Episode #29: Published May 15, 2019
Magnolia Chief of Staff Emily Snyder never imagined her life would include working for well known, influential people or getting an MBA from an Ivy League School. In fact, all she ever dreamed of becoming was a mother but when her life began to look very different than her dreams, she decided she couldn’t let it stop her from taking full advantage of her “one precious life.”
1:09- Have her bosses been as great as they seem?
2:39- A Life Different Than Planned
5:07- The Dream of Motherhood
8:48- Trusting Your Life To God
11:57- Marriage or Jesus Christ?
13:58- Choose Deliberate
19:42- The Road to Magnolia
23:52- Unity in Christ
24:43- Become Vs. Be
38:02- Lessons Learned From Julie, Clay, Chip and Joanna
42:33- What Does it Mean To You To Be All In?
Read more about Emily here.
Read more about Sister Julie B. Beck's talk at BYU Women's Conference here.
Read a transcript of the episode below.
Morgan Jones: Her entire life Emily Snyder has dreamed of becoming a mother. While her life's opportunities may seem like a dream to many, her reality looks very different than the one she planned for herself. So what do you do when life doesn't turn out the way you dreamed or the way you planned? According to Emily, you choose deliberate.
Emily Snyder is the Chief of Staff for Magnolia, the company owned by "Fixer Upper"'s Chip and Joanna Gaines. Emily graduated in 2018, with an MBA from Columbia Business School following five years as an executive assistant to Harvard Business School's Clayton Christensen and she also previously served as senior secretary for the Relief Society general presidency when Sister Julie B. Beck was Relief Society general president. This is "All In," an LDS living podcast where we ask the question, what does it really mean to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I'm Morgan Jones and it is an absolute pleasure to have Emily Snyder here with me today. Emily, welcome.
Emily Snyder: I'm so thrilled to be here.
MJ: Well, as we said in our intro, you have had some pretty incredible bosses. You worked with Julie B. Beck in the Relief Society general presidency, Clayton Christensen, and now Chip and Joanna Gaines. I think the question on everyone's minds when they listen to this will be, are they as great as we want them to be?
ES: And the answer is 100 percent yes. When I worked with Clay and people would call and ask for interview stuff or you know, want to get a little inside scoop. I would constantly say, I just I pinch myself literally every day to think, 'Is this really my life? And I really get to interact with these people?' because they are exactly who you hope they are. Their hearts are exactly what you hope that they are. All three of them. Four of them? Chip and Jo aren't the same person.
MJ: (laughs) They are one.
MJ: Well, I want to come back to that. But first of all, I want to talk a little bit about you. And I think that to me, since we first met, I've been so impressed with the way that you live your life. In the first interview that we did for the print article, we talked a lot about your experience at Magnolia but we also talked a lot about your life as a single adult member of the church. And so I want to talk a little bit about that, a little bit more about that and focus on that today. Your life has ended up a little bit different than you planned. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
ES: Well, sometimes.
ES: Yeah. I mean, I think it's a funny thing to realize it everybody's life does and so when I realized that nobody is living their plan A, that nobody's living the life that they exactly thought they would, then it was no longer a "Wo is me," I'm not a victim to this. Like this is just suck it up, this is life. There were some good aha moments for me when...I think the biggest one, I served a mission in St. Petersburg, Russia. And I got sent home early because they thought I had a brain tumor. And I didn't. But it created, I mean, it took a lot of months to figure out what was going on. And I remember one day crying in my room realizing I was so excited to go on a mission because my dad and I were going to relate and have this thing that we shared that was different than my mom and I, but my mom and I had all these things that were related to. I'd wanted to be in "Oklahoma" the musical in high school because my mom was in "Oklahoma," and they were all these things. I just I loved my parents, I loved how they did their life. And I realized after coming home early that like, I'm no longer at a spot where my parents will understand me and that I will be living the life that they have. And so, I mean, which is such a silly aha, but it created a lot of like, "Oh gosh, what is this life?" When I found myself sitting in between my parents on their Valentine's date, watching Donny Osmond in "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat," and I just thought, "How did I end up watching Donny in a loincloth in between my parents on their Valentine's Day?" like, this is not where I thought my life was going. And just a lot of realization of like, "Okay, my life is gonna look different than my parents, than anybody else I know. What am I going to do with that?"
