Thousands of female members of the Church gathered to hear counsel from Church leaders during the Women’s session of General Conference.
Joy D. Jones, Primary General President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke first and gave a talk about how service is most effective when we think about serving God. She shared a quote from a wall on an orphanage in Calcutta, India, “If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway…The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway… You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God… anyway.”
Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, gave a talk about the difference between discouragement and divine discontent, which drives us to be more like Christ. She said that we should never suppress a generous thought because a good deed is never wasted. “Our discontent becomes divine when we humbly approach Jesus Christ with our want, rather than hold back in self-pity,” she said.
Cristina B. Franco, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, discussed the meaning of sacrifice and love in service. She told the story of a sister who sacrificed transportation money to bring chocolate cake to primary, and how it made the gift mean much more. “[The Savior] taught that each of us should follow Him by denying ourselves of selfish interests in order to serve others.” She said, quoting Dallin H. Oaks. Then she testified, “Love is made sacred through sacrifice.”
President Eyring, Second Counselor First Presidency of the Church, gave a talk about the role of women in the Church. One evidence of their role in accelerating the growth of the church is the new emphasis on teaching in the home. Quoting the Family Proclamation, he said, “Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children… Fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”
“If you pray with real intent, a face will come to your mind,” said President Eyring. “Each time you obey, your power to nurture will grow.”
President Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, talk addressed several church statistics, such as the increased average age of marriage by two years, and the falling number of births in the church, which he says are trends that go against God’s plan. Quoting Gorden B. Hinkley, he said “God planted within women something divine… And all of these remarkable qualities find their truest and most satisfying expression in motherhood.”
President Oaks also gave two counsels: to limit the use of cell phones and be kind to one another. He said, “if you participate in any meanness or pettiness… resolve now to change.”
In his talk, President Nelson, Prophet of the Church, gave more background about the changes in April’s conference. He said women were key to each. “How you visit taught inspired the upward shift to ministering,” he said. “When we wrestled with how to help the men of the Church be more effective in their responsibilities, we carefully considered the example of the Relief Society.”
President Nelson also extended four invitations to help gather Israel:
- Participate in a 10-Day social media fast
- Read the Book of Mormon between now and the end of the year
- Establish a pattern of temple attendance
- Participate fully in Relief Society
He said, “We need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices. We simply cannot gather Israel without you.”