Sandra Rogers, the chair for BYU Women’s Conference Committee, opened the 2016 BYU Women’s Conference by speaking about the power of charity, unity and doing God’s will.
“One in Charity is loving God first and becoming one in thought, purpose, and action with the Father and the Son,” said Rogers.
She said God was motivated by charity to sacrifice His perfect Son for the benefit of His other imperfect children and Jesus Christ was also motivated by charity to perform the atonement.
When one accepts the Christ’ Atonement, which was all motivated by love, “their hearts grow in capacity to feel that love (of the Father and the Son),” said Rogers.
The covenants that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints make inside and outside of the temple help guide them to understand the Lord’s love for them according to Rogers. She continued by explaining that covenants also show members how they can love and serve God and others in a similar manner.
They are “blueprints for our spiritual growth and development,” said Rogers.
When talking about unity, Rogers spoke of two societies who were truly unified: the Nephites after the appearance of Christ in the Americas; and the people of the City of Enoch. Rogers explained that the unity these two groups of people maintained was created by having the love of God in their hearts.
But Rogers recognized that making decisions and changes to create unity with the Savior can sometimes cause disunity in family and friendships as beliefs clash.
“Elder Christofferson said the best way to help those we love — the best way to love them — is to continue to put the Savior first,” Rogers said paraphrasing a talk from Elder Christofferson.
By putting the Savior first, she said, there will be heavenly guidance and direction that can be received.
Rogers then shared a personal experience about her basement flooding. Because she was never present when the flooding occurred, she was unable to confidently identify the cause of the flooding.
Over the next few months flooding persisted until she finally agreed to the recommended $5,000 solution to do an electric rewire of her basement and install a sump pump.
Before making this purchase, she happened to be home during a rain storm. She discovered that her theory of the cause of the flooding was wrong, and that the flooding could be fixed by simply replacing a broken pipe.
“I never clearly identified what the problem was, all of my efforts went nowhere,” said Rogers. “Solving the problem was actually quite simple when I finally found out what the problem really was.”
She compared this story to the difficulties that one experiences in life and advised that if one puts the commandment to love God first, then “most things will fall into place.”
She also stated that by putting the first commandment first, a desire to do God’s will and unity with God and Jesus Christ would come. This oneness would then make it possible for one’s fears and difficulties to be managed and conquered. It would push them to serve with charity and this charity would benefit both the giver and receiver.
Rogers showed a LDS church history video “That We Might Be One: The Story of the Dutch Potato Project” as an example of what happens when a people servers others with charity and over come bitter feelings. The video is about LDS church members from Holland serving the Germans right after WWII.
She closed by encouraging the women present to do their part in the “I Was A Stranger” initiative and increase the “scope of our charity beyond this refugee effort.” She promised that the women would “be able to accomplish miracles and every purpose of the Lord will be fulfilled” as they become one in charity.