#LDSconf General Conference – Mar 26, ’16, Women’s Session


Rosemary M. Wixom

President Wixom [General Primary President] will be conducting this meeting. President Thomas S. Monson presides.

President Wixom: Welcome! The First Presidency, several other apostle’s, and the presidencies and boards for the Relief Society, Young Women’s Organization, and Primary are present on the stand.

Choir of Primary girls, Young Women, and Relief Society sisters from over 50 cultures. Instead of the traditional pastels, the choir members are all wearing white shirts.

Choir and Congregation: #223 – Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?

Opening Prayer: Young Woman

Video regarding how peoples have suffered in times past, and how they have been helped by those willing to open their hearts and homes.

Choir: As I Have Loved You, I am a Child of God

Cheryl A. EsplinSister Cheryl A. Esplin [First Counselor in the General Primary Presidency]: Christ taught us to love one another. President Monson has modeled this throughout his life.

Sister Easton shared a time when a devotional speaker talked about throwing out the mirrors and looking out the window. To illustrate, she put a mirror between herself and another. It was impossible to communicate with another if we are only looking at ourself and our own needs. But then putting an open window between the two, it was clear she was focused on the other individual.

Many accepted the challenge to perform an act of service in honor of President Monson.

One woman talked about how her class made a love necklace. Each piece of paper with the name of a loved one was looped together and glued to form a chain. One young girl talked about how her family did not love her, and she bowed her head to the table. Then another girl said, “I will put your name in my love necklace between me and Jesus, because I love you, and Jesus loves you.” When the girl was picked up after the class, she exclaimed, “Jesus loves me!” Such a simple thing, but it made such a difference.

We are burdened, but all of us can offer service. We offer service when we are patient and kind, when we do not criticize. Other acts of service take more preparation and effort.

President Uchtdorf counseled us to use all our resources and seek God’s inspiration. If we do this, he promised, we will be led to help those in need.

Christ asked the people to bring all in need to him, for His bowels were filled with mercy, and He healed them, every one. May we follow the Savior and reach out to one another in love. If we help others, we will feel the Lord’s love for them and His love for us.

Choir and Congregation: #147 – Sweet is the Work

Neill MarriottSister Neill Marriott: Sweet is the work! Peter testified that God had anointed Jesus Lord and Christ, who the people had crucified.

Tomorrow is Easter, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As the people who heard Peter, we must ask ourselves what we will do. The Lord needs spirit-directed women who speak up to defend gospel truth.

We must lift up, but the first child of God we must lift up is ourselves. We must develop bedrock faith in God.

What if some of our traditions don’t have a place in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ? We must let go of them.

When I was born, my parents planted a magnolia tree near the church where my Protestant ancestors had lived for many generations. But when I was married, my parents were not there. There were no magnolias. I was a convert of just a year. I was miles away from Louisiana.

My new husband’s Aunt Carol reached out to me. I had been so alone, but she welcomed me and my new family became a safe and welcoming place.

All of us came to earth with these life-giving and nurturing gifts. Orson F. Whitney said, “All that we endure purifies our hearts.”

Women love to talk and gather. This grows to gospel teaching. It requires a constant effort to act on eternal truth, the Savior’s truth. The more we feel His love and direction, the more we will want to share truth, even in the face of opposition.

Speaking once with a woman, she asked if I was a mother with many children. When I said I was, the woman began to attack me for making the foolish choice to bring additional children to this overcrowded planet. I prayed and asked to say the words Jesus would say. I told the woman I would work to raise my children to make the world a better place. The woman snapped, “Well, I hope you do!” And hung up.

Jesus nurtures and creates. We can do this. Primary girls, is there someone who needs your love and kindness? You can do this.

Creating a safe and nurturing space is a holy work. Let us do this and follow our Heavenly Parents. Amen.

Video showing Jesus ministering, then women ministering to one another in our time, featuring a woman who coached a young Muslim woman.

Linda K. BurtonSister Linda K. Burton [General Relief Society President]: On the day Relief Society was organized, Emma Smith said, “We are going to do something extraordinary.”

Years later in 1856 Brigham Young told the Saints that the prayers would not save them if they did not head out onto the plains to save the pioneers who had been caught in the early snows. The men would head out towards the Wyoming plains. The women removed stockings and shawls, all they could spare, to be taken to those who were suffering.

After expressing her joy and satisfaction for the part she was able to play in helping those saints, Lucy Messerve Smith wrote, “What more is there for willing hands to do?”

