The new General Relief Society Presidency makes debut

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Women’s Conference reached the lunch-hour crowd Thursday with a discussion about “The Vital Role of Women in the Gospel” in the Marriott Center.

In one of their first presentations as the new LDS Relief Society general presidency, Linda K. Burton, Carole Stephens and Linda S. Reeves, spoke to their audience about the importance of women’s roles in these latter days.

The arrangement was a relaxed one, with the three speakers casually discussing their memories and testimonies with one another, with the audience members listening.

During a brief collective introduction, the presidency reported that, combined, they have been married 113 years, have 25 children, 61 grandchildren, have lived in or visited 66 countries on six continents, have served in Relief Society for 43 years, Young Women for 20 years and Primary for 23 years.

Burton, the general Relief Society president, then began the discussion by explaining the two duties women in the gospel need to recognize: one, that all women are beloved daughters of our Heavenly Father and, two, everyone received their first blessings in the pre-mortal life and we were prepared to come to earth to go through life’s trials.

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The Relief Society General Presidency speak during one of the sessions of Women's Conference on Thursday at the Marriott Center.
“Relief Society is not only to relieve the poor, but to save souls,” Burton said, quoting Joseph Smith.

Stemming from this quote, Reeves stated everything LDS members do in the church is to increase their faith of Heavenly Father and of personal righteousness.

“When we turn towards the Savior and follow Him, we must leave the world behind us, and those things that are less important,” Reeves said.

The discussion then carried to how women can live up to their potential as a daughter of God. Given as an example was newly-appointed Bishop Stevenson’s talk a few years back.

In the talk, Stevenson told the listeners to take a virtual tour of their homes — to close their eyes and imagine what is on the walls, to see if there were quiet places set aside for scripture study, to feel what types of feelings and conversation filled the air. Stephenson explained one of the goals of parents was to create a holy place for their family to dwell in.

“Being spiritually prepared allows us to be willing and able and worthy vessels of the Lord,” Stephens said.

The three general Relief Society presidency members closed bearing their testimonies of the truth of the gospel and how thankful each of them was to not only work with one another, but to serve the women in the Church as a whole.

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