You’ve all heard this important quote from Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” We live in a world where evil is rearing its ugly head and the question we are all asking ourselves is how are we going to make a difference this coming year?
Years ago, President Spencer W. Kimball said:
“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.” (“The Role of Righteous Women,” Oct. 1979).
President Russell M. Nelson added to these inspired words with:
“We, your brethren, need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices. The kingdom of God is not and cannot be complete without women who make sacred covenants and then keep them, women who can speak with the power and authority of God!” (“A Plea to My Sisters,” Oct 2015).
He quoted President Boyd K. Packer, who said:
“We need women who are organized and women who can organize. We need women with executive ability who can plan and direct and administer; women who can teach, women who can speak out.” (“The Relief Society,” Oct. 1978).
Righteous women have been told for many years that their voice, their talents, their abilities, and their femaleness is vital to how this world was meant to function. A righteous woman is more precious than rubies.
So, with this New Year, here are a few suggestions that may inspire us to recommit ourselves as faith-filled, stalwart, and covenant-keeping women?
- Commit to following and supporting the prophet. We are women who can voice our support of all the servants of God. It is the truly faithful sisters who will support the priesthood of God’s Church on the earth. “I promise you in the name of Jesus Christ that as you [fulfill Pres. Kimball’s prophecy], the Holy Ghost will magnify your influence in an unprecedented way!”*
- Honor, and continue making, covenants with your Heavenly Father. Every Sunday we can partake of the Sacrament, and teach and train the next generation to do so as well. By keeping the temple in our sites we can be worthy of our temple recommends, and attend the temple often where we will come to know the Savior on a more personal, devoted, level. “We need women … who understand the power and peace of the temple endowment.”*
- Be a better Visiting Teacher. Love more and serve better making our visits more sincere. “We need women who are devoted to shepherding God’s children along the covenant path toward exaltation.”*
- Speak up and speak out. Be a defender of the faith. Don’t be afraid to speak out against those who would mock and criticize the Church, Joseph Smith, the prophet, or those things we hold sacred. “ We need women … who are courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick world.”*
- Study the scriptures more. The scriptures are where we can learn of Jesus Christ and gain peace that can only come from Him. “We need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation.”*
- Practice personal revelation. Each of us is entitled to direction that will bring us closer to the will of God. “We need women who know how to access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers. … We need your impressions, your insights, and your inspiration.”*
*Quoted from Pres. Nelson’s talk.
Faith: Strengthening our faith comes from reading the Word of God, obeying the messages therein, and testifying of their truthfulness. I’m looking forward to reading the Book of Mormon this year, as we study it in Gospel Doctrine class. I have also decided to conduct an indepth study of each of the Pres. Howard W. Hunter lessons we’ll be studying in Relief Society.
Family: Family is where we can have the greatest influence for good. We have been promised repeatedly that by holding regular prayer, Family Home Evening, and scripture study, our families will be protected. Because many of our children are married, our family holds a monthly Family Home Evening where we all get together to share a spiritual message, eat food, and have fun together. These times spent together have strengthened our family greatly, and have allowed us to stay close, pray for one another, and share our testimonies and convictions together.
Relief: The very name of our organization invites us to relieve one another as we all struggle with our burdens. The world has need of women who believe in offering love through charity and simple acts of service. There are many organizations deserving of our support as we strive to bring relief to the people of the world. This year I am committed to helping those treated unjustly.
We are the women who have been called to action. We are women who believe that charity never faileth; that the love we feel for our fellow women is contagious, joyful, and pleasing to the Father of us all. So, I ask you again, how are we going to make a difference this coming year?