Attendees sing during  the  LDS Church General Women's Session at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City Saturday, March 26, 2016.

What You Missed at the General Women’s Session

On Saturday, March 26, hundreds of BYU-Idaho’s female students gathered in the BYU-Idaho center to watch the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints General Women’s broadcast.

The choir consisted of women ranging in age from primary to relief society. The women represented over 50 different countries around the world. They sang a rendition of “I am a Child of God” and “As I Have Loved You.”

“The fact that they had all ages that came together for one single purpose of bringing the Spirit, was so amazing,” said Mindy Fisher, a freshman studying animal sciences. “We’re all women, no one was better than the other, and they were all singing for God.

After the choir performed, they played a new video that was produced for the broadcast. It was a pioneer account from Elizabeth Haven Barlow titled “When We Were Strangers.”

“The first video they played really stuck out to me,” said Anna Kretchman, a freshman studying recreational therapy. “I really loved how it said ‘The Lord will conduct us safely to the end.’”

After the video, the first speaker was Cheryl A. Esplin, the first counselor of the general primary presidency. She talked about service and the importance of teaching children that service doesn’t have to be a grand act to be important.

Neill F. Marriott, the second counselor of the general young women’s presidency, also spoke. She defined the word “mother” not as a woman who births, but as someone “to give life.”

“I really liked what Neill F. Marriott said about being able to sacrifice ourselves,” Kretchman said. “We need to be willing to put God’s will before ours all the time, because he knows best. And he knows how we can help other people, and how he can help us.”

Then, a heart-warming video on serving our fellow neighbors was shown, highlighting two friends, Tori and Fatou. It was titled “I Was A Stranger: Love One Another.”

Linda K. Burton, president of the general relief society, gave another message related to service. She taught that before passing judgment, we should reflect on the question, “What if their story, was my story?”

After the choir sang “Come Follow Me,” Henry B. Eyring, first counselor the First Presidency, spoke on serving the needy.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard a conference with such a unified topic of service and love,” Kretchman said.

Fisher and other students had great experiences watching it at the BYU-Idaho Center.

“Even though the I-Center is freezing, it feels warmer when the Spirit is there, and it just envelops you,” Fisher said. “It’s getting to finals, and having that time to listen and feel the Spirit from these inspired speakers is incredible.”

Kretchman expressed similar feelings about viewing the conference in the I-Center.

“I get so much more out of it when I’m here at the I-Center, a set apart place where I can completely focus on what I’m doing,” Kretchman said. “I can feel the spirit so much more strongly.”

Many members of the LDS church feel that sessions of general conference can be a time that they can receive personal revelation.

“I love that I can come to these things, and it seems like they’re talking directly to me,” Kretchman said. “The Holy Ghost can talk to us in so many ways.”

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