MJ: First of all, I don't think that's silly at all. I think I'm sitting here and I'm like, that has been kind of the story of my life the last few years is just being like, "My life looks different, not only than the way that I thought it would look, but it looks different than my parents," which I think is probably something that many people experience. But you have talked a lot about your desire to be a mom. And that that has stemmed from watching your mom love being a mom. Why do you think that was so important to you growing up? And how have you been able to reconcile those feelings?
ES: Yeah. My mom was adopted when she was a day old. And then her mama that raised her died when my mom was 14. And so my mom became mom, the head of the household when she was 14, and so she's just had a lot of years to practice being a mama and she loved her mama so much. And she wanted to be all the things that she missed out on not having her mom around, if that makes sense. And so she's just found such fulfillment in being a mother. And my dad has worked three jobs at times to ensure that she could be a full time mom and that was a decision that they both unitedly they made years ago at the beginning of their marriage that that was going to be their priority and we moved from California years ago because the decision was she either had to get a job to help pay for the roof that needed fixing or we were going to move somewhere that was cheaper to live and so I just, what else was there in the life? Because she was so fulfilled being a mom and she was never frustrated with, I mean, she's frustrated with us I'm sure as a mother, but she's so content to being a mom. And so that just is exactly what I wanted to be. I grew up with the Janeen Brady song of "When I grew up. I want to be a mother, have a family, one little two little three little babies of my own." And that was that, there was no other thing in life, (it) was to be a mom. And that was a dream job. And I'm not, right now (laughs). But I think your other question was how have I reconciled that? I've chosen to believe that God fulfills his promises. Because I've seen it enough times in my past, that I trust that of Him. And so I believe that my righteous desires are just inklings of what God desires for me. And so I've seen Him fulfill other promises in my life or other heart's desires so much better than I could possibly have imagined. And so, I trust that I will be a mama with my own children, but then I've also trusted that His definition may be broader and wider than what I initially thought motherhood looked like, that motherhood isn't always just having children of my own and raising them in my house at a certain age of my life, of their life, and I've just realized that His definitions are so much broader.
MJ: Yeah. I agree with that completely. What has this unexpected path and I think it's interesting, we were just at BYU Women's Conference this week, by the time everyone listens to this, it'll be weeks ago, but we were just there and I went to, I think seven, six different sessions. And every single one of them at least one of the talks was given by someone who didn't get married until significantly later in life.
MJ: Isn't that interesting? I was like "This is a sign."
ES: For many things, probably for many, many things.
MJ: Well, I needed, I think I needed those messages and so it was interesting to me but I've had this topic, because of that, I've had this topic of the unexpected path on my mind. And so what has your life taking kind of a different course direction taught you about trusting God?
ES: Hmm. I think a lot of what, a little bit what I just shared, that I realized one day that I have this ultimate desire of who I am eternally, and that there's traits and personalities and things I would like to overcome and to be known for and to feel like I embody. Clay Christensen, in his book, "How Will You Measure Your Life," talks a lot about it's not the the things that you do, it's who you are, that is the most important and that is where you can find true success and at the end of the day, are you this type of a person? Not so much your accolades, because those accolades should hopefully get us to be those types of people that we're striving to be. And I realized that years before, like, "Who is this woman of God that I desire to be?" And there are a lot of paths for God to get me there and there's probably a lot of timings for God to get me there. And I realized, he's getting me to that woman of God that I desire to be. And it's just going to be in the tutorial pathway that is right for me to do that.
