BYU Women’s Conference: Elder Quentin L. Cook addresses faith and moving forward

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Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve and his wife, Mary, addressed close to 1,500 women in the closing session of the 2014 BYU Women’s Conference.

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks at the closing session of Women's Conference. (Photo by Maddi Dayton.)
Elder Quentin L. Cook of The Quorum Of The Twelve Apostles speaks at the closing session of Women’s Conference. (Photo by Maddi Dayton.)

Elder Cook, from Logan, is not a stranger to the academic community. He received his bachelor’s degree from Utah State University, going on to Stanford, where he graduated from law school. Sister Cook, also a Logan native, graduated alongside Elder Cook from Utah State, and the two have been married for 52 years.

The audience was delighted to first hear from Sister Cook, who encouraged the women to seek happiness in life, even when life seems unbearable. Her experience in church callings, living married life and raising children have given her much credibility among the women in attendance who face similar challenges.

“Having a happy heart and desiring to be happy turns many a trying day into a tolerable one. Being able to laugh at mistakes and disappointments keeps you going and not giving in to feelings of depression or loneliness,” Sister Cook said. “More than once I have told myself, this too shall pass.”

After Sister Cook’s words, Elder Cook took the podium giving a talk that revolved around what he called “blessings that come from righteousness,” as well as one of the overall conference themes, “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

His focus included the reward of spirituality, prosperity in the land, righteous families, the Word of Wisdom and peace.

He talked of how women have the power to lift up and nurture the people they come in contact with, letting them know of their divine potential as women of kind hearts. He also spoke of their duty as mothers to help their children achieve good and pure lives through righteous living.

Sis. Mary N. Cook addresses the need to move forward  with faith in Christ during the closing session of Women's Conference on May 2, 2014. (Photo by Maddi Dayton.)
Sis. Mary N. Cook addresses the need to move forward with faith in Christ during the closing session of Women’s Conference on May 2, 2014. (Photo by Maddi Dayton.)

“I feel a great responsibility in speaking to you wonderful women. You have my love and admiration in who you are and what you accomplish in this difficult world,” Elder Cook said. “Dear sisters, please do not underestimate the power and impact of your capable, loving and sensitive influence on those with whom you associate.”

He talked of peace and the things women can do in order to create peaceful homes, marriages, family relationships and Relief Societies. He spoke of his own experience where he and his wife had the challenge of raising a family in the San Francisco area in the late 60s, a time when that particular part of the country was experiencing political unrest.

“The stake president wondered at one point if he should tell the Saints to move out of the area. At that time, President Harold B. Lee answered, ‘Heavenly Father has not prepared this place for a temple just to have the Saints leave,'” Elder Cook said.

In conclusion, Elder Cook went on to tell of how family prayer, scripture study and his wife keeping a Christlike peace in their home helped their family stay spiritually strong. Elder Cook encouraged the attendees to keep going forward with faith.

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