This year the presenters and performers who came on this part of the tour included Sandra Turley, Elaine Dalton, Heidi Swinton, Brad Wilcox, and David Archuleta
All of them were great. My favorite, however, was someone who wasn't there at all.
Sherri Dew did her presentation by Skype due to conflicting commitments back in Utah. (As President of Deseret Book she has an understandably full plate).
Sherri shared, among other things, the story of helping one of her nieces come to terms with some questions the girl had about the gospel. Sister Dew made it clear in no uncertain terms that it is okay to have questions. The important thing is how we conduct ourselves in order to get answers to those questions.
So many people seem to think that having a strong commitment to the church means forfeiting our own power of reason in a foolish adoption of blind faith. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I am so grateful that I have been taught to trust in James 1:5, the very scripture that Joseph Smith studied that led him to walk out to the grove of trees where he experienced the First Vision.
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
We are taught in the scriptures and through the council of our leaders that we don't have to take any person's word for what we should believe or how we should live. If we have questions we are encouraged to take them to God and to expect our own personal revelation.
Throughout the 30+ years that I have been active in the LDS faith I have had lots of questions. There are still some things I do not fully understand. But this is what I know for sure: God is real. He knows me personally and cares about my thoughts, feelings, fears and needs. Time and time again I have seen evidence of that.
I hope I can always have enough faith to take my questions to the Lord and the patience and diligence necessary to wait for and work for the answers that will surely come according to the Lord's timetable and according to His chosen way.
Sometimes answers come through quiet impressions. Sometimes they come through dreams or through the words or actions of others. Heavenly Father has all sorts of ways that He communicates with me. My job is to learn to recognize when my Creator is communicating with me and then to promptly take action to obey....even when I do not fully understand.