I prayed years ago, as I got sick and tired of praying about marriage, I was like, I'm sick of praying for this. I can only imagine how sick God is of hearing this same prayer. Like, can we shake this up and prayed to know what to pray for, and how to change my prayer for that. And, in one of the very few times in my life, I felt like I got very clear direct verbiage almost and it was just this really weird feeling of: Okay, He gave me the words to be praying to pray to Him and to educate my desires that I signed up to serve, I signed up to build His kingdom. And if the most effective way for me to do that is being single and I choose to be happy, being single and to find purpose in that and trust, that this is the most effective way for me to build His kingdom, the second the millisecond that I am going to be more effective building and growing and help his kingdom married. He's just going to drop him on my doorstep. I don't have to do any work. I was like, "We're good? We're good? We're gonna make this commitment." So that has actually been a prayer that I've gone back to countless times of "I signed up to serve, I signed up to build, I believe in this. I trust the God that I worship." And so I will build single, because I'm trusting that that is where I'm supposed to be most effective right now.
MJ: You mentioned in your talk at Women's Conference, reading a Christian romance novel.
ES: Oh, yeah.
MJ: Well, first of all, you said it's like Hallmark in a book so I feel like I need to read one.
ES: Yeah. And I'm a little bit frustrated because Hallmark has actually come out with their own line of books, which I I may boycott because I don't know that that's fair, because there's a whole genre before. Anyway.
MJ: It's like they're trying to steal the market.
ES: Kind of! It's like wait, just stay where you're at. Let these other players do the book business.
MJ: Yeah. But you said that in one of these books, there was a question. Can you tell listeners what that question was? Because I think this is crazy that you would read these words in a book.
ES: Um, the heroine was an older single female that was desperate to get married, and had made some interesting choices along her path. And her father said, "Is it more important to you to serve Jesus Christ? Or is it more important to you to get married?" And I was livid. And I literally threw the book across the room, so angry as to why in the world are those two separate questions? That's not fair. It's not fair that those have to be two separate questions. And (that) was a deep, deep dark day and night of wrestling with the Lord and figuring out where and how I wanted to answer that question.
MJ: How would you answer that question now?
ES: Jesus Christ, marriage is one of the experiences I feel like is essential to become God. But it is only one of the many, many experiences for my eternal growth that is necessary for Godhead. And there is an eternity in which I will get to experience things. And I trust, I trust that God has a timing set for me, and for all of us, on our different journey paths. I don't know that I believe that God like tailor fits us per se, but I think he constantly provides opportunities. And I have complete trust that marriage is a necessary opportunity for my progressing to become as God is. And when that happens, I trust will be when it's supposed to happen.
MJ: Well, I think, Emily, you are such a great example of this. And one thing that I love that you do is, in your personal life, you've created this thing that you call choosing deliberate. And it's about choosing to take opportunities that you're being given and live your life very deliberately. Can you tell me how this kind of came to be and why it's become so important to you?
ES: Yeah. Working with Clay Christensen, I just, I'm forever grateful for these people that have molded and mentored me and allowed me into opportunities and rooms and meetings and conversations that I had no right to be in. Sister Beck, Clay Christensen. And now with Chip and Jo and all the other people that I've worked with and principals that I've worked with and teachers but Sister Beck and Clay allowed me to spaces I never...I did not have the accolades to deserve a seat at the table and they let me in. And I am just so grateful for those opportunities. I realized, um, I got to go to Oxford for a month with Clay and his wife and as we got on the plane, I mean, we're in Oxford, UK. It's magical! It's so beautiful! It was tricky to figure out how to have a life there. There weren't a lot of LDS members. I didn't know how to navigate hanging out at a bar at that point, that you can just hang out and not drink and just read a book and just be in society. But everything was closed at 6 p.m.. And so I would go home and watch Netflix, BBC Netflix, and then there we go. So I got on the airplane to come home from this month long, incredible opportunity. And it was so sad. I was like "What did I do with that month?" I could have had like a project that I did that was my Oxford project. I could have written something, I could have done something to signify this month of my life that was just handed to me.
