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.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Prophet Speaks to Women

            The current prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ, even President Russell M. Nelson recently spoke to the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He says that “Every woman is a mother by virtue of her eternal divine destiny” and that “No one can duplicate the influence of a mother.” He says that men can communicate “the love of Heavenly Father and the Savior to others” but “women have a special gift for it – a divine endowment…” to “sense what someone needs – and when he or she needs it.”

Women see things differently than men do, and oh, how we need your perspective! Your nature leads you to think of others first, to consider the effect that any course of action will have on others.

            President Nelson praises Mother Eve for her “wise and courageous choice” to initiate the Fall and move “God’s plan of happiness forward.” He says that Eve’s choice and Adam’s supporting decision “made it possible for each of us to come to earth, receive a body, and prove that we would choose to stand up for Jesus Christ now, just as we did premortally.”

            After inviting the women of the Church of Jesus Christ to “cultivate, use, and expand” their spiritual gifts, he promises that they can change the world. They can do this by inspiring others and setting “a standard worthy of emulation.” He says that women were key to “two of the major announcements made at our last general conference.”

            The first announcement that President Nelson discusses is the change from visiting teaching/home teaching to ministering sisters and brothers. He says that women were more prepared for this change than the men because the women were more sensitive to the needs of the sisters rather than just checking off an assignment.

            The second announcement is the restructuring of the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums. President Nelson says that the Brethren considered “the example of the Relief Society” in making the change.

In Relief Society, women in various ages and stages of life meet together. Each decade of life brings unique challenges, and yet, there you were, week after week, mingling together, growing and teaching the gospel together, and making a real difference in the world.

            Now the Melchizedek Priesthood bears all belong to the elders quorum. President Nelson continues, “These men range in age from 18 to 98 (maybe more), with equally wide-ranging priesthood and Church experiences. These brethren can now create stronger fraternal linkages, learn together, and bless others more effectively.”

            Last June President and Sister Nelson spoke to the youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and invited the youth to “enlist in the Lord’s youth battalion to help gather Israel on both sides of the veil.” In his general conference talk, President Nelson invites the women of the Church to enlist in “the greatest challenge, the greatest cause, and the greatest work on earth today”!

            Saying that the cause “desperately needs women, because women shape the future,” President Nelson extends a “prophetic plea” to the women of the Church “to shape the future by helping to gather scattered Israel.” He issues four invitations for how women can help:

1. “Participate in a 10-day fast from social media and from any other media that bring negative and impure thoughts to your mind….”

2. “Read the Book of Mormon between now and the end of the year….”

3. “Establish a pattern of regular temple attendance….”

4. “Participate fully in Relief Society….”

            All four of these prophetic invitations will take some stretching for the women of the Church. I was pleased to see how many of my friends immediately signed off Facebook in obedience to the Prophet’s counsel, and I hope that they were more successful than I was. I immediately started my fast from Facebook, but I had a difficult time breaking the habit of immediately going to Facebook whenever I had some down time. It was probably three days before I actually began my fast! The other invitations are not so difficult for me.   

            One might ask a question about why the Prophet chose these four areas to issue invitations. A simple answer would be that he is asking the sisters to purify themselves and to draw closer to the Spirit. Here is the Prophet’s answer:

This morning the announcement was made regarding the new Sunday schedule and home-centered, Church-supported curriculum. You, my dear sisters, are a key to the success of this new, balanced, and coordinated gospel-teaching effort. Please teach those whom you love what you are learning from the scriptures. Teach them how to turn to the Savior for His healing and cleansing power when they sin. And teach them how to draw upon His strengthening power every day of their lives.

My dear sisters, we need you! We need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices. We simply cannot gather Israel with you.

            The Prophet invited the women of the Church of Jesus Christ to help in the gathering of Israel in preparation for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The invitation was offered with love and respect. I have accepted his invitation, and I expect that most of the women I know have also accepted it. We know that the Prophet speaks for God and that God wants us to be prepared to meet the Savior when He returns.

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