Here are the latest updates from the Saturday Night Women’s Session of the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The session lasted approximately 75 minutes and, contrary to recent tradition, did not include a speech by the faith’s supreme leader, President Russell M. Nelson.
Apostle Dale G. Renlund speaks of Heavenly Mother
In a talk that echoed what he had said earlier this year, Apostle Dale G. Renlund spoke of four “fundamental truths” he finds in the Young Women theme—specifically the distinct doctrine of the Church on Heavenly Parents.
“Very little has been revealed about Heavenly Mother, but what we do know is summarized in a Gospel topic found in our Gospel Library app,” Renlund said as the final speaker Saturday night. “Once you read what’s in there, you’ll know everything I know about it. I would like to know more. You too may still have questions and want to find more answers.
Seeking greater understanding “is an important part of our spiritual development, but be careful,” the apostle warned. “Reason cannot replace revelation. Speculation will not lead to greater spiritual knowledge, but it can lead to deception or divert our attention from what has been revealed.
Renlund repeated the instruction he gave in his previous presentation that Jesus taught his disciples “to pray to the Father in my name.”
Latter-day Saints “follow this pattern and direct our worship to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ, and do not pray to our Heavenly Mother,” he said. “Since God appointed prophets, they have been authorized to speak in his name. But they don’t speak fabricated doctrines ‘of [their] own mind’ or teach what has not been revealed.
Prophets in the current church “are also constrained,” Renlund said. “Demanding revelation from God is both arrogant and counterproductive. Instead, we wait for the Lord and His calendar to reveal His truths through the means He has established.
In Saturday’s closing remarks, the former cardiologist touched on other ideas within the Young Women theme, including the notion that humans “have a divine nature” and “an eternal destiny.”
The Young Women of the Church are committed to “striving” to be like Christ, “to seek and act upon personal revelation and to serve others in his holy name,” and “to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places.”
Humans are “free to choose, but we cannot choose the consequences of not following the revealed path.” said Renlund. “…We cannot deviate from our Heavenly Father’s course and then blame Him for inferior results.
He invited listeners to center their lives on Jesus Christ and “let the Holy Spirit…guide you.”
“Our Heavenly Father wants you to become his heir and receive all that he has,” Renlund said. “He can’t offer you more. He can’t promise you more. He loves you more than you think and wants you to be happy in this life and in the life to come.
Relief Society President Jean B. Bingham Emphasizes the Centrality and Security of Covenants
Giving what will likely be her final address to General Conference as president of the whole-church Relief Society, Jean B. Bingham spoke of the spiritual security available to those who “choose to be anchored to the Saviour.” by covenants made at baptism and in the temple.
“There is nothing more important to our eternal progress,” she said, “than keeping our covenants with God.
Bingham called it a “privilege” to have met so many other women throughout her tenure as the religious women’s organization’s top official.
These women, she said, “look to the Lord and His prophet for guidance rather than to popular media.”
In doing so, they are able to overcome “individual challenges and harmful worldly philosophies that attempt to dissuade them from keeping their covenants.”
“They are determined,” she added, “to stay on the covenant path.”
Closing his remarks, Bingham called on listeners to “stay on the covenant path.” For those who have not yet entered the temple to make covenants with God available, she called them to prepare to do so.
“I testify that if we choose to make covenants with our Heavenly Father and access the power of the Savior to keep them,” she said, “we will be blessed with more happiness in this life than we can only imagine it now and a glorious eternal life to come.”
Bingham will be leaving his Relief Society position in August.
Rebecca Craven, Young Women Leader: Do What Matters Most
The gospel of Jesus Christ “is a gospel of action and a gospel of joy,” said Rebecca L. Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency. “Let’s not underestimate our ability to do the things that matter most. Our divine heritage gives us the courage and confidence to do and be all that our loving Heavenly Father knows we can be.
Conversion requires doing something, Craven said. “It comes by the power of the Holy Spirit as we make an intentional effort to know by asking, seeking, and knocking.”
And setting priorities.
“If some things don’t matter, or matter less, there must be things that matter the most,” she said. “In our efforts to do something, or do anything, we might ask ourselves, what matters most?”
Satan would love “nothing more than we misplace our eternal values, causing us to waste precious time, talents, or spiritual strength on things that don’t matter,” Craven said. “I invite each of us to prayerfully consider the things that keep us from doing what matters most.”
Like several other speakers on Saturday, this Young Women leader urged listeners to “stay close to the prophet. As spokespersons for the Lord, we can be sure that what he exhorts us, counsels us, and begs us to do are the most important things.
Primary leader Susan Porter: ‘Sisters, the power is within us’
Women, regardless of age or position in life, can have an immeasurable impact on their community, taught Susan Porter, first counselor in the Primary general presidency.
“Sisters,” she proclaimed, “the power is within us to achieve much justice! »
After her husband died five years ago, Porter said, she “begged the Lord to direct my path.”
Through this experience, she says she learned that God is always ready to help his children overcome challenges and find meaning in their lives.
“Our Savior Jesus Christ,” Porter said, “through His atoning sacrifice enabled us to be cleansed and healed, enabling us to fulfill our purpose on earth, regardless of the decisions of family members, our marital status, our physical or mental health, or any other circumstances.
Porter, who in August will become Primary general president, emphasized that no matter how lonely her listeners might feel or what challenges they might face, “your light of faith in Christ can be steady and sure, leading those around you to safety and peace. »
President Dallin H. Oaks introduces the session
President Dallin H. Oaks opened the women’s session of the 192nd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by explaining how this meeting was different from previous evening sessions, which were often divided between men and women. gatherings.
“This Saturday night meeting is a session of the General Conference, not a session of any organization,” Oaks said. “Like all General Conference sessions, the planning, speakers, and music are designated by the First Presidency.”
The Saturday evening session “will focus on the concerns of Latter-day Saint women,” said the First Counselor in the ruling First Presidency. “This will include the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church policies that specifically relate to women, and the general responsibilities and work of organizations that include women and girls in the Church. ‘Church.”