A family motto that we have is "No Regrets." That's the name of our boat when we go boating, and I was like, "Nope, no regrets. I'm not gonna like waste my time and energy on feeling bad about the choices I made at the time, but what am I going to do to change tomorrow? Like, I never want to have an opportunity handed to me and gifted to me like that one was and not take advantage of it." And at the same time, I was trying to figure out like, all my friends were posting the progression of their children. And like that was what Instagram and Facebook was all about was kind of their kids' progressions. And that that was their progression. And I thought, "Okay, I don't have kiddos to show my life progression, and that I'm accomplishing and doing things, so like, what else am I going to show my sisters or my family of like, I'm the owning my life, like what what are those things?" And so I decided on the airplane that I was going to create so many goals or things I wanted to accomplish before I turned that next year older and so I think at the time I was 35, I was going to be turning 36. And so I started with 36 goals. And I was like, "What are things I want to do that I've always been on my like, someday I'll do that list. But I'm going to, I'm going to do that this year, so that I can, I can show to myself that I am growing and progressing. I am not taking advantage or I'm not losing opportunities that come my way." I also realized that if I couple months later realized, if I were a Mama, I would not be staying up until 2 a.m. Friday nights to watch a show. Because I would have kids waking up at 6 a.m. and I'd have to have a different energy. And so why am I waiting to be that person that I had thought I would be at this age in my life just because kids were going to force a certain behavior of me? Does that make any sense?
MJ: It makes complete sense. I've had the same thoughts.
ES: And so all those things kind of combining together of like "I'm in charge, I'm in charge of this life that I was given," and so started making these goals.
I've kind of refined it now to dreams because I don't want them all to feel like very calculated because they're not always calculated. But they were things that I wanted to accomplish like one of them was...I would love to feel confident doing floral arrangements. But I was like, "I'm not that person that could do a six-week class. I'm not disciplined enough and that would drive me crazy." So I was like, I need something in a day or a half hour or I mean a half a day. So I found a half a day floral class and took it and I was like, "Great, check! I did something!" and then realized I wanted to start taking pictures of those so that I can show myself I am doing things in my year that God has given me...(I) had the thought that when I get home to heaven and Father is like, "So sweetheart, I gave you all these years and...you were the only one I asked (you) to care for, like you didn't have any other kiddos to take care of, you don't have to take care of anything else but you. What else did you do? And I gave you all these years to do all these other things." And if I were to come home and be like, "Well, I was waiting."
And I just can imagine Him being like, "You missed the point sweetheart, you missed the point." And so all those things combined to say I am choosing to own my life. The HBS entrance essay in the past has been "What are you going to do with this one precious life?" And so all those thoughts, all joined together into this concept of like, I'm going to choose deliberate every day.
MJ: I love that so much.
ES: There ya go, hashtag.
MJ: #ChooseDeliberate. I have a little cousin, he's not little anymore. He's like 22 but the other day he was texting me. He's like one of my favorite people in the world. And he said, "How's your time in the waiting place?" And I said, "I'm not waiting anymore." Like, you can't treat this as a waiting room.
ES: Yeah, like, and this it, I'm already in it. I'm already living this one life that he gave me. Right. And it started already. It doesn't start when I find my significant other.
MJ: Yeah...how do you feel Emily that...because you made that decision when you were working for Clayton Christensen, how did that decision lead to Magnolia?
ES: Such a good question Morgan. A. I was just so lucky to get to be surrounded by incredible people at Harvard Business School, like, you don't get to be at Harvard Business School, unless you're somebody that is deliberately living their life in many ways anyway. And so just around a lot of minds that just are taking their life by the reins. I like to keep growing and changing and progressing. And so I knew that getting to be in that chapter of life was a chapter.
