Sister Carole M. Stephens: Women belong and are needed

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Sister Carole M. Stephens, first counselor of the Relief Society General Presidency, speaks about the sacred nature of the family. Sister Stephens said each line of the Primary song “The Family is of God” has a special meaning for women. (Screenshot)

See more of The Universe’s coverage of the 185th Annual General Conference.

Sister Carole M. Stephens, first counselor of the Relief Society General Presidency, focused her remarks on the Primary program song for 2015, “The Family is of God,” at the Women’s Session of the 185th General Conference on Saturday, March 28.

She explained throughout her talk how each line of the song is important for women, because it highlights the sacred role of women in earthly families and in Heavenly Father’s family.

She also described how women can strengthen their families through the divine nature they inherently possess despite the challenges they face on Earth. “We each belong to and are needed in the family of God. Earthly families all look different, and while we do the best we can to create strong traditional families, membership in the family of God is not contingent upon any kind of status,” Sister Stephens said.

She said the song and the role of the women in the family are especially important, as the attacks on the family unit have only increased in the 20 years since the First Presidency published “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”

“Our opportunity as covenant-keeping daughters of God is not just to learn from our own challenges; it’s to unite in empathy and compassion as we support other members of the family of God in their struggles, as we have covenanted to do,” she said.

Sister Stephens said for women as daughters of God to fulfill their roles in the family, they must understand the responsibility to teach others of Heavenly Father’s plan for families.

She encouraged women to rise up to the challenge of the song, saying that women’s sphere of influence is not limited to just family members. “Sisters, we belong; we are loved; we are needed; we have a divine purpose, work, place and role in the Church and kingdom of God and in His eternal Family,” Sister Stephens said.

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