President Jean Bingham [Relief Society General President] will be conducting this meeting.
President Monson is watching from home, but other members of the First Presidency are in attendance.
Choir: Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise
Opening Prayer: Sister Megumi Yamaguchi
Choir: Sing Praise to Him
You may not know this, but President Monson and I are twins. When I was born, he was called as an apostle.
At the second general women’s meeting, President Kimball was too sick to attend. So he requested that his wife, Camilla, read his remarks in the landmark meeting.
He said that many of the women of the world would be drawn to the Church in large numbers, to the extent that women of the Church were seen as distinct and different in happy ways. President Kimball asserted it would be the women who would fuel the numerical and spiritual growth of the Church. He referred to these other women as heroines.
Sister Eubank treasures her female colleagues as she works around the world. And we do as well, whether they are currently members of the Church or not.
1) Be Righteous. By coming back to the Lord and His ways, my friend, who was addicted to pain medications, was able to improve her life and the life of her son.
2) Be Articulate.As my friend wrote, in response to an irritating article, that Jesus Christ was radical in His embrace of all. And as I read that, I wished I had written that. Tell others what you believe, if you ever doubted and how you got through it. Be ready always to give an answer to every man of your faith in Christ.
3) Be Different. At one point there were nine people struggling in a rip current. Jessica May Simmons came up with the idea of forming a human chain to rescue the swimmers. Eighty people eventually formed the chain. Innovation and creativity are gifts. We are not always going to fit into the world, but we can be a lifeline to those around us.
4) Be Distinct. Jessica knew she could go to each swimmer and get each individual back to the chain. Jessica had a distinct skill, how to swim against a riptide. Like Jessica, we have to practice living the gospel in peaceful times, so we are ready when the emergencies come.
5) We need to do the above four in happy ways. We don’t need to paste a plastic smile on our faces. Be optimistic and work in faith. Elsa was a thirteen-year-old who was going to be moving far away. The women at the destination sent Elsa a message, with a sign saying “please move into our ward!” Optimism and happiness shows we’re already carrying the torch that President Kimball lit so many years ago.
God will go before us and be our rearward. Be in a place where you can feel the genuine love God has for you. When you feel that love, you will repent and embrace His work. Will you be Righteous, articulate, different, and distinct? Will you turn on your light?
Jesus will go before us and be in our midst. This is our day, this is our time. Amen.
How are we going to wholeheartedly accept God’s invitation to come near to Him?
“Yeah, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” and “Thou shalt abide in Me and I in you.”
Do we trust God enough to abide in Him? The most important growing will be through our covenant relationship with God and Christ. We are duty-bound to learn all God has revealed about Himself. God has done all for us, for our blessings. Can you feel the depth of love They have for us?
This is the only true and lasting happiness, which God has for us.
“Some things matter. Some things don’t. A few things last, but most things won’t.”
What matters to us? God wants us to change our selfishness into service, our fears into faith. It is now with our mortal limitations that God asks us to love, when loving is so difficult. To serve.
God asks us to follow His way, rather than our own pride. Our sins and pride create a gap betweens us and the font of all love, our Heavenly Father. When Christ pours streams of living water into our pitcher, we will be cleansed of the residue of love. When we are full, we can tip our greatness in service to others.
Sacrifice of our personal agendas is required. God says, “Draw near unto Me, and I will drawn near unto you.”
God can give us needed insight into relationships. A Sunday School teacher told of how he was inspired to help a loner, telling of why he loved Jimmy and believed in him. And the teacher asked the class to tell why Jimmy was special to each of them. They built a bridge to Jimmy’s lonely heart. I call this repairing the breach or the gap.
Isaiah spoke of those who kept the fast and repair the break. In a similar way, Christ repaired the distance between God and us, so we could repair the waste places in our own lives. God asks us to give up our fearful and selfish natural tendencies.
One night when I had disageed with a relative, I knelt and prayed to God, complaining about the relative. In a break, the spirit was able to get a word in, and I heard myself say “You probably want me to love her.” I struggled more, and then I was able to say, “You love her. Can you give me a portion of your love for her?” Only then was I able to see her as God sees her, and begin to treasure her. Over time the gap between us sweetly closed. But even if she hadn’t grown closer to me, I was able to abide in God’s love for her.
When we give place to God’s love, our world changes, even if the world itself doesn’t change. Our discernment, confidence, and faith increase. Then we can become repairers of the breach. Amen
Sister Joy D. Jones: Mariama was invited to attend Church and heard a lesson on chastity. She was baptized in 2014 and her daughter was baptized this last month. Imagine, it was the lessons on chastity and the Prophet Joseph Smith that brought her to the Church, at a time when the world would say this is not important.
The Singh sisters related that before joining the Church that they didn’t feel unique or valuable. When she was introduced to the gospel, she felt she was loved and has purpose and was special to God, who is Her Father.
President Monson said, “The worth of a soul is it’s capacity to become like God.”
Tayana was a junior in high school when she was diagnosed with cancer. She fought a brave battle until she passed away a couple of weeks ago. When people asked, “Why you?” Tayana would reply, “Why not me?” Knowing she was a daughter of God helped her know her divine worth and helped strengthen her in her trials.
President Kimball affirmed, “God values you beyond measure. You are unique… Let there be no question in your mind of your value as an individual… Your potential is eternal progression and the possibility of Godhood.”
Spiritual worth is to value ourselves as Heavenly Father values us. Our worth was determined before we ever came to this world.
Worthiness is achieved by obedience. But no matter what our worthiness, we are never of less worth. The least of us is worth worlds. We always have worth in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.
