BYU Women’s Conference: Eyes to see, discipline to create, glue to bind

Dani Jardine
Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, spoke on the three principles of conversion in the opening session of 2017 BYU Women’s Conference. (Dani Jardine)

Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency, spoke on the three basic building blocks of true conversion in the opening session of the 2017 BYU Women’s Conference.

“We all have experiences with these key ingredients, “ Sister Eubanks said, “It’s the Atonement that gives us multiple chances we need to repent and combine these ingredients into true conversion.”

The first ingredient of conversion that Sister Eubank mentioned was the ability to see beyond the mortal limits of time and space.

Sister Eubank explained another term for this first ingredient is “faith.” She gave three examples of women who “used their eyes of faith to look beyond present pain and circumstance.”

One example given was Mary Magdalene, the first mortal witness to testify Jesus Christ had risen from the grave.

Sister Eubank explained that in Mary’s condition — so full of grief of what had just occurred — it must have been hard to grasp that the scriptural promises that the dead would rise again were now fulfilled.

“But when Jesus spoke her name and she reached out to embrace him, she knew what the resurrection meant.” Sister Eubank said.

Sister Eubank encouraged women to join Mary Magdalene as witnesses of Jesus Christ and the reality of the resurrection.

“If we get distracted and don’t act on the things we know, our eyesight starts to dim and get wavy. We get a monster spiritual headache,” Sister Eubank said. “When we act regularly on our testimonies, our vision slowly improves until we are seeing things we have not seen before.”

Sister Eubank said acting regularly on our testimonies help us to become truly converted.

The second ingredient of conversion Sister Eubank mentioned was the ability to use bodies as instruments of power, order and creation.

Sister Eubank said women have an innate, divine desire and destiny to create. She said there are many ways for women to create on earth.

“Not having my husband and children with me at this time is temporary,” Sister Eubank said. “I have been a being with creative gifts for millennia . . . every day I am creating influence, compassion, love and grace that did not exist previously.”

Sister Eubank said our bodies can also be used to give life back through the veil.

Last November, Sister Eubank’s friend — a wife and mother of two girls — was in her last throes in her fight with lung cancer. Sister Eubank said the sisters of this woman surrounded her bedside and loved and comforted her until she passed away.

“These women acted in godly perfection,” Sister Eubank said. “In a very tangible way, they share in the creation of the childhood for the two girls, along with the mother and father who gave them life.”

Sister Eubank said the third ingredient of conversion is the practice of love and unity.

She said women are called to be “glue.”

“We are the bonds of unity and kindness,” Sister Eubank said, “You see it in the matriarchs who are the center of things. They reach out and include people.”

Sister Eubank said Relief Society is the perfect place to practice unity and love.

“Relief Society is exactly the place for all of us who don’t fit in,” Sister Eubank said. “It is organized under priesthood keys for women to have a place to grow, progress, build their faith, talk about the reality of family life and mourn with each other for all the crazy, stupid things that happen to us when we are mortals.”

Sister Eubank said the women of the LDS Church have a work to do on this earth, and only those who are truly converted unto the Lord can accomplish it.

“If we build our conversion to the Lord a little bit every day by acting on our faith to see, by disciplining ourselves to repent and create according to the law, and by strengthening others in bonds of unity, the Lord will bless us in all our doings,” Sister Eubank said. “He will convert us in all our parts, and we will find the happiness we seek.”

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