#LDSconf General Conference – Mar 25, ’17, Women’s Session

President Bonnie L. Oscarson [Young Woman General President] will be conducting this meeting.

President Oscarson: We are grateful to be gathered in the Conference Center. We hope you feel of our love for you. The First Presidency, adivisors, and the presidencies and boards for the Relief Society, Young Women’s Organization, and Primary are present on the stand.

The music will be provided by Relief Society sisters from Brigham Young University

Choir: Come, O, Thou King of Kings

Opening Prayer:

Choir: I Feel My Savior’s Love

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Sister Bonnie H. Cordon: Do you really believe this gospel is true? I do know it is true. I trust in the Lord.

When we lean to our own understanding, we go off course. We have a sacred responsibility to stand as a witness and put our trust in the Lord.

How to we recognize the voice of the Savior when the voice of the world is so compelling? Let me suggest three foundational principles.

First, we can know Christ when we feast on the words of Christ. Once as we were reading from the scriptures, my grandson was on my lap. He looked up and said, “More scriptures, Nana.” Because he knew that after scriptures he had to go to bed. But when my grandson asks for more scriptures, we read more scriptures!

Second, we can come to know the Lord and trust Him through prayer. Before I left for college in my old car, “Vern.” She prayed for me, for safety, and that angels would be with me. As we make a habit of approaching the Lord in prayer we will come to know Him and trust Him.

Third, we can come to know the Lord and trust Him as we serve others. I share the following with permission from Amy Wright. In 2013 Amy learned she had cancer, a form of cancer with only a 17% survival rate. In December of that year she began chemo. “I did not know it was possible to be so sick and still be alive.” Amy’s husband, hearing her talk of her symptoms, said they needed to go find someone to serve. On one day they distributed chemo comfort kits to other patients. Sometimes the service was just giving notes or texts. On nights when Amy couldn’t sleep, she worked on the computer to find relatives whose temple work had not yet been completed. Amy came to trust in the Lord as she came to know Him through service. “When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God.”

Each of us can trust in the Lord and lean not. He will direct our paths. Our promised blessings are beyond measure. If we trust our Father in Heaven, He will lead us.

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Carol McConkie. Sister Carol F. McConkie: Our God is a god if high expectations. Our Father knows us and loves us. He has provided for us, His daughters.

Out of perfect paternal love, He gave Jesus Christ to be our savior.

Our hope for holiness is centered in Christ. With hope in Jesus Christ, we can be clean as we repent. Our souls are sanctified as we receive the Holy Ghost. Each week we covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Christ as we take the sacrament. As we strive to be one with Christ, we become one with His holy nature.

Our mortal experiences  offer us the opportunity to choose holiness I saw holiness in the countenance of Angeline, a Beehive in Ghana. She goes to the homes of the less active girls. It is difficult for them to get to Church because their family need them to do chores. So Evangeline goes to their homes to help with chores, so they will be permitted to come to Church.

We bless our families and make our homes holy places. We bridle our passions. We reach out to others with kindness. We become a Zion people, of one heart and one mind. Zion must increase in beauty and holiness.

Come to the temple. We must arise and put on our beautiful garments, that we may be clothed in purity.

When Martha received the Savior in her home, she served. But when Mary sat at the Savior’s feet, Martha complained. The Savior admonished, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful for many things.” Then the Savior gently pointed out that Mary had chosen the better part.

Take time to be Holy, that we may be filled with the Lord’s sanctifying spirit. Holiness is becoming a Saint through the atonement of Jesus Christ. The Lord suffered more than man can suffer without suffering death. He is the one who will redeem us all. Jesus Christ is the beauty of holiness.

May we join with the people of King Benjamin as they cried out for mercy. May our hearts be purified for we believe in Jesus Christ, who created heaven and earth and all things. His spirit will come upon us that we may be filled with joy, receive a remission of our sins, and have peace. May our lives ever be a sacred offering that we may stand before our Lord in the beauty of Holiness.

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Linda K. Burton. Sister Linda K. Burton: Do you remember me?

Jesus went to the villages. And certain women… ministered unto him.

Recently as I read the scriptures, that phrase, “certain women” jumped out of the page at me. Certain means positive, confident, and firm. Their testimonies inspire us.

The woman at the well asked, “Is not this the Christ?” Her conviction was such that many believed on the Lord.

The sister of Lazarus told Jesus that if he had been there earlier, her brother would not have died. And even though he had lain dead for days, she had faith that Jesus could rais Lazarus from the dead.

