Elder W. Grant Bangerter (Sis. Julie B. Beck’s father) spoke during this session (Saturday afternoon of October 1977) about “A Special Moment in Church History” for him. This special moment happened when it was confirmed to him that Spencer W. Kimball was indeed called of God as the prophet to lead His church.
I believe we must all have that special moment and we must all come to that same conversion.
“How this confused world of today needs revelation from God.”
Now, more than ever before, we need to listen to the voice of God that warns us, shapes us, and gathers us. Satan is doing his very best to destroy us and make us miserable like unto himself. So, it behooves us to respond well to our chosen god. My choice in responding to revelation: Obedience with pure, grateful love.
The battle rages on as we fight against worldly evil. Yes, the world fights dirty, and we must always be on our guard, but even more important than defending truth is knowing Jesus Christ, for He is the cure.
The Savior asked His disciples, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” They answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:13-16).
As we fight the adversary and the evil doings of this world, we cannot forget the reason why we fight. It is to proclaim the Son of God, even Jesus Christ.
Back in the 70’s, clearly our prophet, Spencer W. Kimball, knew what we would face forty years later. As I read these conference talks, I am amazed at how applicable they are for our day.
“We, the members of the Church, proclaim our liberty and our renewal of our faith and our assurance that we do have control in our own families and can rear our children to love truth and to be happy in the deathless dignity of man, governed by the eternal and moral laws of God.”
What a rallying cry!
He goes on to warn us that “the enemies of faith know no God but force.” Indeed, at every turn, those who choose morality are bombarded with others who steal liberty, demand compromise and cry false judgment.
But don’t despair! Continue holding onto your families with your Family Home Evenings, scripture reading, and prayers. Teach the true doctrine our Heavenly Father has given us. And stay true to that truth.
In his talk, Pres. Kimball reminds us what the full cycle of human life is. The natural order is
“… childhood, adolescence, youth, parenthood, middle age and the age of grandchildren. … Only by birth can any of these come into being. Only by the natural cycle of life can the great progressive joys of mankind be reached. … Any social system which prevents the individual from pursuing the normal cycle of life … defeats the divine order of the universe and lays the basis of all sorts of social problems.”
It is my understanding that all of us chose to come down to earth to prove our worthiness and desire to Come Unto Jesus Christ. We must have known there would be some sacrifice involved because we knew we would be given weakness to overcome. “If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble” (Ether 12:27).
Our weakness is a catalyst for humility and sacrifice. And these two qualities ironically are our greatest tools. This is how we call upon the Lord to fight our battles who will ultimately come off victor. And make no mistake, every one of us has been blessed with weakness so that we can use these tools.
Being humble and sacrificing our will to Jesus Christ are not only the antidote to every weakness we hold dear, they are also the antidote for wickedness. For those who stubbornly hold onto their weakness and wickedness, He waits lovingly and patiently. For those who struggle to let go of both, He lovingly encourages. All of us can be sensitive, loving, patient, and encouraging because we are all stubborn and we all struggle. But ultimately, through Jesus Christ, we can release our weakness and become free.
Unfortunately, humility and sacrifice are seen by the world as weakness. The world would tell you to hide your weakness or flaunt your weakness into acceptable behavior. It will never tell you to sacrifice your weakness to the Lord so He can make you a better person.
It is our weakness (or dependency) when given to the Lord that allows the Lord to win our battles for us. So we have no cause to fear when we give ourselves to Him in our weakness.
“…for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).
Pres. Kimball stood at the pulpit and declared:
“There are a half a hundred special witnesses in this room this day. There are tens of thousands of [men and women] under the sound of my voice, all of whom would, in one great chorus, answer that question–’Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’”
I add my own voice to that chorus.
Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Jesus Christ is the cure for the ills of the world. And because of Him, I will be made whole.
I had an opportunity to visit with Kate Holbrook and Jenny Reeder, the two editors of At the Pulpit. It was also my privilege to attend a formal reception in the Relief Society building where Virginia Pearce, Gladys Sitati, Elaine Jack, and Jutta Busche (whose talks are included in the book) spoke to us. There are 54 faithful voices in this new publication.
After reading the talks from this book, and listening to these women, a thought came to me that feels true:
Every one of us struggles with pain, disappointment, and suffering. But the purpose of life is how we get through it all. When we read how others succeeded–WITH THEIR TESTIMONIES INTACT–we march on, yearning to celebrate with them at the end of the path. Who knows that there isn’t a band of women beyond the veil offering help from heaven, inspiring these historians to find their stories, and offering us the strength they gained so that we too can be strengthened?
One of the questions I asked Jenny Reeder was what are some of the overall important messages of the book. She suggests four:Continue reading →
I wish I could say I have some powerful, testimony-building experience of “standing,” but I don’t. I’m not an incredible wordsmith or talented debater like so many I know on social media who are able to eloquently and gracefully state facts and defend beliefs, but as I stopped to ask myself if and how I “stand,” I read something that President Russell M. Nelson stated in his 2015 General Conference address:
“Today, let me add that we need women who know how to make important things happen by their faith and who are courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick world. We need women who are devoted to shepherding God’s children along the covenant path toward exaltation; women who know how to receive personal revelation, who understand the power and peace of the temple endowment; women who know how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen children and families; women who teach fearlessly.”
