First Ever LDS Bloggers Conference

What a crazy, beautiful weekend it’s been. I had the incredible opportunity to join a handful of likeminded men and women for the first ever LDS Bloggers Conference put together by LDS Business College.  

As soon as I walked in the room I knew I had to get to know everyone.  These women and men were going to assist me in helping reach so many people and further the work that Heavenly Father wants me to do.  I talked to as many people as I could and loved them all instantly!  It takes a certain kind of person to be a blogger/Instagramer/Facebooker, etc.  I felt completely in my element and loved it. Make sure to check out the complete list of bloggers in attendance at the bottom of this article and go check out what they are doing. 

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Emilie Ahern-Blog: A Year of FHE(Left) Me(Right)–She’s my girl! Loved her from the moment we spoke.

Me(Left) Al Carraway. I wish I could have asked her more questions and maybe some time in the future I will. She is helping lift the lives of so many through her testimony of Jesus Christ. She is simply put, a delight and completely herself!

There were several speakers and the keynote speaker was Rhonna Farrer, artist, app designer and Instagram sensation.  Check out all the incredible things she does on her website.  She has 12 FREE workshops with how to use social media for good.  The topic of the seminar was focused on social media but specifically to spreading our light and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I went to this bloggers conference with moderate expectations but with high hopes!  The conference blew both out of the water! 

The first speaker was President Larry Richards. He is the President of LDS Business College. I can’t wait to tell you about the great things they are doing!  The first thing he said hit me, not like a ton of bricks but like a gentle reminder from a parent of something that I already knew.  “Whatever good we are doing; God wants us to do more.” I’m just sitting there saying to myself, “I know, I KNOW.”  I just felt so humbled by that reminder.

He had us consider the visceral reason why we do what we do.  All of the answers were so easy to me!  I know why I do what I do.  Because God has asked me to and because I love people and I want to help them love who they are so they can accomplish what they can to help hasten the Lord’s work.  Just so you know, this means if you are following me, you do so because you know I love you. 

“When you are a light to the world, people around will feel a special spirit that will make them want to associate with you and follow your example.” President Thomas S. Monson

President Richards encouraged us to think in terms of greater numbers of how many people we can help.  I’m taking this to heart and I’m going to challenge you if you know someone that could use some direction, inspiration in the way of physical and spiritual health, PLEASE send them my way.  I am here for them!  If you personally feel the urge to expand your reach of helping others in whatever talent God blessed you with, start today! President Richards said, “Together we can bless people to become more productive, more self-reliant and more inspired!”

We can’t too soon forget the ground shaking talk by Elder David A. Bednar on Social Media, Sweep the Earth as with a Flood. “I exhort you to sweep the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth—messages that are authentic, edifying, and praiseworthy—and literally to sweep the earth as with a flood.” Let’s keep flooding it!

LDS Business College is honestly so cool!!  They are where it’s at for Social Media education.  In fact, they are the ONLY accredited school that offers a degree in social media.  This is a pretty tough feat simply because social media changes SO rapidly. Click HERE to check out all incredible courses they offer.

On specific program they offer is called Corporate Connect.  It builds relationships with companies hungry for well-trained, high-quality employees who can execute specific tasks. The College creates training courses to teaches motivated students. The result? The employer saves money in the hiring process and experiences a lower rate of new employee turnover.

Successful elements of the program include:

  1. Employers in growth industries who pay $15 an hour or more . . . to start!
  2. They answer the question, “What do you want your entry level employees to know?” 
  3. A curriculum is created to meet their specific needs. 
  4. Students are trained in a live, online setting at a very low cost.
  5. Course materials are included in that cost.
  6. Training is done in a live, online classroom delivered remotely.
  7. The employer guarantees each student an interview as soon as they finish. 

Most of the students who have gone through these programs have been hired within days of completing the training. The goal is to move 40,000 people through this program by 2020.

If you honestly just have no clue where to begin, try the Discovery Experience

Take a moment and check it out! Just clicking on this link may change you and your family’s life. 

The next speaker at the Conference was Barrett Christensen.  He is the Social Media Program Director at LDS Bus College

Brother Christensen gave us the Cliff’s notes version of some ways to help us improve our social media reach.  He helped us figure out who we really want to hear our message, you..wink, wink.  I plan on taking some online courses through LDS Business College so I can expand on what he taught us.