And so as I was talking about what's next, what's next? What do I do? A friend said, "Just make a list of all the companies that you really like, and that are doing some really cool things." I love 3m hooks. That was the company, like 3m, I think is so cool. I think Costco is so awesome. I mean, I have a whole list of companies that I'm like, I love them, I would do something for them.
MJ: 3m they do the command...
ES: That's removable. Yep. They're so great. And maybe it's because I've lived in so many rentals and love to still make home out of my rentals and 3m allowed me to do that. Anyway, total side topic. But then I just realized all these things that like if I want to get to a certain spot, what experiences are going to help me get there the quickest, the fastest. And friends would say, you don't need to go get an MBA to do some of these things you want to do. And it's like, I know that and you know that, but they don't know that. And so what is going to be the quickest way that I can tell the companies that I want to work for, I have the tools and the skills that you need, and that you can trust me to do this thing I want to do?
And so an MBA was the thing that I hired in my life and pulled into my life to say this is going to help translate my skills, so that the world can know that I'm capable of certain things. And so then I thought, well, where do you go after the Harvard Business School? The best business school in the world? And I thought, well, you go to the coolest city in the world and go to the best school there if they'll let you in, and so there were a lot of those pieces, got to Columbia Business School, loved it, but then had crisis moments because I was like, "I don't fit in with everybody. My story is so different than everybody else." And a friend said, "Again, who's doing something that you're really interested in? Let's figure out how you can talk to them." Chip and Joanna Gaines were top of my list. They were constantly in the back of my mind. Somebody at school said, "What do you want to wear every day to work?" Which I thought was the craziest question. I was like, "How does that play into my career decision?" And then I thought, "Oh, it plays very heavily into because if I don't want to wear high heels every day, I shouldn't choose a job that I have to wear high heels." I thought Joanna wears, she doesn't get dressed up every day like she just goes. And I want to be in something like that. Home and family is the cause I feel most passionate about and they have made, Chip and Joanna Gaines have given the world permission to work on home and family in a way that I don't think has been seen in countless decades. And so I wanted to be part of that. So knocked on the door, asked them if they would let me help open boxes or just help in any way I wanted to be a part of it and after a number of efforts of trying to graciously cold call and talk to somebody, they let me in.
MJ: Amazing. I am a big Chip and Joanna fan myself and so for me, it's so amazing to think that you have been able to admire them from afar, and then find a place with them because you believe in the same thing. And I think there's such a strong message there that like, believing in the same things, being passionate about the same things creates a unity and kind of a force that is hard to ignore.
ES: Yeah, I love that. I've realized that that is, all the jobs that I've had all the jobs I want to have is about something bigger than me. Clay talks a lot about how one of the beautiful parts about being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that it's a practice ground, to practice Christianity, and to do something and to be a part of something that is bigger than self. It's hard to practice Christianity by ourselves, because Christianity is all about embracing and allowing people their own journey in a lot of ways, because I feel like that's exactly what the Savior illustrated for us in the New Testament, when He was here with the people, He embraced all walks of life. And that's hard to do in isolation. And so we are organized in such a way that allows a practice playing field for that.
And it's been sweet to be in a spot with Chip and Joanna and the things that they value and the things that that community values. Because we're fighting for the same thing. We're fighting for the same cause. And I've been raised in a different way, but our hearts, our hearts are the same and we want the same dreams.
MJ: That is so good. And it reminded me what you were saying about religion or Christianity being difficult to live on one's own. I interviewed Adam Miller a couple years ago. And I asked him, because at the time I had several friends who kind of had this idea of, "Well, you don't need religion to be a good person." And I agree with that, you know, like I think that's totally, totally true. But so I asked him about this, because I was like, he'll be able to articulate it so much better than I ever could. And he said, "It seems pretty clear and pretty obvious that you can live a life that's good and be a good person and not be a Mormon," and I would add or any other religion, "But in my experience, that can be hard to do especially by yourself, without a community, without a kind of constant and intentional foregrounding in what’s involved with trying to live that kind of life, trying to live a life that’s unselfish, trying to live a life that’s built around service, trying to live a life that’s built around forgetting yourself and daily acts of devotion and scripture study and prayer, living a life that’s good, I think, is really hard to do without that kind of infrastructure."
