Coverage of the October 2017 General Conference General Women’s Session

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News editor

  • 23 September 2017

Leaders sing during the general women’s session of general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Thousands gathered in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on September 23 for the general women’s session of the Church’s 187th Semiannual General Conference.

The meeting was translated into 90 languages and broadcast via television, radio, satellite, and the internet across the world.

Church leaders asked Latter-day Saint women to be joyful, righteous, and articulate; to deepen their knowledge of God; and to understand their identity as His daughters.

Sister Joy D. Jones

Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, speaks during the general women’s session of general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

“Let’s not be confused about who we are,” said Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President. “While it is often easier to be spiritually passive than it is to put forth the spiritual effort to remember and embrace our divine identity, we cannot afford that indulgence in these latter days.”

When women truly know they are a daughter of God, it will affect every aspect of their life and guide them to service, she said.

Sister Jones said no matter what, God’s children always have worth in His eyes.

“If the love we feel for the Savior and what He did for us is greater than the energy we give to weaknesses, self-doubts, or bad habits, then He will help us overcome the things which cause suffering in our lives,” said Sister Jones. “He saves us from ourselves.

“May we, as sisters, ‘Be faithful in Christ; … may Christ lift [us] up, and may his sufferings and death, … and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in [our minds] forever’ (Moroni 9:25). As the Savior lifts us to higher ground, we can see more clearly, not only who we are, but that we are closer to Him than we ever imagined.” (Watch Sister Jones’s full talk.)

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, speaks during the general women’s session of general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, encouraged LDS women to find joy.

“I pray that you will choose to lift up your voice and make your life a glorious symphony of praise, rejoicing in what the love of God, the wonders of His Church, and the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring to the world,” he said.

“Dear sisters, dear friends, if you find it difficult to hold fast to the iron rod and walk steadfastly toward salvation, if the laughter and ridicule of others who seem so confident cause you to waver, if you are troubled by unanswered questions or doctrines you don’t understand yet, if you feel saddened because of disappointments, I urge you to remember Lehi’s dream,” he said. “Stay on the path! Never let go of the rod of iron—the word of God! And when anyone tries to make you ashamed for partaking of the love of God, ignore them. Never forget, you are a child of God.”

President Uchtdorf said the promises of praise and acceptance by the world are unreliable, untrue, and unsatisfying. In contrast, God’s promises are sure, true, and joyful.

“My beloved sisters, you can do this,” President Uchtdorf said. “I pray with all the affection of my soul that you will make the choice to press on toward the tree of life. I pray that you will choose to lift up your voice and make your life a glorious symphony of praise, rejoicing in what the love of God, the wonders of His Church, and the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring to the world.” (Watch President Uchtdorf's full talk.)

Sister Sharon Eubank

Sister Sharon Eubank, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, speaks during the general women’s session of general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Sister Sharon Eubank of the Relief Society General Presidency said righteous women have a significant part to play in building the kingdom in the latter days.

She shared five things women can do to “play our part” in the building of the kingdom on the earth: be righteous, articulate, different, distinct, and happy.

Sister Eubank reminded listeners that there is an energy that comes from happiness and optimism that blesses and builds everyone around them.

“I appeal to each of you to put yourself in a place where you can feel the generous love God has for you,” she said. “You cannot put yourself beyond the reach of that love. When you feel His love, when you love Him, you will repent and keep His commandments. When you keep His commandments, He can use you in His work. His work and glory is the exaltation and eternal life of women and men.

“The prophets are calling on us, my sisters. Will you be righteous? Will you articulate your faith? Can you bear being distinct and different? Will your happiness in spite of your trials draw others who are good and noble and who need your friendship? Will you turn on your light? I testify that the Lord Jesus Christ will go before us and be in our midst.” (Watch Sister Eubank’s full talk.)

Sister Neill F. Marriott

Sister Neill F. Marriott , Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, speaks during the general women’s session of general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Sister Neill F. Marriott of the Young Women General Presidency asked women to continually deepen their knowledge of and obedience to God. “Our relationship with Him is eternal,” she said. “We are His beloved children, and that will not change.”

Sister Marriott recognized that challenges can pull a person off their “course of happiness,” that is, if they allow trials to distract them instead of sending them to their knees.

“A matter of lasting value to the Father is that we learn of Him, humble ourselves, and grow in obedience to Him through earthly experiences,” she said. “He wants us to change our selfishness into service, our fears into faith. These lasting matters can test us to our core. It is now, with our mortal limitations, that the Father asks us to love when loving is most difficult, to serve when serving is inconvenient, to forgive when forgiving is soul stretching.

”How? How will we do it? We earnestly reach for Heavenly Father’s help, in the name of His Son, and do things His way instead of pridefully asserting our own will.”

“This living water will begin to fill us, and brimming with His love, we can tip the pitcher of our soul and share its contents with others who thirst for healing, hope, and belonging. As our inner vessel comes clean, our earthly relationships begin to heal.” (Watch Sister Marriott’s full talk.)

Attendees line up in the rain for the general women’s session of general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Attendees sing during the general women’s session of general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

A combined Summit and Wasatch County choir sings during the general women’s session of general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, sing during the general women’s session of general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

 

Attendees line up in the rain for the general women’s session of general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Attendees line up in the rain for the general women’s session of general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

A combined Summit and Wasatch County choir sings during the general women’s session of general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Elder Jeffery R. Holland, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, and Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles sing during the general women’s session of general conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.