Women ages 8 and older filled the Conference Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the first session of the 185th Annual General Conference on Saturday, March 28. General Relief Society President Linda K. Burton opened and conducted the session.
Sister Burton showed a video of families singing “The Family is of God,” in celebration of the 20th anniversary of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” before introducing Sister Cheryl A. Esplin as the first speaker.
Sister Esplin, second counselor in the Primary General Presidency, spoke about members filling their homes with light and truth.
“When filled with the Spirit and with gospel truth, we have the power to withstand the outside forces of the world that surround and push against us,” she said. “However, if we are not filled spiritually, we don’t have the inner strength to resist the outside pressures and can collapse when forces push against us.”
Sister Esplin also told a story from her own family history of her great-grandfather’s sister, a young woman named Elizabeth, who worked with her husband running a mail station in Nevada. Sister Esplin described how the people Elizabeth met on a daily basis made it difficult for her to strengthen her testimony.
She explained that as Elizabeth took the time to pray, her testimony was strengthened, and the concerns her daily encounters brought up were resolved. “The answers to our prayers may not come dramatically, but we must find quiet moments to seek greater light and truth. And when we receive it, it is our responsibility to live it, to share it and to defend it,” Sister Esplin said.
Sister Esplin closed by bearing her testimony on how filling members’ homes with the Savior’s light and truth will fortify them to withstand every circumstance. “Strong eternal families and Spirit-filled homes do not just happen,” she said. “They take great effort, they take time, and they take each member of the family doing his or her part.”