the covenants and commandments that he will tell us everything. And we can inherit any blessing that we are heirs to, by virtue of our priesthood covenants, this is available to us in this life. And I think that that’ll be one of the biggest challenges, to overcome this idea of, well, perfection is for later. Yeah, we’re not going to be perfected because we’re not going to have a resurrected body.  We’re not going to have all of that, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t come very close.  I would say that the expectation that we have of ourselves is that we would come very close. We were those spirits who came, perhaps better prepared than any others.

Linda:  The City of Enoch or those who lived right after Christ appeared In America comes to mind.

Meghan: Why is that not achievable now? We’re the ones that put limits on that. 

Linda:  Totally. God is limitless and we put limits on ourselves. We do in many ways, and I think that we’re meant to have joy in this life, in this journey and we have been promised that if we add light and we add more light and we know how to do that in our consecrated pathway and our covenant path that we will have more light. And to me that is joy.  I think that can be found even in difficult times. My daughter lost her husband to cancer four years ago, and it was a long journey. It was five or six years that we watched him slowly die.  I was always amazed that in the middle of these horrible things, we had such incredible tender mercies and moments of heaven and the powers of heaven with us.  I feel like I would go through those trials again to experience that. It was just very powerful and those of us who were there on the front lines of it know what I’m talking about.

Meghan: I have felt that too. That’s an important reminder, that in our lowest moments, Christ is there. And that’s a blessing and an opportunity and something that I hope we’re all excited about, is for some of the trials ahead and the purifying process that will happen. We are in his hands.  I’ve experienced that too, some of the absolute lowest moments are the ones where we almost feel God’s awareness of us the most. Such a privilege.

Linda: He promised that he will be with us, that he’ll keep. And that he will bring us home. That he will not leave us.I love that!  All those promises are  from scripture.  I’m just paraphrasing that, but it’s just so comforting to know that and I’ve felt that in my own life personally.

Meghan: Great is his faithfulness. OK, one last question. This has been such a great conversation.  I can tell that this is something that is close to your heart, the way that you talk about it, you’ve shared so much great wisdom and thoughts. If you could share a little bit of your vision of what women look like in the very near future, when we can grasp our understanding of our true identity? And what are the privileges and power that we have as we are doing the work to prepare for the Savior? What do those women look like? 

Linda: I see women who are not afraid, women who have courage and strength. I see that in you in doing your podcast. I see women with power.  I see powerful women ahead of us. We have been given some incredible tools to access that power, in very recent talks and scripture from our prophets. And so I see women of great strength like in our pioneer ancestry. And I vision that it’s going to be, I think it’s going to be an incredible time. I think it’s going to be an incredible time! We’ve been called for this time. We need to recognize that and rise up to that. These are my final thoughts; that we will have the strength and power that we need to accomplish what is going to be asked of us.

Meghan: Thank you. I couldn’t agree more. I see women like you, you are so wonderful and you’ve always been. You are so humble but I have always seen you as just an incredible woman, a great example. Powerful. Knowledgeable. Your testimony has always been wonderful and has even gotten stronger in the time that I’ve known you. And that’s always so inspiring to see. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and your time with us. I love you.

Linda: Thank you. I love you too. 

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