#LDSconf General Conference – Sep 26, ’15, Women’s Session


As often occurs in my neck of the woods, we held a social before the broadcast. On the menu were sherbet cups with wafers, along with fresh fruit and cookies. Women and girls from 8 years and up sat in circles together, socializing.

[My daughter noted that the announcer is a woman.]

President Bonnie L. Oscarson [General Young Women President] will be conducting this meeting. President Thomas S. Monson presides.

President Oscarson: Welcome!

Choir from Cache Valley, Utah. Their are wearing a range of colors that evoke fall in the mountains; green, yellow, orange and dark red.

Choir and Congregation: #58 – Come, Ye Children of the Lord

Opening Prayer: Abby Morgan, Laurel from Salt Lake Olympus Stake

Choir: Medley of I will follow God’s Plan and Faith in Every Footstep

Sister Rosemary M. Wixom [General Primary President]: I testify that life is a gift. Our purpose began long before we were born on this earth.

Each of us grew for many months in our mother’s womb, relying on her to sustain us. Then we were born, our lungs filled with air for the first time. When the umbilical cord is cut, the bond between mother and child is severed.

Heavenly Father shares a portion of His divinity with each of us. We come to this earth to find and nurture the seeds of divine nature.

With every breath we take, we strive to draw nearer to our Father. Our divine nature is not about achievement or popularity, but about giving and loving our Father in Heaven.

We naturally turn to God in prayer, gaining our validation from Him rather than from the world. One of the sweetest messages the spirit will relay is that we are His, that we are beloved children of God.

Therefore what? What will I do to live my life as a child of God? God sent us here to prepare for a future greater than any you can imagine. This future comes alive as we fulfill the measure of our creation, when we allow God’s will to become ours.

Amy wrote: It’s hard being a teenager these days. The way is becoming narrower. Friends are harder to find. I’m so glad for family when things go wrong. Her sister wrote “Don’t give up! Don’t quit. Trust in God and Believe in good things to come! [from Jeffrey Holland].” I knew God was there and that He loves me.

Those sitting around you need you. The world needs you. Once we begin to see the divinity in ourselves, we can see it in others.

In the 1980s, there was a great drought and famine in Ethiopia. A man found a baby next to its dead mother. He took the child to a feeding station. When he arrived, he did not ask that his own needs be satisfied first, but made sure that baby was cared for.

When we reach out to those around us, God works through us. As we seek to discover the divine nature, it will guide us to be God’s precious daughter.

Choir: #256 – As Zion’s Youth in Latter Days

Video #1: Opens talking about a childless sister who substituted in Primary and the friendship and correspondence that developed between her and Molly, a young girl in her class. Phillippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me.

Linda S. Reeves: Have we sensed the sacred as we held a newborn baby in our arms? I have seldom felt feelings quite so sweet. Our bodies are gifts from our Heavenly Father. The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth is essential and will bring us great joy.

The power of procreation is not an incidental part of the plan – it is God’s plan. I have felt a great anxiety as I prepared this talk, that you who listen are not tempted more than you can bear, that you may be lifted up in the last day and saved in God’s kingdom.

In our day we must be so careful. Nothing will qualify us for the companionship of the Holy Ghost as much as virtue. So many answers and assurances can come through daily searching, reading the scriptures, and prayer. No such assurance comes from the internet.

Regardless of our age, if what we do, look at, does not meet God’s standards, turn it off and rip it up. Close the door.

They who repent of their sins are forgiven, and God will remember it no more. No matter what we have done or where we have been, Jesus has promised that He will atone. You escape guilt by accepting the atonement of Christ. All can become beauty and joy.

Scripture power. Prayer power. Prophet power. Virtue power, Temple power, Covenant power. These symbolically garb us in royal robes, as when we wear the sacred garments, which are symbols of the sacred covenants that we make with God. God is bound when we do what He says.

A friend and her children have suffered through two divorces due to the sins of her husbands. I wished to tell her that she is doing all that God asks of her. Some of God’s blessings seem too far away. But as Amulek said, now is the time to prepare to meet God. It doesn’t mean that the fulfillment of the blessings necessariy will occur in this life. But a vision of God’s promised blessings should be before our eyes every day.

I believe if we remember daily the depth of the love God and Christ have for us, we would do anything to return and be surrounded by that love for eternity. I testify that our bodies are God’s gift. As we keep God’s promises in mind and keep ourselves pure, we will be able to return and feel that great love.

Video #2: Discusses a woman’s love for her sister, Lisa, a generous and good woman who suffers from some sort of handicap. Lisa was watching the filming of this, and didn’t realize that she was the one being discussed in such positive terms. She didn’t feel that she was as good as her friends see her to be, evoking how often we fail to see the great good in ourselves.

Carol F. McConkie: One mother of young women spoke of how our young women need a cause. Despite fear and trial, we are all valued and all needed. It is the work of salvation. We are the cause for which Jesus Christ suffered. That God’s purpose of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man might be realized.

The Book of Mormon prophets and the early pioneers suffered and sacrificed to build the kingdom for us. We also may join with those of the past in God’s purposes as we work to help save the children of God.

Elder Wirthlin said, “We promised [in heaven] that we would participate in the work of salvation.” We promised that we would embark in the work of salvation with might, mind, and heart.

I know a young primary child who said to a friend at te bus stop “Hey! You should come with me to Church and learn about Jesus.” I know young women who reach out to a friend struggling with addiction. Perhaps most humbling was one testifying with pure testimony that the purpose of God’s kingdom is to marry, even though that is not yet a reality in her life.

We choose to live pure and vurtuous lives so that when the time comes, we are prepared to make and keep covenants with God. We are Gods agents, and we are always on His errand. This sacred work is about developing a broken heart.