It is easy to feel as though we have little worth. It is Satan’s trap. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Do not compare your worst to someone else’s best. When we heed God’s words, He will bless us with confidence, “the Holy Ghost will be your constant companion.”
We are accounted worthy to receive, as Joseph Smith said. When we feel warmth and peace, we can know that we were accounted worthy to receive. These moments may be brief, but they are no less real.
Because of what Christ did for us, we are bound to Him by loving ties. Christ was lifted up on the cross so that He might draw all men unto Him. He suffered to bring us back to God, because He loved us more than He feared the terrible pain he suffered for his. Christ will save us from the pain of our lives.
If we heed the pull of the world more than the love of Christ, the world will prevail. Let us not forget who we are. We cannot afford that indulgence in these latter days. May Christ lift us up and may the hope of His love lift us. Amen.
Choir: Shall the Youth of Zion Falter
There were several sisters.
The first sister was always sad. There was never a shortage of disappointments in life.
The second sister was mad. There was always found that there was always someone who was prettier or smarter or something better than her.
The third sister was glad. She spent her life singing her song.
Each died as they had lived.
Of course, life is never so simple and life is not so one dimensional. But if you are like most of us, you can recognize yourself in these three sisters.
The first sister saw herself as a victim. She was giving others control over how she felt and behaved. She was driven about by every wind of opinion. In our world, those winds blow at hurricane intensity. Why should you entrust yourself to those who care so little for you? Remember who you are. You are a member of the Kingdom of God, a daughter of God with unique gifts developed during the vast span of your premortal life. The Lord of Hosts, who created the universe and placed the planets, holds you in His hands. Nothing anyone says about you can ever change that. Their words are meaningless compared to God’s love. Even when you turn away from Him, He loves you. He will lift you and carry you home. You will find there are many reasons not to be sad. The beloved Savior gave His life so you could choose. Because of Him, you can clothe yourselves in robes of eternal glory.
The second sister was angry with the world. She felt the problems in her life were all caused by someone else. She blamed them all. Even solar flares and plain bad luck. She didn’t think of herself as a mean person – she thought she was only sticking up for herself. She thought it was everyone else who was hateful. She was filled with love, she felt. A recent study on rival groups – they discovered that each side felt their own group was motivated by love more than hate, but felt the other group was motivated by hate. Each thought of themselves as the good guys, and the rivals as the bad guys. When I was born the world was immersed in world war, a war caused by my own nation, but leaders who silenced those they did not like, who considers others as less than human. When you degrade another people, you are more likely to justify doing terrible things to them. When others disagree, it is simple to attach the worst motives to their words and actions. When we are filled with anger and hurt, chances are that we are not acting in righteousness. Bless them that curse you, pray for them that hate you and persecute you. This is the Savior’s way. It is the first step in breaking down the barriers that create such violence in the world. We cannot wait for the other to love us first. We are responsible for our own discipleship, and it has little to do with how others treat us. We can hope for them to be charitable towards us, but we cannot predicate our love on their love. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we will love our enemies and fill our hearts with love for all God’s children, even those who might despitefully use us.
The third sister is the authentic child of God. She lived joyfully because she was joyful, not because her circumstances were without challenge. How do we keep our vision fixed on the glorious promises God has for us? Lehi had a dream, and in the dream Lehi saw a glorious tree with fruit that would give those who tasted great happiness. There was a mist of darkness that obscured their view of both the path to the tree and the tree itself. Meanwhile, there was a spacious building filled with those who mocked. Not only those in the mist began to doubt, but even some of those who had tasted the glorious fruit began to doubt.
If you find it hard to hold fast to the iron rod because of the ridicule of others or are troubled by unanswered questions or doctrines you do not understand, or are troubled with hardships, I counsel you to hold to the rod and stay on the path.
Ignore those who mock you. The promises of praise and acceptance by the world are unreliable, untrue, and unsatisfying. God’s promises are true and reliable.
Nothing offered in the great and spacious building can compare with the joy of living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have learned for myself that the gospel is the way to joy, to safety and peace. You can learn this for yourself.
In the meantime, if the path becomes difficult, I pray you will find safety and help in the Church organizations, like waypoints on the path, safe homes where you can feel a sense of belonging. The path of discipleship that you walk as young people leads to the love you will feel in Relief Society. Choosing this path of discipleship will lead to fulfillment of your Divine Nature. It will require all of you: faith, integrity, strength, determination, and love. But one day you will look back and be so glad that you did not depart from the path.
There may be many things about life that are beyond your control. But you have the choice of your destination. Your choices make the difference in your life. You cannot allow circumstances to make you mad or sad. You are a daughter of God and can be glad. Fill your hearts with gratitude and the love of God. You can do this!
I pray you will make the choice to press on. I pray that you will choose to lift up your voice. The song of true discipleship may sound off key or even a little loud to some. But to our Heavenly Father and those who honor Him, it is a sublime and sanctifying song of redeeming love. I leave you my blessing as an apostle of God, that you will joyfully and gladly walk the path of discipleship. Amen.
Choir: We Have Partaken of Thy Love
Presiding – President Monson and His Counselors (President Monson watches from home)
Conducting – President Jean Bingham
Choir: Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise
Opening Prayer: Sister Yagumi Yamaguchi
Choir: Sing Praise to Him
Talk – Speaker 1 – Sister Sharon Eubank
Talk – Speaker 2 – Sister Neill Marriott
Talk – Speaker 3 – President Joy D. Jones
Rest Hymn – Shall the Youth of Zion Falter
Talk – Speaker 4 – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Choir – We Have Partaken of Thy Love
Closing Prayer –