I stand when I defend my home against the adversary with regular Family Home Evening, regular temple attendance, dedicated Sabbath worship, daily prayer and scripture study, both personal and family. It is in these small and simple daily moments that I am trying to make important things happen, courageously defending morality and family, shepherding my little ones along the covenant path, striving to receive personal revelation, seeking to call down the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen my family, and trying to teach fearlessly. This is how I stand. Continue reading →
I used to think that I had to do something amazing to help our loving Father in Heaven. It didn’t matter if this “amazing act” was done in the church or in the world. But it had to be done. I just didn’t know what.
Sisters and friends, let me save you your sanity and tell you a secret: this isn’t true. Important things are good and need to be done. But, those who have a lasting and eternal impact on standing for our Father in Heaven and His plans do so quietly and within their sphere of influence. They are the unsung heroes that the angels watch over.
You don’t have to change the world to change someone’s life. No organization you lead or leadership role you hold will have a greater impact on the world than that of the roles you hold dear in your heart.
Mother. Sister. Daughter. Friend. A daughter of God.
These roles are eternal where others will have an end. These are the roles that truly matter where all others will fail.
Let me share with you three ways how you are already standing strong in your life. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that they aren’t as difficult as you might think. Continue reading →
My desire to live the gospel of Jesus Christ fluctuates drastically from overzealous, to moderately passive, to shutting down to nurture a bruised ego. How do I expect to live up to promises made, capture my divine nature, or simply comment in a class setting when often I find myself barely holding it together? The ultimate answer of truth is that Jesus Christ never leaves us alone to wallow for long. He knows. He understands. He has felt as we do. And He has promised to heal us completely. We can accept or reject this truth, but by the multiple testimonies I have heard, and the experiences I have had, I can share with you my testimony that I know we can continually walk down the path, perchance to fall, never to fall off, ultimately reaching the arms of our beloved Savior.
I’ve been taking college courses for eight years, trying to get my Bachelor of Arts degree. Because I didn’t take school seriously, back in my college-age days, I had to take some pretty tough courses. And because I’m just this side of old and feeble-minded, I take all my classes online, because I don’t feel comfortable sitting in a class full of young, bright students. And never being an A student, all I’ve been focusing on is passing my classes, check-marking them off my list, and getting through one class at a time, day-in-day-out, trudging along toward my goal of graduation. Continue reading →
Sherem. Though it’s an uncommon name, we all know at least one, and probably several. We might work with a Sherem or two; maybe there are team moms or room mothers with a Sherem, and maybe some of you have a few living on your street. There are Sherems in your yoga class, your biology class, and in every social class. The television, movies, and social media are populated by Sherems. Your ward has got a few and when multiplied by the number of units in your stake, well the number of Sherems in those boundaries would surprise you. But most disheartening to realize is that we have Sherems, though called by other names, perched in the branches of our own family trees.
Not long ago my husband and I were reading in the book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon. Here the prophet Jacob, Nephi’s brother, records an experience he had with a Sherem in his life–literally. He wrote…. Continue reading →
Mormon Women Stand’s collaborative effort will consistently follow the counsel from Elder M. Russell Ballard that “every disciple of Christ will be most effective and do the most good by adopting a demeanor worthy of a follower of the Savior… The Apostle Paul has admonished us to not be ‘ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation.’ (Romans 1:16) Let us all stand firmly and speak with faith in sharing our message with the world” (Ensign, July 2008). With this in mind, anything contentious, contrary to or criticizing the teachings, doctrines, or leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will not be welcome. Mormon Women Stand Mission Statement
In the world of today, women are on the battlefield. Many don’t know it and many choose not to acknowledge it. Still, others are quick to note the places in which they find themselves and accept it, even relish it, and charge forward on the battlefront with the banner of the Gospel of Jesus Christ held high–unashamed of their testimonies, and proud of who they are as women in the Church. Continue reading →
History shows us that those who choose consistent, enduring-to-the-end behavior come out stronger, happier, and more powerful than those who show behavior that is more erratic and discontinuous. This choice is demonstrated clearly by the following story about the first expedition to the South Pole.
Roald Amundsen led a team of men using sled dogs. From the very beginning of their 1,400 mile journey he decided that no matter what the weather was like they would set a goal to make 20 miles each and every day. Because of bad weather they sometimes made less than their goal, but they always strove for the goal of 20 miles every day—no matter what.
Robert Falcon Scott led another team of men using packhorses. Because of the horses, they were able to carry more provisions. From the beginning he psyched his men to go hard and push themselves on the good days. When the weather was too harsh, they would rest and prepare to set out hard as soon as they were able.