President Nelson discusses women and the priesthood, announces eight new temples at general women’s session

President Russell M. Nelson spoke discussed women and the priesthood and announced eight new temples at the general women’s session on Saturday, Oct. 5. (Addie Blacker)

President Russell M. Nelson was the closing speaker for the women’s general session of General Conference where he announced plans to build several new temples.

President Nelson opened by saying, “Several months ago, at the end of a temple endowment session, I said to my wife, Wendy, ‘I hope the sisters understand the spiritual treasures that are theirs in the temple.'”

President Nelson went on to talk about the vital role women play in the restored gospel, beginning with Emma Smith, who received personal revelation from the Lord to “learn much” and to “set aside the things of this world and seek for the better, and to hold fast to her covenants with God.”

“Everything that happened in Harmony has profound implications for (the lives of women in the church),” President Nelson said. “The restoration of the priesthood, along with the Lord’s counsel to Emma, can guide and bless each of you.”

President Nelson continued by saying that the blessings of the restored priesthood are just as important for women as they are for men. It is through the Melchizedek Priesthood that men and women have “access to ‘all the spiritual blessings of the church.'”

He reminded the gathered women that all who have been endowed have access to priesthood power in their homes, regardless of whether they are married to a priesthood holder. Speaking specifically to these women, President Nelson said, “You may not have a priesthood-bearer in your home, but you have received and made sacred covenants with God in His temple.”

President Nelson also declared that women have just as much right to “draw liberally upon the Savior’s power to help your family and others you love,” and counseled each woman to use the Holy Ghost as a guide and tutor as she strives to follow the will of the Lord.

Drawing parallels between every endowed sister and Emma Smith, President Nelson invited the congregation to “study prayerfully section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants and discover what the Holy Ghost will teach you.”

President Nelson promised that as women draw nearer unto the Lord, the Holy Ghost will provide guidance on removing those things in a person’s life that are not needful or are unworthy of “your time and energy.”

However, President Nelson also warned that there will always be those who “would undermine your ability to call upon the power of God.”

“There are some who would have you doubt yourself and minimize your stellar spiritual capacity as righteous women,” President Nelson continued. He said this was due to Satan not wanting women to understand the truth of the covenants made by women at baptism and in the temple.

“Satan and his minions will constantly contrive roadblocks to prevent you from understanding the spiritual gifts with which you have been, and can be, blessed,” President Nelson said, lamenting the pain some women face within their own homes and trusted circles and condemned abuse and betrayal as offenses having “no place in the kingdom of God.”

Conversely, President Nelson praised men who treat their wives as equal partners and who recognize and respect their wives’ “ability to receive revelation.”

“When a man understands the majesty and power of a righteous, seeking, endowed Latter-day Saint woman,” President Nelson exclaimed, “is it any wonder that he feels like standing when she enters the room?”

President Nelson also discussed the role of women given callings within the church saying, “When you are set apart to serve in a calling under the direction of one who holds priesthood keys — such as your bishop or stake president — you are given priesthood authority to function in that calling.”

While endorsing sisters to study and search for truths regarding the power of the priesthood, President Nelson said, “As your understanding increases and as you exercise faith in the Lord’s priesthood power and the Lord himself, your ability to draw upon this spiritual treasure that the Lord has made available will increase.”

In addition to this blessing, President Nelson discussed the important role women have in the building up of eternal families through temple work. “As the Church grows, more temples will be built so that more families can have access to the greatest of all blessings, that of eternal life.”

Building off this statement, President Nelson announced for the first time in a general women’s session the construction of eight new temples:

  • Freetown, Sierra Leone 
  • Orem, Utah
  • Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  • Bentonville, Arkansas
  • Bacolod, Philippines 
  • McAllen, Texas
  • Coban, Guatemala
  • Taylorsville, Utah 

“You sisters are vital to the work of the temple,” President Nelson said, “and the temple is where you will receive your highest spiritual treasures.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email