Home News Women's session: Fulfilling our full potential

Women’s session: Fulfilling our full potential

For the past several years, the Saturday evening session of general conference has been directed toward different audiences. This year, not only was this a women’s session, but its purpose was directed specifically to the concerns women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may have in regards to policies concerning them. President Dallin H. Oaks opened the meeting by sharing this overarching purpose.

During the Saturday afternoon session, the General Relief Society and Primary presidencies were reorganized and sustained and members of those presidencies had the opportunity to speak to the women of the Church.

The messages that women could receive and apply to their lives vary, here are a few key messages from each talk during the session. An overarching theme of the evening was encouraging women to live up to their full potential as powerful parts of the Church.

Photo credit: Grace Wride

Sister Susan H. Porter: Use power to lead others

During her talk, Sister Porter went over lessons we can learn from continuing to drink from the well of living water. She gave three lessons:

1. Our past and present circumstances do not determine our future.

2. The power is in us.

3. Out of small and simple things proceedeth that which is great.

Sister Porter explained how we can use the power in us to help and bless others.

“Even though you may feel alone as the storms of life are raging, you can shine a light in the darkness of misunderstanding, confusion and unbelief,” Sister Porter said. “Your light of faith in Christ can be steady and sure, leading those around you to safety and peace.”

Sister Rebecca L. Craven: Commit to doing what matters most

Sister Craven focused on actions we take and what that effort and commitment mean. She talked about how important it is for members of the Church to act if they want to see any change in their own lives.

“If you want to know anything, you have to do something … It comes through the power of the Holy Ghost as we make an intentional effort to know by asking, seeking and knocking,” Sister Craven said. “It comes by doing.”

She encouraged the women of the Church to consider what might distract us from doing what matters most. Sister Craven stressed how important this is especially with doubt and confusion in God at this trying time.

“As the Lord’s mouthpiece, we can trust that what He urges, counsels and please with us to do, are things that matter most,” Sister Craven urged.

The capacity of women in the Church to do things that matter most is far greater than they anticipate.

Following these talks, a short video was played stressing the need for strong women.

“We need you to speak up and speak out,” encouraged President Russell M. Nelson in the video.

Photo credit: Grace Wride
Photo credit: Grace Wride

Sister Jean B. Bingham: Covenants give us power

Sister Bingham encouraged women everywhere to utilize the power that comes from making and keeping covenants. She emphasized that every baptized person has equal access to the promised blessings associated with keeping those covenants. These covenants can also help in adverse experiences that teach things we need to learn.

“Keeping our covenants allows the Savior’s power to cleanse us as we learn through experience — whether it is a minor misjudgment or a major failing,” Sister Bingham said. “Our Redeemer is there to catch us when we fall if we turn to Him.”

Sister Bingham shared an experience she had while rappelling with some young women. While she had some fear in doing something that required trusting other people, she knew those in whom she trusted wouldn’t let her fall.

She related this experience to the power Jesus Christ holds as our anchor and perfect partner.

“We are assured of His loving strength in trial and of eventual deliverance through Him.”

Photo credit: Grace Wride
Photo credit: Grace Wride
Photo credit: Grace Wride

Elder Dale G. Renlund: We will always have a divine nature

As the concluding speaker of the session, Elder Renlund wanted the women of the Church to understand their divine nature as God’s daughters. He began with an analysis of the first line of the Young Women Theme: “I am a beloved daughter of heavenly parents, with a divine nature and eternal destiny.”

To this, he emphasized that while our ability to sense God’s love is not perfect, His love is and always will be perfect.

He talked about the importance of our heavenly parents. He recognizes the lack of information we as a Church have about our Heavenly Mother.

Elder Renlund says that once we have read what the Church has released on our Heavenly Mother, we know everything he knows about Her.

“Reason cannot replace revelation,” Elder Renlund said. “Speculation will not lead to greater spiritual knowledge, but it can lead to deception or divert our focus from what has been revealed.”

Finally, as part of the first sentence of the Young Women Theme, he stressed the importance of our eternal destiny. Elder Renlund taught how important it is to follow the path which Heavenly Father has laid out for us.

When making choices, it is important to consider the consequences of the choices made, because after our choice is made, the consequences that follow, are out of our control.

“We cannot deviate from Heavenly Father’s course and then blame Him for inferior outcomes,” Elder Renlund said.

He then turned the topic of his talk to repentance. Going off of other parts of the Young Women Theme, he taught the women of the Church of the beauty that repentance can mean for them.

While some individuals consider repentance as a punishment, Elder Renlund refuted that claim.

“When we sincerely repent, no spiritual scar remains, no matter what we have done, how serious it was or how many times we repeated it,” Elder Renlund said.

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