Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Women of Righteousness

                Righteous women strengthen families, communities, and nations. Righteous women have a significant influence on their husbands, fathers, sons, and daughters. Righteous women are blessings in the lives of all who know them.

                I recently studied a talk given by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titled “Women of righteousness.” He spoke of a letter from a righteous woman who wondered about her worth in the sight of God and the leaders of the Church. His talk consisted of the many ways that righteous women are assets in the work of the Lord.

                Elder Ballard quoted Elder James E. Talmage (1862-1933) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as stating that “the world’s greatest champion of woman and womanhood is Jesus the Christ” (Jesus The Christ, 3rd ed. [1916], 475). He then explained the important women in the life of Christ: “The first time the Lord acknowledged Himself to be the Christ, it was to a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. He taught her about living water and proclaimed, simply, `I … am he’ (John 4:26). And it was Martha to whom He proclaimed: `I am the resurrection, and the life…. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die’ (John 11:25-26).

                “Then, during His greatest agony as He hung on the cross, the Savior reached out to one person – His mother – when in that terrible but glorious moment He asked John the Beloved to care for her as though she were his own (see John 19:26-27).

                “Of this you may be certain: The Lord especially loves righteous women – women who are not only faithful but filled with faith, women who are optimistic and cheerful because they know who they are and where they are going, women who are striving to live and serve as women of God.”

                Later in his talk Elder Ballard continued, “Between now and the day the Lord comes again, He needs women in every family, in every ward, in every community, in every nation who will step forward in righteousness and say by their words and their actions, `Here am I, send me.’

                “My question is, `Will you be one of those women? And will you men who hold the priesthood answer the same call?’

                “Now, I know most of you want to. But how will you do it? How, in a world filled with deceptive messages about women and the family – and the significance of both to the Lord – will you perpetually respond to the Lord, `Here am I, send me’?

                “For those who really want to live up to who you are, for those who at all costs want to repent if necessary and who want to see through Satan’s deceptions, I have two suggestions: First, listen to and follow those whom we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators. Second, learn to hear the voice of the Spirit, or the voice of the Lord as communicated by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

                How can Elder Ballard’s two suggestions help righteous women to avoid deception? The prophets, seers, and revelators are watchmen on the towers of life. They see things more clearly than most of us do and can warn us of the dangers they see. They will keep us safe if we will listen to them. Men and women who listen for and recognize the voice of the Holy Ghost can receive additional, personal protection. The Brethren cannot know all the different ways we can be tempted to break our covenants, but God does. If we will but listen, the Holy Ghost will guide us and our families safely through life’s many dangers. We can be among those who answer, “Who am I, send me.”

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