Collette Blackwelder and Jennifer Rockwood: You are closer to heaven than you suppose


The phrase, “Do not confuse your lack of awareness at times with the thought that the Lord is not aware of you” rang true with many in the audience of the Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom, Friday afternoon as they listened to the thoughts of Sister Collette Blackwelder, along with her colleague, Jennifer Rockwood.

Blackwelder and Rockwood discussed a message President Dieter F. Uchtdorf shared in his speech given at Relief Society General Conference in October of 2011. That message is, “You are closer to heaven than you suppose.”

Out of 1,675 chairs, not one seat was empty as Collette Blackwelder, professional development consultant at BYU, began her talk and shared with the audience the four choices we can make that will help us feel closer to the Savior and feel His love. Those choices are: (1) choose to trust, (2) choose to be grateful, (3) choose to ponder and (4) choose to connect.

In her talk, Blackwelder elaborated about the importance of retaining faith in trials, practicing patience, recognizing our blessings, taking time to slow down and think, and serving and loving those around us. Blackwelder concluded her speech by sharing the profound idea that “life is the sum total of the choices we make.”

Jennifer Rockwood, head coach of the BYU women’s soccer team, followed by echoing the ideas and stories shared by Blackwelder and by adding her own thoughts. Rockwood spoke of the five gifts she has recognized in life and that help her to remember the proximity we have with our Father in Heaven. Those five gifts include personal revelation, confidence, the presence of angels among us, grace and the inspirational beings that surround us.

Rockwood expounded on the gift of confidence when she said, “We should be more confident than anyone as members of the Church, because we know the truth.”

Rockwood ended her talk be encouraging the audience, “When we think all is lost, it is not. We can always move forward.”

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