Millions are fleeing from atrocities, conflict, and other hardships. Last year I became acquainted with a young woman who had fled. Those who took her in were an answer to her prayer. Members of her family are in the choir today. I wondered what I would have done if I was living her life and suffering her trials.

The Presidencies of the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary have pondered how we can give assistance in this time of trial. We have organized a relief effort called “I was a stranger.” This is an opportunity to serve one on one in your own communities to make a difference. We are not to run faster than we have strength, we are to do things in wisdom and love.

The stranger who lives among you is as the one of whom Jesus spoke, “I was a stranger and you took me in. Naked and you clothed me. Hungry and you fed me.”

At a recent funeral, the stories were told of the deceased woman, who helped to gather quilts and drive them to refugees in Kosovo. But when she returned home, she was prompted that, while the thing she had done was good, she needed to go across the street and serve her neighbor. This she did.”

As we consider the needs of others, let us consider, “What if their story were my story?” Then let it be spoken of us, “She has wrought a good work.” Amen.

Choir: #116 – Come Follow Me

Henry B. EyringPresident Hentry B. Eyring [First Counselor in the Presidency of the Church]: I am grateful to be with you this evening. We have remembered our Lord, Jesus Christ. We have been inspired to do more the help our Master.

Our desire to serve others is magnified by our gratitude for what the Savior has done for us.

King Benjamin in his great sermon promised that a feeling of great gratitude would come, that we would be inspired to serve others as we would serve Him.

Amulek urged us to continue in His service, to not turn away the needy or the sick and afflicted. If we were to turn away, then our faith would be vain, and we would be as hypocrites.

Many of the women in my family are here tonight. Some are here for the first time, sharing in fellowship with their sisters.

The feeling of greatest importance is love. You have felt that love as you listened to these sisters. You have felt love for others, schoolmates, neighbors, and strangers who have only recently come into your life.

A second feeling was the influence of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will guide you to find the service God would have you give. The Lord said, “Put your trust in that spirit which leadeth to do good, to walk humbly.” The name or face of someone may have come into your mind. You will pray to God and He will guide you in how to help.

The third feeling you will have felt was a desire to be closer to the Savior. As you serve, the Lord will go before your face. That doesn’t mean the way will be easy or even that every person you reach out to help will thank you. But God will be with you. His angel will bear you up. God will prepare the heart of the one you are to serve. He will also prepare your heart. You do not go alone when you serve.

This happened for me tonight. So many angels spoke and sang to prepare my way for the message I was to give, a small part of all you have heard tonight.

The Lord said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me.” Each sister’s situation is different. Their needs are unique. As Sister Linda K. Burton said, pray, to know what is needed in each circumstance.

Not every act will remain uncriticized. The woman who anointed the Savior with precious oil was rebuked. But Jesus instructed them that she was doing that which was needful.

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men to have praise of them, but let thine alms be in secret, that God, who sees that which is secret shall reward you openly.

I testify that this is the Church of the resurrected Jesus Christ. He is risen. Because of Him, we will be resurrected and can have eternal life. President Monson is His prophet. I leave you this sure witness in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Choir and Congregation: #131 – More Holiness Give Me

Closing Prayer: Sister Sokani Parka, from the Cambodia Branch of the Park City North Stake

First Presidency

Henry B. Eyring

Henry B. Eyring

Thomas S. Monson

Thomas S. Monson

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Carole M. Stephens

Carole M. Stephens

Linda K. Burton

Linda K. Burton

Linda S. Reeves

Linda S. Reeves


Cheryl A. Esplin

Cheryl A. Esplin

Rosemary M. Wixom

Rosemary M. Wixom

Mary R. Durham

Mary R. Durham


Carol McConkie

Carol McConkie

Bonnie Oscarson

Bonnie Oscarson

Neill Marriott

Neill Marriott

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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 – Mar 26, ’16, Women’s Session

  1. In the past few days major media has featured the stories of Mormon missionaries who were injured in the terrorist attack in Belgium. This morning I watched a video of Cardinal Dolan commenting on what a marvelous example of Christian service and devotion they have given suitable to celebrate Good Friday and the Easter season. Even as these young people lay wrapped in bandages while an older colleague still remains in a medically induced coma for the sake of his recovery, we are encouraged to reach out to succor refugees and others who have been forced from their homes by war and upheaval. Some analysts feel that the political results in the recent primaries in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming that roundly rejected a candidate who trumpets exclusionary sentiments was due to the way the Church views those in need of help. I noticed that even as we are counseled to reach out and help we are also counseled to do so on a personal level and use wisdom in our choices.

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