Eric Huntsman and Camille Fronk Olson: Personal discipleship

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BYU professors of ancient scripture encouraged women to strengthen personal discipleship at a Friday morning session of Women’s Conference.

Professors Eric Huntsman and Camille Fronk Olson spoke to women gathered in the Smith Fieldhouse.

“Everything we see about the New Testament disciples applies to us,” Huntsman said. “We come to Christ because of the witnesses we have received of Him. Likewise, as we come closer to him, as we draw unto him, he will draw near unto us.”

Huntsman and Olson alternated discussing the four Gospels of the New Testament. Each related experiences of the ancient disciples with focus on the women of Christ’s time.

Citing the Gospel of Matthew, Huntsman encouraged women not to be afraid of imperfection.

“It is too easy for us as we look at prophets and apostles to say, ‘We can never be like that,’” Huntsman said. “Sisters, we are here to testify to you, you can be like that. We’re not used to looking at apostles as being imperfect, but the biblical record reveals that they were imperfect.”

Olson explained Christ’s ability to strengthen his disciples.

“We read of the higher law that the Savior expects his disciples to live,” she said. “But he doesn’t just tell them how they should live; He empowers them with testimony and authority to be able to succeed. We women have knowledge and power equal with such testimony and authority as representatives of the Lord … to go out and do likewise.”

Olson also encouraged individuals who may feel excluded. She indicated many examples of the Savior ministering to the outcast. Referring to Christ, she stated, “We who are outcasts have a place at the table with Him.”

Huntsman expressed confidence in women’s testimonies. “You are prophetesses in the sense that the spirit of prophesy is the testimony of Jesus,” he said.

Later he counseled women to share their testimonies with others. Reading from John, Huntsman referenced the apostles who ran to tell the others of the empty tomb, and asked, “Are you running to confirm the testimony you have?”

Olson compared the testimonies of the women in scripture to those of ancient male disciples. Emphasizing the women’s examples, she stated, “They taught as powerfully, by the way they lived.”

“We are witnesses, too, that He is risen,” Olson concluded.

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