Women’s Conference 2016: Speak Up And Speak Out

Three Women's Conference participants walk outside of the Wilkinson Center wearing matching outfits.
Three Women’s Conference participants walk outside of the Wilkinson Center wearing matching outfits.

Current First Counselor in the Young Women’s General Presidency, Carol F. McConkie, and former First Counselor of the General Relief Society Board, Virginia H. Pearce, addressed women attending the 2016 Women’s Conference on the need and importance of speaking with the Spirit.

The two sisters were inspired to address this topic by the call to action given by President Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in his October 2015 Conference talk, “A Plea to My Sisters.”

“My dear sisters, whatever your calling, whatever your circumstances, we need your impressions, your insights, and your inspiration. We need you to speak up and speak out in ward and stake councils,” he said.

Sister McConkie began by sharing how the Lord made her fear of public speaking into a strength. Her focus was explaining how speaking up and speaking out is an essential part of the covenants and promises we make each Sabbath day.

She describes three key points to help women of the LDS Church fulfill President Nelson’s invitation.

First, speak by the Spirit.

Nephi teaches us in 2 Nephi 32:3, “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost…”

Sister McConkie invited each of the participants to remember Nephi’s courage as he stood up to his older brothers.

Second, speak the words of Christ.

Sister McConkie recalled the Savior’s response to the scribes and Pharisees when they brought the woman whom was taken in adultery as being full of love and tenderness.

Lastly, Sister McConkie invited the sisters to “just love one another as the Savior does.”

She relayed a simple story of a mother, standing in a humble kitchen, baring a brief testimony to her troubled son. This tender exchange of loving words between a mother and son ended up being a pivotal moment in changing the direction of this young man’s life.

Pearce, with her witty humor and loving tone, reminded the attending participants, that the most important words that will be spoken will be after the remarks of the speakers. They will be the words spoken between friends in passing.

“We need women who know how to access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers and who express their beliefs with confidence and charity,” she said, quoting President Nelson.

Pearce explained that there are four important words within her quote from President Nelson.

First, power.

This is not just any power, “This is God’s power,” said Perace, “It is the power of the Holy Ghost. It is the power to see things as they really are and as they really will be. It is the power by which angles speak.”

Second, covenant.

Pearce reminded the sisters that covenants begin with baptism and confirmation; however, they continue as members partake of the sacrament each week.

Third, confidence.

Pearce explained that confidence should not be shown as a way to tell someone they are better or more righteous than the confident individual. Confidence should be firmly planted in trusting our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, she said.

Finally, charity.

Sisters must pray for charity and practice charitable acts, according to Pearce. She warned that at times this may be difficult, but that the Savior is our example.

Pearce also shared several stories of covenant keeping women who incorporated God’s power, confidence and charity into their interactions with others.

These righteous women invite each of us to speak up and speak out as our Savior would, with energy and enthusiasm, she concluded.

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