What I’m going to write next is going to sound like I’m a groupie, no super groupy. But it’s so much more than that. I’d like to say that I met a kindred spirit.  Rhonna Farrer is so beautiful and a light to those around her.  Every word she spoke resonated in the deepest parts of my heart.  I’m not sure if she’ll ever understand what she did this weekend.  

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Me(Left) Rhonna(Right)

One of the most difficult things that I do is put myself out there for the whole world to see.  I’m perfectly imperfect and yet I know what I am supposed to be doing here on earth. I know, at least for now, what my purpose as a child of God in these latter-days is.  This is a beautiful thing an often times burdensome. Frankly speaking, it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done but I wouldn’t want it any other way.  Every endeavor I’ve ventured in has lead me to now, even gaining a bunch of weight.  Heavenly Father has blessed me with an immense love for people and equal amount of empathy for them. 

Now for the lovely Rhonna Farrer.  Before I attended the blogger conference I had changed the way I consider the way I view my followers.  I changed if from “Followers to Friends” and decided to make my mission to, “How many of my friends can I help this year?,” after a lengthy discussion with a dear friend of mine.  I know I was being prepared to hear her message.  

Her key to success…the Lord.  Not making her bed or waking up early.  Both are lovely and worthy tasks that she probably does, but her key to success is the Lord.  She spoke about her journey and her successes and giving absolute credit to the Lord.

I’m pretty sure this next part was when I started bawling because she said, “Consider each step of your journey as a SUCCESS….even set backs; even disappointments; even time or money lost.  If the Lord is with us every step of the way and we are striving to listen to Him, I know in the end we will be successful in our purpose and mission.”

My personal set back has been the feeling of inadequacy.  The adversary has been telling me that I’m not enough, that people don’t need me and too many other things. Ahhhh!! Hello, April!?  I gave myself a good talking to.  It went a little like this, “Seriously April, Noah built and arc with the help of God and Moses felt inadequate about speaking but with faith and the assistance of our Heavenly Father, he led the children of Israel out of captivity. So why not you?”

Sometimes you have to hear it from someone else said in a completely different way.  Rhonna quoted Marianne Williamson and I was like yes, yes, this!  She said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be BRILLIANT, GORGEOUS, TALENTED, FABULOUS?’ Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a CHILD OF GOD.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to SHINE.  We were born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” BAM!!! 

 

Rhonna said, “You’ve been given that great gift to know deep down what you are here to do. Sometimes its hard to recognize in the midst self deprecating talk.”  Enough of that for me.  When I’m self deprecating, that means I’m not only hurting myself, but hurting those that I so dearly want to help.

The divine purpose of technology is to hasten the work of salvation. Randall L. Ridd

One of things things that struck a chord with me was her dedication to praying for direction in all things.  She even said that just recently when Instagram changed their algorithm, which stresses us all out, that she knelt down and prayed to Heavenly Father to know what to do about it.  She said, the Lord is her business mentor. What?  That makes complete and total sense to me!  She encouraged us to Work and Pray and Work and Pray. To that I say, I will.

I feel invigorated and renewed! The spirit has shook my soul!  I know that Heveanly Father know us personally.  He has great plans for us! He wants us all to assist Him in His great work.  He know my great love for His children and I am humbled to be His daughter and faithful servant. 

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April Thompson is 37 years old and lives in Houston, Texas. She and her husband have four children. She loves trying new things, including sports, foods, and crafts. She is a homemaker, blogger, hair and makeup artist, and personal trainer and currently serves in the Young Women’s auxiliary. She loves teaching the youth about the Word of Wisdom, health and fitness.

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7 Comments

  1. Heather Mecham - April 4, 2016

    Hi April! I’m sorry we didn’t get to meet and chat after the conference. I had a commitment after that I needed to get to. I loved the conference, too. Rhonna’s story was so inspiring! I think that may have been exactly what I needed to hear! Thanks for linking to me in your post!

  2. Kim @ Life's Journey to Perfection - April 4, 2016

    Great post sharing the highlights!! What a great opportunity it was to be there! Wish I would have made it over to talking to you It was amazing being in a room full of so many people with a drive to share their light!!

    • April - April 5, 2016

      I felt so empowered by everyone! We’ll get to meet some time in the future, for sure. I really could have stayed and spoken with everyone for a couple days. Connecting with one another helps us to multiply the good work we’re all doing.

  3. Camille - April 5, 2016

    Thanks so much for this April. I really wanted to go when I heard about it but since I don’t live in Utah, I missed out- to meet all these other LDS bloggers striving to do good- so jealous you got to. Thanks for sharing the message, I needed it as well.

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