Last Saturday evening I “attended” a historic women’s meeting that might have been the largest meeting of women. The meeting was historic because it was the first time that women, young women, and girls, 8 and older, gathered together in a general meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In previous years, women gathered for the general Relief Society meeting and young women gathered for the general Young Women meeting. Now women met together as “sisters” of all ages. I rejoice in knowing that my daughters, granddaughters, sisters, nieces, and cousins were in attendance and hearing the same wonderful counsel.
The women’s meeting was held in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, a building with seating for 21,000 people. There was a capacity congregation in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City. From the conference center, the meeting was translated into 55 languages and broadcast to millions of other women meeting in their local meetinghouses all over the United States and in many foreign nations as well as being sent via the television, radio, and the Internet to even more women in their homes. I attended in my local meetinghouse in Anchorage, Alaska.
President Thomas S. Monson presided at the meeting, and he was joined by his counselors, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, other Church leaders, and members of the Relief Society, Young Women and Primary general presidencies and boards. Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, conducted the meeting and spoke. Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, and Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president, and President Eyring also spoke. The choir consisted of multi-generational women from 290 stakes within 100 miles of Salt Lake City dressed in shirts of red, orange, pink, purple, and bright yellow. Here are a few quotes from the four talks.
Sister Wixom spoke to the topic “Keeping Covenants Protects Us, Prepares Us, and Empowers Us.” 1) “As individuals we are strong. Together, with God, we are unstoppable.” 2) “The ways you can share your faith are as unique as you are.” 3) “Our journey on the path is personal and well lit with the Savior’s love.”
Sister Oscarson spoke to the topic “Sisterhood: Oh How We Need Each Other.” 1) “It’s the tender moments that make your life as a daughter of God such a unique and special gift.” 2) “I invite you to not only love each other more but love each other better.” 3) “There is no age barrier when it comes to Christlike service.” 4) “We just need to relax and rejoice in our divine differences.” 5) “To be sisters implies that there is an unbreakable bond between us.”
Sister Burton spoke to the topic “Help Wanted: Women to Lift One Another with Love.” 1) Our true identity is that of a disciple of Jesus Christ!” 2) “Help comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and through the helping hands of others.” 3) “We can offer hands to help and a heart to hasten Heavenly Father’s wonderful work.”
President Eyring was the concluding speaker and spoke to the topic “Daughters in the Covenant.” 1) “You were tutored by Him before you came into this life.” 2) “Because He loves you, He will provide the help that you need.” 3) “You are more alike as daughters of God than you are different.” 4) “While Satan is attacking sisters at earlier ages, the Lord is lifting sisters to higher and higher levels of spirituality.” 5) “He sees not only what you are but what you may become.” 6) “He is pleased every time you try to choose the right.”
The meeting was everything I expected it to be and more. The Relief Society and Young Women meetings of the past were always wonderful, “feel good” meetings; this meeting surpassed all of them. The music was absolutely glorious, and the spoken words were outstanding. I encourage you to watch the conference or read the printed word when available.