Saturday, August 13, 2016

What Do You Create?

by Jewel Leann Williams

I have a new hero. Her name is Sharon Eubank and she is one of the most inspirational women I’ve listened to since Sherri Dew. Heck, dare I blaspheme and say that she inspires me MORE than Sherri Dew? Or maybe they can be the Hawkeye and Black Widow of my own personal Avengers. I don’t know. Maybe I need to watch less Marvel property entertainment. 


Anyway, Sister Eubank is the She is currently the director (or is it Director with a capital D?) of LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the church. She has been active in the world as a giver of aid to those in the most desperate need. She has spent much of her life in the trenches. She also has made presentations to the United Nations, to international coalitions, and various other outlets.  She is the epitome of that LDS woman that Spencer W. Kimball prophesied of in 1979, when he said:

“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that they are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways— from the women of the world.”

She is certainly articulate, and I would add fearless and about a hundred other superlative adjectives. I just—I want to add her to my posse of BFF’s because man, I can’t imagine anyone who has her for a friend can do anything but be awesome.  I’m gonna post some links to some of her talks below, just because.

But, this isn’t about her, but just about something she said and how it got me thinking. In one of the addresses I watched, Sister Eubank, my new secret best friend, mentioned a statement made by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf in 2008 General Conference, in a talk titled, “Happiness, Your Heritage”:

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.
Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children.

Sister Eubank asked a question:  “What do you create when you feel the Spirit of the Lord?” She talked about making a quilt for her nephew, even though she couldn't sew and didn't have the slightest idea how to make the pattern correctly. She learned techniques, picked stitches out and did them again, and muddled along until she got it finished to her satisfaction. It was a labor of love that expressed her love for her nephew, and she was proud of what she'd done. 

In many ways, writing is much like that quilt. Some of us have advanced degrees in writing, and many of us would have advanced degrees in writing if we were writing in college instead of in chairs soaked with what we hope is water because it's now soaking our own trousers by osmosis. Not that that has happened lately or anything.  Many of us have learned and continue to learn the art of writing through trial and error, picking out our missed stitches, so to speak. 

The point is that when we write, we are reaching up and snatching ideas out of the ether and shaping them with words, sentences, paragraphs and pages into something greater than the sum of its parts. Unorganized matter becomes a thing of beauty that can bless other people. It is even more so when we take the time to ensure that we are writing while under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord.

That is no small thing. Remember what President Kimball said above, and then think about your own efforts to be articulate and to use your creative powers to influence the world for good. 

Is it worth it to pick at the stitches of your writing, to mold those words into something again and again, until they become the form you desire of them? Is it worth it to ensure that you are feeling the Spirit when you write (even if it's a story about zombies)?

Well, of course it is! 

Your words can be the words that reach someone's heart and teach them truth. 

Your words can spread the light of Christ. 

It is worth it. Keep creating, keep molding, keep working at it.


PS here are some of those links: 

talk to read:

talk to watch:    FAIRMormon conference address 18 June 2016 in Sweden.   TedxBYU talk, about slowing down


  1. Lovely post. I request a follow up telling us how to silence our inner critic so we can create! I'm too hard on myself so that I seize up before I'm able to create anything. Failure is so frightening!

  2. Lovely post. I request a follow up telling us how to silence our inner critic so we can create! I'm too hard on myself so that I seize up before I'm able to create anything. Failure is so frightening!



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