Coverage of October 2018 General Conference General Women’s Session

  • 6 October 2018

Members of the Young Women choir from stakes in Pleasant Grove form hearts with their hands as President Russell M. Nelson leaves the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Talk Summaries

Marking a historic moment in general conference history, the women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference was held in the Saturday evening spot of conference weekend on October 6, 2018. The change to alternating priesthood and women’s sessions of conference was announced the year before, in October 2017.
 
The session was conducted by Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, with music provided by a choir of young women from stakes in Pleasant Grove.
 
The invocation was provided by Sister Memnet Lopez and the benediction was given by Sister Jennefer Free.
 
Speakers were Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President; Sister Michelle Craig, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency; Sister Cristina B. Franco, Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency; President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency; President Dallin H. Oaks, Second Counselor in the First Presidency; and President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the concluding speaker.
 
“We gather tonight in unity, in strength, in purpose, and in testimony that we are loved and led by our Heavenly Father; our Savior, Jesus Christ; and our living prophet, President Russell M. Nelson,” Sister Jones said as she began her opening address.
 
The women leaders each spoke of the privilege and blessing of service.
 
Sister Craig centered her address on the idea of “divine discontent,” which she explained is the feeling experienced when one compares who they are with who they “have the power to become.” She explained that such discontent can move us to act through service to others, and by so doing, as daughters of Heavenly Father, we are better able to live up to the prophet’s call to “live and care in a ‘higher and holier way.’”
 
After sharing a story from when she was in Primary and was served selflessly by her Primary leader, Sister Franco explained how “unselfish service” is often the best way to follow God’s great commandment to love one another.
 
The remarks from the three women leaders demonstrated the power of service in strengthening individual relationships with Christ and providing better understanding for each individual’s own purpose in their mortal life.
 

Women gather outside before the start of the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

President Russell M. Nelson waves to audience members during the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Women walk to the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Following the women, the First Presidency spoke at length of the important roles that women and mothers hold in the Church and in God’s plan of happiness. They expressed their gratitude for the women of the Church and emphasized how much the Church needs the strength and kindness of women of all ages.
 
Although no two women will have the same experiences in this life, President Eyring said, “Whatever your personal circumstance, you are part—a key part—of the family of God and of your own family, whether in the future, in this world, or in the spirit world.”
 
The address given by President Oaks emphasized the importance of motherhood and the role that the rising generation of women will have in “shepherding God’s children along the covenant path toward exaltation.”
 
He cautioned young women to limit the amount of time they spend on their cell phones and to remember to be kind to one another and to not engage in petty or mean behavior.
 
In his concluding remarks, President Nelson stated that all women have a divine endowment to nurture and love and that each woman is a mother by divine right. He explained that women play a key role in the gathering of Israel.
 
“This gathering is the greatest challenge, the greatest cause, and the greatest work on earth today!” he said.
 
He then extended four challenges to the women of the Church. He invited them to take a 10-day fast from social media, read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year, make temple attendance a habit, and participate more fully in Relief Society.
 
“My dear sisters, we need you!” President Nelson said. “We need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices.”

Gabriela Gonzalez, left, and Kamilah Baltrons are reunited before the start of the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on October 6, 2018. Gonzalez and Baltrons became friends while Gonzalez was serving a mission in Oakland, California. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

President Russell M. Nelson shakes hands with Sister Jean Bingham, Relief Society General President, after the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Staci Hansen, left, of North Ogden and Kashia Palmer of Ogden run into each other before the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. The two women used to work together. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Catalina Dufour of Chile hugs her mother, Valentina, before the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Sister Jean Bingham, left, Relief Society General President, greets President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, before the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. At right is Sister Reyna Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, and President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Women gather outside before the start of the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

President Russell M. Nelson greets Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, before the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Sister Jean Bingham, Relief Society General President, speaks during the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Women gather before the start of the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Catalina Dufour of Chile hugs her mother before the general women's session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018.Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Women and children line up to attend the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Women head to the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018.
Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Women and children line up to enter the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Eliza Van Drimmelen, 10, and her mother, Marquessa, point out Church leaders as they enter the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

General board members of the Relief Society chat before the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

President Henry B. Eyring, left, Second Counselor in the First Presidency; President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson; and President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, wave to the audience after the general women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.