Josie speaks powerfully on the impact a value of selfless service. She teaches that a life rooted in purpose and service is a life of joy.
"Service brings light. Service brings JOY. Service saves lives."
Every person has their own darkness and we ALL need that light. Josie has made it her life mission to help others discover and spread that redeeming light through service.
Deena Stringham, wife of YSA Bishop, Phoenix Arizona
It was a spiritual experience that touched the lives of so many of our YSAs. Josie and Bright were perfect in what they said and how they presented themselves. Wouldn’t change a thing.
Kelcey Kemp, Copper Hills Seminary, West Jordan Utah
Josie was amazing, the students were talking about the Morningside all day during school. It had a huge impact on these students.The presentation was exactly what the student population needed. Teenagers are struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide, but they are afraid to speak about it. To hear that someone struggles with it every day and can talk about it was probably the most important message for students to hear. Josie was great on time, I wish she could have spoken for longer, but the activity didn’t allow for it because school was going to begin.
Brenna Thomas, Ward YW President in the Hunter Central Stake, West Valley City Utah
I heard Josie speak at the Hunter Central Stake Relief Society Conference. I knew when I heard her speak that our youth would benefit immensely from hearing about Josie’s struggles and her triumphs. I felt like she addressed our youth in a manner that they would understand and that made them feel comfortable. My hope was that this would spark conversations between the youth and their parents. Honestly, I think that this went over even better than I had planned. The youth and leaders were so grateful that they were able to hear Josie speak. We had fast and testimony meeting the following Sunday and many people, youth and leaders, spoke about their experience hearing Josie speak and how it inspired them. We have many youth and leaders who are struggling right now and I think it was really helpful for them to hear from someone who has had such hard experiences and yet continues to go about doing good and trying to help those around her, just as Christ would. I have been inspired each time that I have heard Josie speak and can see a physical change in her as she starts to speak. I know that she has angels that lift her up and keep her going because her message is so important.
Linda Ash, Mesa South Stake Relief Society Presidency, Mesa Arizona
Josie spoke with such power on the Atonement and Faith in the Savior. I have NEVER felt the spirit as strongly as I did in that auditorium that morning. And I have been in some pretty spiritual situations. I could have listened to her talk for hours and hours!!!
I know of two women who have suffered with mental anguish who were in attendance. They cried through most of her presentation. Afterward they thanked and thanked us for having Josie speak.
Lauren Stahle, U. of A. Institute, Tucson Arizona
Josie was perfect. She matched the audience (jokes about dating), and reached every person in the crowd. Months later, everyone was still talking about how she provided the best devotional. Everyone was in tears, and many opened up because of her. It was very well received and everyone was uplifted.
Danielle Platt, Stake Camp Director, Chandler West Stake, Chandler Arizona
Josie was amazing. She addressed the theme of our camp and wove it seamlessly into her story and message of hope and love. Girls still quote some of the things that Josie said in her presentation. When she was mentioned in this past General Conference, I got several text messages from girls and leaders exclaiming “she is talking about Josie! OUR Josie” If I were to sum up the impact that Josie had on our girls it would be that phrase “Our Josie”. She spent an hour with our girls, at a microphone and yet the girls feel like her story is now part of them. Josie has the ability to break down walls in a second. She invites you into her world with brutal honesty and allows you to see your trials through the lessons she has learned in hers. When we invited her back for our camp reunion there were lines of girls who just wanted to talk and tell her all about their struggles, knowing that they would be heard, not judged, and loved. Josie gave our Young Women a gift that they will always treasure.
Stake YSA Adult leader, Young Adult Stake, Mesa Arizona
I had intended to give Josie a specific topic to discuss. After meeting with her I had a strong impression that I should not do that, but that I should let her decide what was best, knowing that she would rely on the Spirit. The fireside was incredible. I was sitting on the stand looking out into the audience. As Josie spoke I saw the tears of so many sisters as they listened, and related, to her experience. For the first time I really recognized how many of the sisters in our Stake were struggling with depression, it was enlightening for me. After Josie spoke there was a line from the podium to the exit doors of sisters that wanted to shake her hand and talk to her. Her inspired message connected with them. It gave them hope.
Jen Wiberg, Stake Young Women's President, Rock Springs Wyoming
Josie did really well at our Regional Youth Conference. She connected with many of our youth and I have since heard the youth talking about her and how they felt inspired at what she had to say.
Greg Thorpe, Weber State University Institute of Religion, Ogden Utah
She “Nailed it”- It was perfect with our theme. She used no notes, but it was obvious how prayerful & thoughtful her preparation was. She addressed specifically every concern that our Stake President hoped she would! The time with Josie went way too fast! Such a blessing to so many. The impact was HUGE! Some fireside messages are heard, enjoyed and then forgotten-but not this one- there will be “ripples of healthy conversations ”and healing for months and years to come! We ALL wish that she would have kept talking/teaching ALL night!
Matt Hale, Devotional Planning Committee, Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City Utah
In the planning stages there was always good communication and we always knew what was happening every step of the way. We didn't assign her a topic, she just told her story and she did great!
For additional references please contact Lisa Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org