Drusilla’s husband was wounded at the battle of Crooked River. Years later, she initially resisted as her son wished to join the Mormon Battalion. But then she yielded, willing to make this sacrifice.

I have visited the sisters in India and Indonesia and other nations, where membership in the Church conflicts with family and culture. Yet they are valiant pioneers.

The “Can Can” list, the list of the things this sister can do despite debilitating illness.

A sister, Jenny, who returned from her mission to Italy knowing her parents had divorced during her absence. The mission president’s wife ministered to her simply by brushing her hair. Terry stood by Jenny when she found out she had leukemia. Despite Jenny’s extremity, she continued her service, through texts and calls. She said, “Not only are we here to save others, but to save ourselves… That happens through things as simple as brushing another’s hair…”

May we bear our own witness, our certain witness, “Is this not the Christ?”

May we remember the certain women who refused to abandon Our Savior as he suffered on the Cross. Let us draw ourselves to Him through scripture study and partaking of the sacrament. Perhaps then we might be part of the certain women who will celebrate His return when He returns in glory.

I know the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith truly restored the gospel of Christ in this dispensation. Amen.

Choir and Congregation: Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah

Sister Bonnie Oscarson: We thank all who have participated in this meeting in any way.

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Henry B. Eyring. Elder Henry B. Eyring: The Lord promised peace to his disciples as He was about to leave them. He said He would give peace in His way, not in the world’s way.

“The comforter…shall bring all things to your rememberance… Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The sons of Mosiah prayed for reassurance and the Lord said, “Be comforted” and they were comforted.

The Lord taught Moroni: “If men come unto me, I will show them their weakness… And my grace is sufficient… And I will make weak things become strong unto them.” Moroni was comforted, and we can also be comforted.

The spirit comforts us and works a change in our nature.

At times our faith will be challenged by Satan. Keep the Holy Ghost as your companion. He will bring back the memory of those times when you felt the light and love of Jesus Christ. The memory may be of an answered prayer, of a confirmation of your testimony, or a moment when you saw God’s hand in your life.

One memory that comes to my mind is an evening in a shed in Austria, under a railroad track. Most were women, some younger, some older. As the sacrament was passed among those of the congregation, light seemed to fill that metal shed. It was nighttime and there were no windows, but the room seemed lit as by the noonday sun. The light was the faith of those humble saints. That day the promise of the sacrament prayer that the spirit of the Lord be with us was fulfilled.

Our Father in Heaven is not just concerned with our comfort, but our upward progress. “Put your trust in that spirit that teaches you to do good.” The Lord in His wisdom has brought you together in classes and organizations to serve others for Him.

You may be asked to reach out to a Laurel because you know her better than does the bishop or the Young Woman leaders. The spirit can allow you to see that Laurel as the Lord sees her. He knows how hearts can be changed. That spirit can inspire the words and deeds necessary to invite a lamb back to the flock. The spirit can inspire the flock so that when that Laurel returns, she will feel she has come home.

Alma understood peace, and this is why he admonished them that there be no contention among them. Unity is necessary for us to have peace in our class or in our family.

I remember a young son our ours who was jumping on the bed so hard I feared it would break. I was angry and lifted my son up so our eyes met. But a voice sounded in my mind, “You are holding a great person.” I put him gently down. And that son has become the great man God knew he would become. The unity we seek in our families and in the Church will come as we see each other as God sees us.

Think of the times you have felt charity. Charity suffereth long, endure th all things, thinketh no evil. If you don’t have charity, you are nothing. Charity is the pure love of Christ and it endureth forever. Pray to the Father that you may be filled with His love, that you may become the sons and daughters of God.

This is the goal Father in Heaven has for you. It may seem a distant goal, but to Him it does not seem far away. I leave you my sure witness that the Lord loves you. His beloved Son asks you to serve one another. The Holy Ghost will purify and sanctify you. Amen.

Choir: My Heavenly Father Loves Me

Closing Prayer: Sister Elizabeth Rose

Conducting – President Bonnie Oscarson
Choir: Come, O, Thou King of Kings
Opening Prayer:
Choir: I Feel My Savior’s Love
Opening Prayer –
Talk – Speaker 1 – President Bonnie H. Cordon, Lean Not
Talk – Speaker 2 – President Carol McConkie, Choose Holiness
Talk – Speaker 3 – President Linda K. Burton, Certain Women
Rest Hymn – Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah
Talk – Speaker 4 – President Henry B. Eyring, The Comfort of Charity
Choir – My Heavenly Father Loves Me
Closing Prayer – Sister Elizabeth Rose

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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints) for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but that Emma was right to assert she had been Joseph's only true wife.