And I thought that was so spot on because it's like this structure of the church, or religion in general, it helps us become the kind of people that we want to become not that it's the end all, be all, which also reminds me of something that you said a couple days ago women's conference where you said, "He just wants us to know Him and we, as members of the Church, are not the only ones who know Him.
ES: Yeah, yeah, I love how I've fallen in love with so many of my friends in Waco and how they love Jesus Christ. And it is, at times made Him more real than I have known Him at other times in my life. When I was nervous to come out for Women's Conference and thinking about my message, one of the greatest comforts was a friend of mine there that gave me some things that brought her comfort as she thought about Jesus Christ helping her on her path and I just have been so deeply touched by the relationship that so many of my friends in Waco have with their God and their Savior, that has increased mine. I think, sometimes I have forgotten that because we have such a beautiful organization and structure within our church, that I can go on autopilot, way too often. And we have thought through a lot of things, a lot of good structures, and scaffolding that were put in place to help me find God and to help me find my relationship with Jesus Christ. Sister Beck talked a ton about it at her talk this week at Women's Conference, about how we can be in a crowded room, in a crowded throng with good people doing good things and still never get to the hem of Jesus's rope to be healed and to touch Him and to know Him and to be healed by Him. And I've often thought we can do, we can be a Beehive president, a Mia Maid president, a Relief Society president. We can be a bishop, we can be whatever and often not remember who Jesus Christ is in all of it because we've got so many good things in place to help us practice that sometimes it can, at times be a dam to our relationship with him when I get caught up in the wrong things.
One thing I've thought a lot about, as I've told friends that are in kind of career crisises, and midlife crisises is that I got to get to Magnolia because I kept knocking. It wasn't a one time email and hoping that they would magically see the light. But then I had to seek it out and Sister Beck talked a lot about seeking this week too, of what does that seeking look like? And I thought I have to knock on heaven's door a couple times to prove that I'm serious about something and that it's not just a "Okay, I'm here. Ready!" But I have to prove that I am truly seeking and ready to hold what He's ready to give me. And I just think sometimes that's tricky in a structured organization that has helped us think through a lot of things, to remember that I have to do this work by myself, that "Yes, I'm in a great community of great people striving for the same things and have the same heart in many ways. And I have to do the own work myself to seek my God."
MJ: Thank you for that. One thing that I have noticed by observing you is that building bridges and creating that common ground, that common belief, is something that is clearly very important to you. Why do you think that it's important for us as members of the Church to not kind of become insular and caught up in our own little bubble and to reach outside of ourselves?
ES: So many, so many thoughts, and I will preface...It is hard to do that in communities that have a lot of members of the Church. And so it's just hard. It's hard to seek that out and to find those communities when we are doing so many good things within our own community.
I remember saying at Costco when I was younger, and you know how they often have furniture in different spots, and like for some reason, I was sitting in one of the chairs while my family kept shopping, and they were okay with that. And I remember just watching everybody walk by and had this moment of realization that, and we were in California, that's where we were living at the time. So it wasn't everybody that went to church. But all these different walks of life and remember thinking, "Oh, we're all brothers and sisters. And so that person that just walked by. That's a brother of mine. Oh, that's a sister of mine and had this really sweet comment in Costco, 'That this is that big FHE in heaven, I get it, like all these people were in that big FHE in heaven when we talked about the plan of salvation," and all the other things we probably talked about. And I, I often wonder if the Savior is going to come back and say, "You guys know who I am. And you've created too many boundaries and too many walls, and so they don't get to know who I am. Because you are so insular. Like you, you're doing good things for each other but what about everybody else? What about that woman at the well? What about that woman caught in adultery? Why don't they get to know who I've shown you I am? As members of this church. I deeply believe that. President Hinckley, I think a lot about his comment that we don't have a symbol of our faith but that our lives are the symbol of our faith. And if I'm not embodying as much as I can of that love and embracing of people's lives of wherever they're at then how do I get to call myself a Christian? How do I have the symbol of Christianity? If I'm not embracing everybody in their walks of life, and saying, "That's okay, we're all in this together. There's no right way to get to find Him, because He came to them."
