We couldn’t believe it. There we were, sitting across the computer screen from Corrine Stokoe, famous fashion blogger and all-out amazing person from Mint Arrow. We’d followed her for years and admired her business prowess, but what we talked about in the interview went much deeper than the latest fashions. She opened her heart about her newfound commitment to reading the Book of Mormon and how she has felt God guide her online presence. That was one of our first interviews over at The Women with Fire podcast, where we interview some of the most prominent influential Latter-day Saint women about how God has been a part of their business.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve interviewed world-travelers The Bucket List family, bath product creators Tubby Todd, author Susan Madsen, and many more. While we talk with these influential women about their businesses, we have been stunned to realize how many of the women we interview did not start their blogs or businesses as an endeavor to make a lot of money or find Insta-fame. These women regard their online influence as a calling—a way that they can spread the light and love of Jesus Christ in a way unparalleled in past generations.
These women are building massive businesses, but are also sharing the gospel in the process. They share their testimonies of the Book of Mormon, talk about their weekly church service, and share conference messages. We have felt that they are just one of the ways a prophecy President Spencer W. Kimball once shared is being fulfilled:
“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 . . . This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.”
President Russell M. Nelson added to this statement in 2015:
“My dear sisters, you who are our vital associates during this winding-up scene, the day that President Kimball foresaw is today. You are the women he foresaw! Your virtue, light, love, knowledge, courage, character, faith, and righteous lives will draw good women of the world, along with their families, to the Church in unprecedented numbers!”
Interviewing so many Latter-day Saint businesswomen has given us a unique insight into this prophecy as we’ve been able to witness firsthand the influence of righteous women. Here are three life-changing truths we have learned in over 50 interviews.
1. God Will Use Your Talents, No Matter What They Are, to Spread the Light of Christ
Rosemary Card never expected to start a business. She was a New York runway model at 16, then went to BYU before working for the Church’s video department. When her job changed in 2015, she was left with some big decisions about whether she should find a new job or stay where she was. She sought inspiration in the temple and found it as she looked at women in their white temple dresses. It was there that she first wondered why no one was making cute, comfortable white temple dresses and felt compelled to start her own temple dress company.
Her idea has turned into a booming business called Q. Noor, and she has since become an author. She took her years of experience as a model working alongside fashion designers to create beautiful and unique temple dresses. She told us, “Q.Noor is a business and an opportunity to pay my bills, but I also try to think of it as a tool that Heavenly Father is using to help me become like Christ.”
Card was not a businesswoman, a philosopher, or a scholar. But with the Lord’s help, she has been able to use her talents in fashion to express and help others express a love of the temple. We, likewise, need never worry that our talents aren’t “big” enough or “right” for a task. If we have a desire to serve God and use them, He can help us find a way.
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2. Women Have a Unique Advantage That Allows Them to Spread the Gospel Right Now
A recent study shows that 68% of social media influencers are women. One of the biggest advantages women have is their ability and willingness to share their personal stories—what being a social media influencer is all about. As Entrepreneur.com states it, “There has never been a better time to start a business as a woman.”
Social media, when used for good, has the power to change and uplift people. Because women are more prone to share their feelings and lives online, they have a unique advantage in sharing the gospel. Whether that sharing comes from an Instagram, blog, or Facebook post, women are more able to share more of their faith online.
According to Rhonna Farrer, founder of Rhonna Farrer Design App, this is not by chance. She says, “As covenant women, we have the power to discern, and it is our wonderful privilege to live in these days and to learn how to use this tool for good. I believe that it is our responsibility to share what we feel we are supposed to. Heavenly Father has given you a voice not by coincidence.”
We have seen the power of social media. We have seen how one post can change and soften a heart. We have seen the power of positivity as each sister shares in a way that the Spirit guides her. We each have a voice and an influence no matter how small our following is. Social media allows us to be unique testaments of Christ as we live our lives in a way that shares light with others.
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3. God Is Helping Women Do Remarkable Things Like Never Before
Lizzy Jensen felt called to start a Christian website where faith and religion could be shared and discussed. Since then, The Small Seed has turned into a large community of Christian women who love, share, and support each other.
Lizzy says, “Women right now are daring to do crazy things, and hard things, and be lonely leaders. After [President] Nelson’s [general conference talk] 'A Plea to My Sisters,' there was a shift in the dialogue to women that called many women to different works. If you are feeling that call, follow it. Start on your knees and ask God. Then do the work that God has for you.”
We may not all be called to start businesses or websites, but as Jensen says, we each have a work that we can do. If we remember to ask Heavenly Father what our work is, and then really strive to do it, He is helping us expand our capacities and share our stories in more ways than have ever been possible. From being called to work as a volunteer mother in a classroom, to being called to volunteer with a nonprofit organization, to being called to start a business or get involved in politics, there are a variety of ways that your voice and talents can and need to be heard.
Whether it was Lizzy Jensen starting a Christian-based website or Rhonna Farrer creating uplifting design apps or Rosemary Card making a temple dress line or any other amazing feats from the other women we’ve interviewed, we have come to see that God is calling women to serve and share the gospel in remarkable ways.
People always ask us if we are afraid that we will ever run out of women to interview. We are not. We are seeing God work in the hearts of women everywhere to stand up and be an influence where ever they stand: their homes, community or online. We are honored to be able to share their testimonies and insights every week on our podcast.