General presidents of the Primary, Young Women and Relief Society organizations, as well as a member of the First Presidency, spoke to women and girls 8 and older at the General Women’s meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a world-wide broadcast on March 29.
Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president
Sister Rosemary M. Wixom spoke about the power of making and keeping covenants in the lives of girls and women.
She opened by sharing an experience she had at a church building in Mexico. She stood with Primary children, young women and teachers after church.
“I looked into all their faces and said, ‘We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love him.’ Everyone immediately joined in,” Sister Wixom said.
Sister Wixom reminded listeners of the power of baptismal covenants. She quoted Elder David A. Bednar, saying, “When we understand our baptismal covenant and the gift of the Holy Ghost, it will change our lives and will establish our total allegiance to the kingdom of God.”
She continued by explaining the greatest blessings available through the Atonement of Jesus Christ come through temple ordinances.
“We do rejoice that through keeping our covenants we may feel the love of our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ.”
Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president
Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson spoke about how important they all are in helping and uplifting one another. She told them the adversary would have them be critical towards one another, but to beware this temptation.
“He wants us to concentrate on our differences and compare ourselves to one another,” Sister Oscarson said. “When we compare ourselves to one another, we will always feel inadequate or resentful of others.”
Sister Oscarson illustrated this by telling the story of a young girl, Sarah, who, with her mother, helped a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis.
Sarah rubbed lotion on Brenda’s hands and helped her stretch to alleviate pain. Sister Oscarson said Sarah learned the importance and joy of serving.
“There are no barriers when it comes to Christlike service,” she said. “If there are barriers, it is because we ourselves have created them. We must stop concentrating on our differences and look at what we have in common.”
Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president
Sister Linda K. Burton explained that women have been blessed with helping hands and hearts to hasten Heavenly Father’s wonderful work.
She gave the example of the rich young man from the New Testament. When Jesus reminded him of the 10 commandments, the man asked what else he should do.
Christ told him to sell what he had and follow him.
“Jesus called him to become a part of His work,” she said. ” Our work is the same.”
She told a story about a woman ridiculed for her food storage. She said the woman was criticized because, in an emergency, her food would go to other people.
“Her simple and resolute response as a true disciple was, ‘At least I will have something to bring,'” Sister Burton said. “I have seen their strength, and I have seen their faith.”
Sister Burton said she had imagined spiritual “help wanted” signs related to the work of salvation.
“Help wanted: Parents to bring up their children in light and truth,” she said. “Help wanted: Those who listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and act on the impressions received.”
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency
President Henry B. Eyring urged women to remember that the path they must take to return to Heavenly Father is one of covenant keeping and the joy in keeping covenants.
He reminded them of the feelings they had when they made their baptismal covenants.
“We each felt God’s approval,” he said. “We felt the desire to forgive, and to be forgiven, and an increased determination to do what is right.”
President Eyring spoke about the role of mothers in preparing their children for making and keeping sacred covenants. He said his mother prepared him for the waters of baptism with words similar to Alma’s from the Book of Mormon.
“You may not have clapped your hands when you first heard that invitation to covenants by baptism,” he said. “But you surely felt the love of the Savior and a great commitment to nurture others for Him.”
He reminded women that only few of Heavenly Father’s children have had the opportunity to learn of His covenants.
“Heavenly Father smiles on you as well whenever he sees you help a daughter of his move along the covenant path toward eternal life,” he said. “He is pleased every time you try to choose the right.”
President Eyring asked women to consider Eve. He said every daughter of Eve has the potential to bring the same blessings to her family Eve brought to her own.
“I know that Eve faced sorrows and disappointments,” he said. “But I also know that she found joy in the knowledge that she and her family could return to live with God.”
He told them God will provide the help they need to move along the way back to His presence.
“I know that the Savior paid the price for all of our sins and that the Holy Ghost testifies of the truth.”