MJ: You said something yesterday in your talk that stood out to me. You said, "If we want to call ourselves Latter-day Saints and not just Mormon, we have to love as Jesus loved." And I think that that is so true. I think sometimes there's a little bit and I think "Come Follow Me" this year has really helped me think more about Christ and make Him more a part of my life. Yesterday, I also heard Sister Jennifer Kearon, Elder Kearon's wife speak and at the end of her talk, she said, much more articulately than I could ever say it, she said, as you're reading the New Testament, look for yourself in the pages and she was like, you're there. We're all there. And the people around you are in the stories and you're in the stories and and what does that mean? How does that translate into our lives now? And I think that if we really internalize these things that we're learning from the New Testament this year, then we recognize that there's so much more that we can be doing to reach outside of ourselves to not become insular so that's something that that's been on my mind.
MJ: Emily, you once told me that you don't like the word "Become," which I think is funny. And like, I have always liked that word. And so when you first said it, I was like, huh, but the more that I thought about it, the more I'm with you. I kind of don't like it either. Why is it that you don't like that word?
ES: I hope I'm not alone in this feeling of often not feeling like I'm enough, enough to get that job, enough to have that friend want to interact with me, enough for whatever. And I wish I could pinpoint the moment that the thought came to me but I just I caught myself feeling like, so today I'm not enough. What the word 'Become' tells me is that today I'm not enough to have God with me, to have all those things. Because I have to do something in order to become worthy of that. Or of XYZ, whatever it is, that there's work to do, which I'm not opposed to work. But it infers that today I'm not enough. And I don't know that I believe that. I was wrestling at one point of my relationship with God and who I am. And the term of Jesus Christ being called I Am. And this concept of...like if God doesn't believe in time, I mean, if God isn't constrained by time then he looks at Emily, not in Emily at 40 years old, almost 41 in this season of life. He's seen Emily, in all my eternalness. He's seen all that I am in my premortal, my current and my postmortal existence, and He's looking and viewing me as my greatest self, my most glorified Emily. And if He sees me that way, then how do I how do I choose to see myself that way? And are these opportunities in life not things for me to become? But are they things for me to then uncover and discover who He already sees and knows me to be? Because if I'm already a daughter of God, he already sees me as that. I don't have to become His daughter. I am. He loves me completely. And all these opportunities of growth and progression, and heartache, and brokenness are not things that I have to become something through. But they are simply opportunities for me to see who He already sees me to be, to see the strength that I already have. And for me to trust myself, like he already trusts me, to know I'm stronger enough to do something, to know that I'm wise enough.
MJ: I love that...We mentioned at the beginning of this interview all the people that you've had the opportunity to work with, and you mentioned feeling just tremendous gratitude for them. But how would you say that the people that you've worked with...the lessons you've learned from them, have continued to bless your life? And maybe like the biggest lessons that you've learned from each of those people? Any thoughts on that?
ES: Oh golly, that's hard. I think the unique thing about working with some well known men and women is that their thoughts have been recorded, oftentimes, and so I get to go back and reread them. Whereas this principal that I worked for, love him dearly, I don't know that he has any of his life's lessons written down that I can refer back to. A teacher that I worked with, she's yet to write a book, you know, or to write an article. So I, I just have to rely on my own memory and that's not always the best thing to rely on. And so the nice part about working with these people is that I not only can refer back to some written writings of their thoughts, but then it triggers also so many of the lessons I learned while they were developing those or that I got to be a part of the process as some of those things were being developed. And so they have been so influential in that way.
