This is me with the ladies who were in my cabin. One mom got away before I got the picture. She was a friend of mine from high school and my hometown ward who I haven’t seen in over 23 years! What a joyful reunion!
We had so much fun at the Moms’ Retreat at the Heber Valley Camp. It was one big slumber party, although I can’t say I ever slumbered. Not because we stayed up talking, but because I was in a new place and also so excited about what had happened earlier that day (see my earlier posts about the ropes course) and what would be coming up the next day.
The cabin moms (leaders for each cabin of 6 to 10 moms, supervised by the board of directors) met Friday morning with the board. We were told we would be doing a “challenge course.” We hiked up to find it and by the time we got there that seemed like enough challenge for me.
If you want to read about the challenge course, go to part 1 here and part 2 is here. I was so thrilled that I did the whole thing (that’s me in the photo!). In our debrief of the course Kim Davis pointed out that the safety equipment and the belayers who made it so we couldn’t fall physically are symbolic to Christ and His atonement. Christ makes it so we can’t fall spiritually. After I got home I found this video by Brad Wilcox that really cemented the whole idea to me. Because of the equipment and the belayers, I could ascend to heights I never could otherwise. I could have found an excuse and not gone up, just like people find excuses not to soar to spiritual heights which are provided because of Christ’s grace. You can watch the Brad Wilcox video here.
Audrey Rindlisbacher led us in the discussion. I really liked that she pointed out that we as leaders might ask moms to do things that are as scary to them as a challenge course was for us. She also mentioned that if you are leading out, doing new things, you are always going to have a little bit of fear. Just acknowledging that there’s going to be fear makes it quite not so hard.
Next the cabin moms and the board had lunch. We then got to have a document study of a verse in the scriptures from Isaiah. Then we each had some time to write down our vision of our roles for the coming event as cabin moms and leaders.
Around 5 PM the moms started arriving. Around 70 I would guess. I was thrilled that a mom sought me out and revealed that she knew from high school! We used to be in the same youth group at church. That was a treat! And she was put in my cabin by Providence!
Then we had dinner with the moms in our cabin. After dinner we got to go to breakout sessions, that were lectures or a simulation. The speakers were Nicholeen Peck, Kelli Poll, Tammi Michaelis, and Roslyn Reynolds. It was hard to pick just two out those!
Then we got to socialize for an hour and then it was time to go to bed! But just meant more socializing for a while in our own cabins as we got ready for bed. I got involved in a conversation in the restroom about what TJED is and isn’t and my co-cabin mom leader had to come find me at midnight. Thanks Heather for being concerned about my safety!
The theme was revelation. We were asked to do writing assignments each week for several weeks before the event. These writing assignments really helped me understand revelation better. You can get the assignments at
In the morning those who wanted to went on the sunrise hike starting at 6 AM. We asked the ladies to be quiet up there on the top of the mountain so we could each commune with God. Then it was time to get ready for the day, shower if you wanted to, and have breakfast. We then got to hear the Founder’s Address, from Melanie Ballard, the founder. After that we went to our cabins for a discussion on the writing assignments about revelation. The discussion ended with quiet alone time to reconnect with God and write more, based on a new assignment given at the end of the discussion. We then had lunch. After lunch we got to hear from Scott and Cheri Loveless and then it was time to go home!
Almost the best part is the food! Healthful and not so healthful abounded. I didn’t get a picture of the two snack tables. You could have all the chocolate you wanted. I was really pleased with myself that as far as sugar goes I only had one brownie and two Andes mints the next day and did not overeat, especially on the sugar. This was unlike the last retreat I attended three years ago where I totally overate on the carbs and sugar and felt horrible when I came home. This time I focused on eating meat, veggies, a little grain, and lots of butter and sour cream so that the fat would satisfy me.
she gave us several tools to use to find joy. She shared her story about overcoming grief after he husband drowned in 2006. Her web site is http://www.roslynreynolds.com/
We got to hear from Scott and Cheri Loveless the next day. My absolute favorite story from all the speakers I heard was from Sister Loveless. She told the story of a time when her family was struggling financially. They didn’t know where they were going to get the money to pay their rent. Her daughter woke up one morning and said that the Holy Ghost told her that if she fasted that day God would send them the money for the rent. That day after church Cheri stayed for another meeting for her calling. She got a ride home with a sister in the ward. Before Cheri got out of the car, the sister told her that someone had paid on a debt to her that had been contracted long ago. This woman had given up on the debt being paid. She said that she has learned that when she gets money paid unexpectedly, ti’s not her money, but money to be given away. She asked the Relief Society president if she knew of anybody in the ward who would need the money. The R.S. president suggested the Loveless family. So she offered it to Cheri. Cheri said it was almost the exact amount of money the needed for rent! Wow, I want to have the faith that Cheri’s daughter had! I also want to have the power to raise a daughter like that.
Cheri said another very inspiring thing: that her father once suggested to her that she not make the same mistake her parents did. That was that they raised their children for the parents’ generation and not the children’s generation. Cheri said that is why we need revelation, because we don’t know what our children’s generation will be like when they are adults. Wow, this is very profound!