LDS women worldwide gather for instruction

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    By Ravin Robertson

    The importance of covenant keeping and the theme of “Here I am, send me” echoed throughout the General Relief Society Broadcast Saturday Sept. 28.

    Relating events the works of the first Relief Society established March 17, 1842, the General Relief Society Presidency spoke of the devotion, faithfulness and sacrifice of the early sisters at the time of the Nauvoo temple who willingly said, Lord, here am I, send me.

    Bonnie D. Parkin, President of the General Relief Society Presidency, counseled that covenants are essential for progress and invigorate the soul.

    “Making covenants is an expression of a willing heart and keeping covenants, the expression of a faithful heart,” said President Parkin. “The doing is where we really prove who we really are. We honor our covenants by saying here I am, send me.”

    Relating an account of a single mother struggling with caring for her family, Parkin said, “The Lord needs women who will teach children to work, learn, serve and believe. We must stand up and say, here am I, send me.”

    “The spiritual integrity to keep our covenants comes from consistency in scripture study, prayer, service and sacrifice. Such simple steps nurture our soul,” said Parkin.

    Using the analogy of carrying a bag full of various items, Kathleen H. Hughes, Second Counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency, focused on the importance of covenants in raising and having righteous families.

    “Just as we carry our bags to church, we need to carry the bag of covenants because we are covenant women,” said Sister Hughes. “Covenants can strengthen righteous families and righteous families have covenants in common.”

    Stating that the most important covenant pertaining to families is the covenant of eternal marriage, Sister Hughes said, “Family is central to the Creator”s plan for the eternal destiny of his children. Our families are our highest destiny as well as our greatest blessing.”

    Sister Hughes said that the words of here I am, send me, are a promise to the Lord and an expression of our willingness to serve.

    “If we keep our covenants, the promises we receive will be great. When parents keeps the covenants that they make at the temple alter, their children will be bound to them.”

    Anne C. Pingree, Second Counselor of the General Relief Society Presidency, emphasized charity, the highest, strongest, noblest kind of love, and acts of love.

    “Charity is not an act, but a condition or state of being one becomes. Little by little, our charitable acts change our natures, define our character, and ultimately make us women with the courage to say, here am I, send me.”

    Sister Pingree told of an LDS family in Trinidad who provided love for children of a drug-infested and alcohol-ridden neighborhood to illustrate how it is through small and simple things that great things come to pass.

    “We as covenant women have consecrated ourselves to Christ,” said Pingree. “We can alter the face of the earth one family and one home at a time through charity, our small and simple acts of pure love.”

    President James E. Faust, Second Counselor of the First Presidency, stated that the four great, enduring concepts of the Relief Society are a divinely established sisterhood, a place of learning, an organization whose basic charter is serving others and a place where women can socialize and establish eternal friendships.

    “Lord, here am I, send me is so profoundly appropriate because so many of you demonstrate the willingness to step forward and serve,” said President Faust. “This church could not have achieved its destiny without the dedicated, faithful women who in their righteousness have immeasurably strengthened the church.”

    Referring to the parable of the Ten Virgins, President Faust said, “We all need the light of our lamps as we go through the darkness and we all want to meet the bridegroom at the wedding feast.

    Admonishing sisters to be prepared in weathering the storms of life, President Faust said, “It is important that you have oil in your lamps so that when you say here am I, send me, you are prepared and qualified to be sent.”

    With Nephi”s promise of being armed with righteouness and with the power of God in great glory, President Faust closed the broadcast by saying, “All the sisters anywhere in the world can inherit and benefit from the blessings of the Lord for women. The blessing of knowledge and intelligence comes to all righteous women of the church, regardless of their race or nationality, irrespective of whether they are new in the Church or a descendant of one of the 20 members of Nauvoo in 1842.”

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