Mother and daughter discuss surviving life’s paths

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The theme “The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Not an Obligation; It Is a Pathway” invited a few men and a few hundred women to the de Jong Concert Hall on Thursday, as the annual Women’s Conference continued throughout campus.

After a group of BYU students sang the popular LDS Primary song “He Sent His Son,” mother and daughter Ann M. Dibb and Sarah D. Steele each relayed their take on President Uchtdorf’s recent talk, “Forget Me Not.”

Steele’s talk focused on the light of life’s path from a young mother’s perspective, and especially on three eternal truths: light of knowledge, light of service and the bright light of traditions.

Concerning knowledge, Steel encouraged reading good books and seeking after things that are lovely, praiseworthy and of good report.

Steele then explained that service was one of the greatest ways to make a pathway bright.

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Sarah Steele speaks during one of the sessions of Women's Conference on Thursday at the Harris Fine Arts Center.
“When we perform service, we are blessed with a warm, happy feeling,” Steele said. “Service enlightens our pathways.”

Much focus was given to being an example of service to children, and encouraging them to perform acts of service, be it setting the table, reading a book to a sibling or comforting a crying baby.

“I know that it is vitally important that we teach our children the importance of service,” Steele said. “In a world where selfishness and greed are accepted and almost encouraged, it is our responsibility as parents to provide opportunities of service.”

Last of all, Steele spoke about the traditions of a family. She gave examples of her own family traditions: pancakes on Saturday mornings, hiking and biking together, strawberry-picking in the summer and apple-picking in the fall — all which created fond memories for each family member to look back on.

“God has promised to light our pathways as we journey through this mortal life,” Steele said. “A joyful path is an illuminated path.”

Dibb, mother to Steele and daughter to President Thomas S. Monson, also discussed the the turns and trials of life’s paths.

“Whether by our own choices or by circumstances out of our control, the journey of times is difficult and threatens mortal and eternal consequences,” Dibb said. “Some paths are frightening and dangerous with serious inclines … [and] some of us may fall while traveling the path. Is all of this effort and challenge necessary? Yes, it is, because this is the way we’re refined and strengthened.”

Dibb emphasized that to truly endure through the rough edges of life, women must firmly hold to the rod and follow the correct path.

“Because there is no other way to return to our Heavenly Father, then in and through Christ we must submit our personal will and press forward,” Dibb said.

Much of Dibb’s talk was given to her memories of the goodness of her father, President Monson.

“President Monson happily helps people on their way, whether they’re 74 or four, and we can too,” Dibb said as she closed her talk. “When we help others, we exhibit charity — the pure love of Christ.”

Dibb closed her talk with a simple phrase she has learned to apply in times of trial: “Just focus on the Gospel. This, too, shall pass.”

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