My darling daughters, I can’t tell you what joy it brings me to sit with you during the General Women’s Session. I can see your eyes light up as the speakers talk with clarity and truth. I feel your excitement when something resonates especially deep within your soul. I know you realize that the prophets truly are speaking about women. And you are ready to respond.
I was barely 5 years old when Sister Camilla Kimball, President Spencer W. Kimball’s wife, gave her husband’s charge to the women of the Church. It was a powerful message “that has not been said before, or at least in quite this way.”
In our current conference, Sister Sharon L. Eubank asked those of us who were alive when President Kimball’s message was read to share his message with the younger generation. So let me share some of the things I have learned as I pass this “torch of light” on to you.
In September of 1979, Sister Kimball read….
“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.
“Among the real heroines in the world who will come into the Church are women who are more concerned with being righteous than with being selfish. These real heroines have true humility, which places a higher value on integrity than on visibility. Remember, it is as wrong to do things just to be seen of women as it is to do things to be seen of men. Great women and men are always more anxious to serve than to have dominion.”
My dear daughters, it delights me to see that these words, given by the prophet of my youth, are coming to pass. To you, it may seem a natural thing for women to have this kind of influence. After all, you have had grandmothers and great-grandmothers who have already taken up President Kimball’s charge. But I hope you don’t underestimate how his promises still apply to you.
As I sat next to you during Sister Eubank’s talk, I felt an overwhelming desire to help you prepare to live up to President Kimball’s prophecy. Let me explain how Sister Eubank’s five points can help you answer the prophet’s call.
Did you know that righteous means “Just; accordant to the divine law. Holy in heart, and observant to the divine commands in practice.” God’s law is perfect. To be righteous is to search for and learn His law. As you do this, you will realize that all man-made laws that do not align with God’s law will eventually fail.
Righteous doesn’t mean that you are perfect all of the time. But it does mean that you practice using the divine law of Christ and His Atonement. Are you using this law to become more aligned with God’s law and are you helping others to do the same?
Sister Eubank described being articulate as: “to clearly express how you feel about something and why.” Daughters, I remember when you were first learning how to talk. You wanted so badly to express yourselves and let me know what you needed. Some of your first words were “no”, “da-da”, “mine” and “up”. Your vocabulary may have grown, but I still love to hear you articulate “No” when you know something is wrong; “Da-Da” or “Father” when you are kneeling in prayer; “Mine” when you express your own testimony; And “Up” when you teach others to look to God.
I want you to follow Sister Eubank’s advice and continue to “use your voice and your power to articulate what you know and feel.” I know the power of your voice and I pray you will be articulate and allow others to feel it, too.
I never thought of innovation and creation as spiritual gifts until Sister Eubank pointed these gifts out. Throughout all of history, it took innovators to look at a problem and find a new way to solve it. You are an innovator! The world doesn’t have the answers to solve all of the problems on this earth. But if you let the Holy Ghost be your teacher, you can be creative in your solutions. Listen to Sister Eubank’s reminder: “We are not always going to fit in with world, but being different in positive ways can be a lifeline to others who are struggling.” Will you please make the time to develop and use your gifts of innovation and creation? I know you were given these gifts for a great purpose.
Being distinct means “to be recognizably well defined.” President Kimball told us that those who value integrity over visibility are “the real heroines in the world.” This kind of “distinction” isn’t limited to having a solo in the choir, playing on the varsity sports team, or having the most Instagram likes. These things in and of themselves are not bad; they can actually be great ways to develop talents and share truth. Just keep in mind what President Kimball taught us: “Remember, it is as wrong to do things just to be seen of women as it is to do things to be seen of men.” Real heroines are different because of their integrity and their desire to do what is right in ALL THEY DO. Are you practicing the integrity that makes you distinct?
On days when you feel down and it’s hard to focus on being righteous, articulate, different and distinct, remember what President Hinckley taught: “You don’t build out of pessimism or cynicism. You look with optimism, you build with faith, and things happen.”
The adversary will surely try to convince you that your words are stupid and your differences are dumb. He will tell you that it is more important to “fit in” than it is to “stand out”. He will try to keep your focus on things that are temporary instead of things that are righteous. Remember that you are a daughter of Eve and you have the ability to stomp these lies out of your life.
Be happy and remember that you have a great work to do. In the words of our current prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, “This is your day, this is your time.” My darling daughters, make the most of every minute because your light is truly needed! Then, as we work together, we will continue to fulfill President Kimball’s promise: “Thus it will be that female exemplars of the Church will be a significant force in both the numerical and the spiritual growth of the Church in the last days.”
With all my love,
P.S. – Remember that you are a daughter of God and act like it.