Tuesday, September 29, 2015

General Women's Session Of 185th Semiannual LDS General Conference

The 185th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints kicked off on Saturday September 26th, 2015 with the General Women's Session. On the card were Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, the Primary General President; Sister Linda S. Reeves, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency; Sister Carol F. McConkie, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency; and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. The session was directed towards all females eight years of age and older; males do not attend with the exception of the First Presidency or others directed by them. This session was considered important enough that at Sacrament Meeting in our ward the following Sunday, a young woman was assigned to give a brief report on the session.

Complete archives of the talks, to include written transcripts, are now available on the October 2015 General Conference Archive Page. Embedded below is the YouTube version, 1 hour and 29 minutes.


And here are brief summaries of the talks, extracted from the written transcripts (after the jump).

-- Sister Wixom, Discovering the Divinity Within. Sister Wixom testified as to how we come to this earth to nurture and discover the seeds of divine nature that are within us. God has a plan for each one of us, and our individual purpose began long before we came to this earth. We have come to this earth to help build His kingdom and to prepare for the Second Coming of His Son, Jesus Christ. With every breath we take, we strive to follow Him. The divine nature within each one of us is refined and magnified by the effort we make to draw nearer to our Father and His Son. Our divine nature has nothing to do with our personal accomplishments, the status we achieve, the number of marathons we run, or our popularity and self-esteem. Our divine nature comes from God. It was established in an existence that preceded our birth and will continue on into eternity. Sister Wixom noted that it is the divine nature within us that ignites our desire to reach out to others and prompts us to act. She promised that as we seek to discover the depth of the divine nature that lies within us, we will begin to further magnify this precious gift. We should let it guide us to become His sons and daughters, walking the path back to Him, where we will be restored to that God who gave us breath.

-- Sister Reeves, Worthy of Our Promised Blessings. Sister Reeves said that a vision of our Father’s incredible promised blessings must be the central focus before our eyes every day. She reminded the audience that our bodies are sacred gifts from our Heavenly Father; as personal temples, we keep them clean and pure so we can be worthy to help our Heavenly Father create bodies for His beloved spirit children. Sister Reeves warned the audience on how Satan has turned media resources such as romance novels, TV soap operas, and pornography into fiery darts which can burn us if we play around with them; she even cautioned against connecting with other married women and old boyfriends/girlfriends on social media. Regardless of our age, if what we look at, read, listen to, or choose to do does not meet the Lord’s standards in For the Strength of Youth, turn it off, rip it up, throw it out, and slam the door. Sister Reeves eventually closed by testifying that our bodies are sacred gifts from our Heavenly Father and that as we keep our lives pure and clean through the atoning sacrifice of our Savior and keep the vision of our Father’s promised rewards daily in front of us, we will one day receive all that our Father hath.

-- Sister McConkie, Here to Serve a Righteous Cause. Sister McConkie issued a call to choose to serve a righteous cause as valiant emissaries of our Lord Jesus Christ. She noted that the righteous cause we serve is the cause of Christ; namely, the work of salvation. We are the cause for which Jesus Christ suffered, bled from every pore, and in perfect love gave His life. His cause is the good news, the glad tidings, that He came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness; that through Him all might be saved. She reminded us that before we were born, we accepted our Heavenly Father’s plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life, and followed up by covenanting again in mortality to serve the Savior in the work of salvation. We are to be "saviors with a small S", working in partnership with the Savior himself. Sister McConkie was particularly moved by the experience of a single adult sister, who, instead of lamenting her condition, declared with the fire of pure testimony that the most important work we can do is to prepare for marriage and family. Although this is not her experience, she knows that family is the very heart of the work of salvation. Sister McConkie also noted that in the work of salvation, there is no room for comparison, criticism, or condemnation. It is not about age, experience, or public acclaim. This sacred work is about developing a broken heart, a contrite spirit, and a willingness to use our divine gifts and unique talents to do the Lord’s work in His way.

-- President Uchtdorf, A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose. As part of President Uchtdorf's call to allow faith to fortify every footstep along our way, he related a story about a young girl who was sent to spend the summer with "Great-Aunt Rose" so the girl's mother could convalesce from a serious surgery. The girl didn't want to go because she believed Great-Aunt Rose might be one of those typical "spinsters". Initially the girl hated the experience, but as her mother continued to recover, her concerns about her abated, and she began to look upon Great-Aunt Rose in a newer light. She noticed how although Great-Aunt Rose was unmarried and not very attractive physically, she seemed to love life. She would say the most beautiful prayers, thanking her Heavenly Father for the blue jays and the spruce trees, the sunsets and the stars, and the wonder of being alive. It sounded to the girl as though Rose knew God as a friend.
Over time, the girl made a surprising discovery: Great-Aunt Rose was quite possibly the happiest person she had ever known. Her happiness started to prove contagious, and the girl found her own attitude improving.

Aunt Rose's secret was that she had discovered faith, which in turn led to hope. And faith and hope gave her confidence that one day everything would make sense, that because of the Savior, all the wrongs would be made right. After that, she saw that the path before her wasn’t as dreary and dusty as I had thought. She began to notice the bright blues, the verdant greens, and the fiery reds, and she decided she had a choice -- she could hang her head and drag her feet on the dusty road of self-pity, or she could have a little faith, put on a bright dress, slip on her dancing shoes, and skip down the path of life, singing as she went. Two takeaways here: First, if you focus on what's good, your own attitude will improve, and second, your happiness can be contagious.


Anonymous said...

This wasn't very helpful content. Who cares what the women's conference was about?

Jack Mormon said...

Many people care about the General Women's Meeting. For us guys, it provides us another window through which we can keep tabs on what the women think about us, and enable us to regulate our behavior so we don't act oppressively towards them. The better we treat our women, the less vulnerable they become to feminism.

Frank Pellett said...

Hate to tell you this, but this meeting had nothing to do with "guys", not what women think about them and not how men should treat women. Imagine if a woman said what you did, but about the Priesthood session. You'd wonder what they were talking about.

If you're not a woman, treat the Women's session talks the same way you would any other talk that is not directed toward you - use it to learn from the Spirit what you -do- need.