Women have the power to do–what?–you ask? Elder David A. Bednar says we all have the power to act. We have the power to do whatever is necessary to bring ourselves to the feet of our Savior. It doesn’t work the other way around–Jesus may look in on us from time to time, but He is really waiting for us to come unto Him. Yes, taking that walk, lifting that finger, moving our lips, and even plucking that fruit off the tree.
When it comes to Relief Society, we sisters can do a whole lot more than what we’re doing. We have a destiny that is greater than any sharp-tongued detractor can wield. We have God on our side because we have stepped up to stand next to Him. Let me show you what I mean.
Women Have the Power to Act in Our Communities
Jesus Christ needs women who will stand up for moral values and for truth. Too often we’ll hear only the voices who whine and complain while those of us who have testimonies cower in the corner. Not anymore! Elder Bednar points out, “We often testify of what we know to be true, but perhaps the more relevant question for each of us is whether we believe what we know.”(1) If we believe it, we can’t be afraid to show it in our communities, in the blog world, or whenever truth is challenged.
That means we have to study things out and be ready to share the truth we have studied and are prepared to testify of. As women in the gospel, we need to be “courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick world. … Attacks against the Church, its doctrine, and our way of life are going to increase. Because of this, 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.” (2)
Women Have the Power to Act in our Callings
Elder Bednar states, “We more fully come to know the Lord as we serve Him and labor in His kingdom. As we do so, He generously blesses us with heavenly help, spiritual gifts, and increased capacity.” (3)
May I invite Relief Society presidents to recognize the power we hold in our callings? We have had hands placed upon our heads, and been given authority to lead women. This is not a status quo calling. We should be discovering and using our particular gifts to bless the lives of our sisters. Be creative, be inventive, be spiritually in tune, act on inspiration. Use our power to make a difference. Don’t bother the bishop or stake president in asking for permission to do every little thing. Recognize that inspiration will come directly to us and we will be able to carry out better the instructions from our priesthood leaders. “My dear sisters, whatever your calling, whatever your circumstances, we need your impressions, your insights, and your inspiration. We need you to speak up and speak out in ward and stake councils.” (4)
Women Have the Power to Act in our Homes
Sisters, we have power over our homes. Whether we have a husband or not, we are always under the care and protection of the priesthood and that is what gives us power. We have the power of Jesus Christ to perform whatever miracle is necessary for the strengthening of our marriages, our children, and our loved ones. When we use this power, we come to know the Lord.
“We believe and come to know the Lord as the key of the knowledge of God administered through the Melchizedek Priesthood unlocks the door and makes it possible for each of us to receive the power of godliness in our lives.” (5) When we see that there is regular family prayer, family scripture study, and Family Home Evening in our homes, we will feel power surge through our veins and we will be confident in asking that the powers of godliness protect and bless our families.
Women Have the Power to Act in Our Personal Lives
If we are searching for the gift of faith in our lives, Elder Bednar says, “Learning and applying in our lives the doctrine of Christ is a prerequisite to receiving the gift of faith in Him.” (6) Many people know what the atonement is, but it takes faith to understand what the atonement does for us. We are expected to obey the commandments, cross ourselves from ungodly behavior, and have charity for all mankind. These are very serious and thought-consuming actions that we must incorporate into our lives. We may never get a handle on everything, but if our hearts are pure and our intent is to keep trying, we will continually have power to do what we need and want to do for the Lord. We have to receive the faith that it is worth it.
“Tasting the fruit of the tree and becoming deeply ‘converted unto the Lord’ are the blessings He yearns for us to receive. Hence, He beckons us, ‘Come, follow me.’” (7) We have the power to develop our faith enough to trust that “His bounteous blessings are available and applicable in our individual lives.” (8)
We have to believe Him first, act on His words second, have faith in His promises third and receive His blessings fourth. None of this will happen if we are waiting to be spoon fed the gospel. Only we have the power to set everything in motion.
(1) David A. Bednar, “If Ye Had Known Me,” Ensign, Nov. 2016.
(2) Russell M. Nelson, “A Plea to My Sisters,” Ensign, Nov. 2015.
(3) Bednar, “If Ye Had Known Me.”
(4) Nelson, “A Plea to My Sisters.”
(5) Bednar, “If Ye Had Known Me.”
(6) Bednar, “If Ye Had Known Me.”
(7) Bednar, “If Ye Had Known Me.”
(8) Bednar, “If Ye Had Known Me.”