Key lessons from some of them...Sister Beck, I think so deeply taught being bold, and her testimony and her understanding of the doctrine, that just boldness, so she would talk about President Benson and Spencer W. Kimball and just the boldness of their language as they were leaders in the church. And that has always stood out to me with her boldness. I also, getting to work, watching her wrestle through a couple of things, realizing being a leader is not something that I think most people once they get there ever desire. And I don't even know if along the path, that's something that they desire. But that's just kind of where they're taken. Because you will never make everybody happy. And I think that is a very lonely, lonely place. And I've seen that with all of them of the loneliness, that being a leader in any right is, it is lonely. There's not very many people that understand what Chip and Joanna Gaines are going through. It's really hard to find friends that are in that same sphere. And I feel like it is a very, very lonely, lonely space to be in. With Clay specifically, I feel like I learned to just keep thinking and to think about things from a slightly different angle and to figure out deep principles about what I'm doing, that just because it worked for Morgan's life doesn't mean it's going to work for Emily's life. But what are the deep underlying principles that are at play? And much like Elder Bednar, there are doctrines and there are principles in their applications. I watched that with Clay. I watched that in so many of the ways that he taught of there are deep, deep principles and just the way life works. And how you apply that is going to be completely personalized. So I love that. With Chip and Joanna. I haven't been there oodles long, like I've only been there for almost a year, and so I am amazed at their tenacity, of fighting for the things that they strongly believe in and that they are going to risk when they feel like it is the right risk to take and they desperately want to embrace as many people as they possibly can, and at the same time, hold to the values and their family as priority. I, that has been beautiful that they're able to accomplish their dreams and keep their boundaries.
MJ: I listened to Chip's audiobook over Christmas. And at the end he talks about, he like has this obituary that he's written for himself. And he says that Joanna ended up being President of the United States. I personally am hoping for that. So fingers crossed.
Yesterday, or in your talk at Women's Conference this week, you talked about choosing to stay. And I really liked that because it's applicable to kind of the overriding message of this podcast, which is, what does it really mean to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I think that that looks so different for so many different people. And there's not one way to do it and I kind of loved your message tied in, so much to that. And so I'm curious for you, what does it mean to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
ES: Such a good question. And so every time I listened to a Q&A of some sort, especially within church life, I think, what are my answers? How would I answer that? So thanks, Morgan, good question.
And I mentioned this earlier, I have had a handful of broken moments in my life, where I have seen as I've gotten through them, that I really love who I am through them so much more than I am when I started them. And so I'm all in because I love who I keep discovering myself to be. If this is who, if this vision and understanding of who I am and who others are is what I get to get by being all in and choosing to stand beside the God I've come to know, because of the tools of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then I'm all in, because there is nothing I have yet to find. that teaches me who I am, and who others are, and why I'm doing what I'm doing than the tools I've found here: than the scriptures, than practicing the Christianity and the dialogue that I find with my God, than the things that I found in this church, and so I, it means holding on and recognizing, even in the moment I may not understand, but that I love who I am at the end of it. And I'm just too selfish to go anywhere else because I love, I love the end result that I get here. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for being with us today, for sharing your thoughts and for, for helping us all hopefully live a little bit more deliberately so thank you.
ES: Thanks for doing this. This podcast is a beautiful, beautiful gift. So thanks for doing it.
MJ: Thank you so much to Emily Snyder, for joining me this week. We'll look forward to being with you again next week. But I wondered if in the meantime, you wouldn't mind doing me a very small favor. We've heard that the more ratings or reviews that a podcast has, the easier it is for people to find us. So if you've enjoyed this podcast and if you would feel comfortable, please leave us a rating or a review this week. In exchange I promise that next week's episode is going to be amazing and you're not going to want to miss it. So we'll meet back here again then and thank you in advance for the rating or review!