One of the blessings is that we have one another and we are in this together. No matter where we are on the path of salvation, we are together. Sister Hoskings was called to work with the Young Women when she was 101. When she was 102, she earned her Young Womanhood Recognition Award. Those around her want to be like her. When asked “How do you do it?” she responded, “I repent every day.”

To shine with God’s glory and participate in His holiness, we must be clean. None of us is perfect. We have all made mistakes. But we repent that we may be better. When we serve in the name of the Lord with purity of heart, we give others a glimpse of heaven.

Let us stand together, and with a song in our hearts, move forward together, loving the Lord. I pray we may know the will of the Lord and feel true joy. Amen.

Choir: #96 – Dearest Children, God is With You

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: Isn’t this a beautiful choir? Thank you, dear sisters.

I am delighted to be with you today, and in the presence of our dear prophet.

We are saddened by the loss of our three friends and apostles. We pray for their families.

I am a better person after being in your company. The Savior was able to teach the most sublime truths using simple stories, allowing his disciples to understand eternal principles that connected with their everyday lives.

I have a story to share. There was a girl named Eva. She ws eleven years old in this story. And she absolutely, positively, didn’t want to go live with her Great-aunt, Rose. It would mean leaving her mother and her friends. She didn’t even know great-aunt Rose!

But mother was having surgery, and her parents were adamant. So off Eva went.

Eva hated it. The house was lonely, with old and alone Great-aunt Rose and her grey cat. No one Eva’s age lived within a half mile.

Mostly Eva thought about her mother, praying for her mother. Over time, Eva began to feel that God was watching over her mother. Eventually word came that her mother had done well in the surgery. Now all Eva had to do was endure.

Great-aunt Rose as large and loud. She would read her scriptures aloud, and Great-aunt Rose would talk out loud, commenting, like “Oh! I wouldn’t do that!” And each night, Great-aunt Rose woudl pray aloud.

Eva began to realize that Great-aunt Rose might be the happiest person she knew. But how could this be? She was not married. She had no children. She wore embarrassing clothes. And her only companion was that creepy cat. But in the village, Eva noted that no one laughted. Everyone loved Rose. Her former students honored her.

Eva learned that she was happiest when she was with Great-aunt Rose. She had looked forward to leaving since the day she arrived. But then she realized she would miss the strange old house, the stalker cat, and her embarrassing aunt.

The last night Eva was with Great-aunt Rose, she asked why Rose was so happy. Great-aunt Rose showed Eva a picture of a pioneer girl skipping along a bright, hopeful path. Rose said, there’s enough that doesn’t go right that anyone can become full of anguish and melancholy. But God didn’t design us to be sad, but joyful. The best things, like homemade bread and orange marmalade, take patience. Great-aunt Rose talked with Eva about a time in her life when she was so disappointed in her life that she didn’t want to go on. Her life had been one heartbreak after another, and she realized her life would not be what she had wanted. She was angry and a monster to be around. She would say over and over again “It isn’t fair!”

Then faith turned her life around. Faith led to hope. Faith and hope gave her confidence that some day everything would make sense, and all the wrongs would be righted. She began to notice that things weren’t as dreary as she’d thought. That the greens were vibrant, and everything could be bright.

She had been miserable. Not that she was clinically depressed, she was not sure you could talk yourself out of that. But “God will dwell with them, and they will be His people. And God shall wipe all tears from their eyes. For former things are passed away.”

Great-aunt Rose said, “Isn’t that the most beautiful thing you have ever heard?”

Eva said, “Does that mean all our happiness won’t happen until eternity!”

Great-aunt Rose said, “Of course. But now is part of eternity. Forever is composed of nows. I didn’t want my eternity to be composed of dark and bitter nows. Faith gave me the hope to live joyfully now. I was able to fill my life wth meaningful things, and eventually I was able to have a career I loved.”

Eva asked, “Is it just about being busy, then?”

Great-aunt Rose said, “So many of the busy people forget what is most important.” And when Eva asked, Great-aunt Rose said, “It is love that makes us happy.” And her eyes filled with tears.

Eva returned home, and though she was surrounded by her family and friends as before, she was never the same again. Years later, Eva realized she had reached the same age Great-aunt Rose had been that remarkable summer. And Eva felt gratitude for that summer when Rose taught her about faith and hope and love.

God lives and loves you. As you walk along your own bright path of discipleship, I pray that hope and faith will open your eyes and that you will feel God’s love, Amen.

Choir and Congregation: #263 – Go Forth with Faith

Closing Prayer: Sister Grace Pay, an RS sister in the Payson Stake.

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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.

6 thoughts on “#LDSconf General Conference – Sep 26, ’15, Women’s Session

  1. Glad to see you live blogging this. Beautiful talks so far. I especially loved Sister Wixom’s focus on our divine heritage.

  2. My wife, daughter-in-law, and three grand-daughters (ages 12, 8 and 5) are downstairs watching the Women’s Conference. In our case, we ordered pizza (including a gluten-free pizza for our daughter-in-law), then I retired upstairs with the three dogs. 🙂

    Next Saturday night, our son and grandson will likewise come over for the Priesthood session. This has now become a family tradition, and a delightful one.

  3. [Meg – I unapproved this as these comments were related to editing an original comment.]

    I think I botched my comment more than I thought. 🙂 Here’s the first two sentence again, as they should read:

    My wife, daughter-in-law, and three grand-daughters (ages 12, 8 and 5) are downstairs watching the Women’s Conference. In our case, we ordered pizza (including a gluten-free pizza for our daughter-in-law), then I retired upstairs with the three dogs.

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