Sister McConkie: The Words We Speak
Contributed By Carol F. McConkie, Young Women general presidency
- To speak with the tongue of angels simply means to speak by the power of the Holy Ghost.
- Encourage and teach young women to feast upon the words of Christ so that they may gain understanding and knowledge by the Spirit.
- The Lord needs the voices of faithful young women; he words they speak in faith and in humility are a testimony of truth.
“Sisters, do you realize the breadth and scope of your influence when you speak those things that come to your heart and mind as directed by the Spirit?” —President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
In a glorious call to action to the sisters of the Church, President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles instructed during the October 2015 general conference, “The kingdom of God is not and cannot be complete without women who make sacred covenants and then keep them, women who can speak with the power and authority of God!” He then asked this question: “Sisters, do you realize the breadth and scope of your influence when you speak those things that come to your heart and mind as directed by the Spirit?” (“A Plea to My Sisters”).
Our young women interact with many who struggle with personal, social, and moral issues. They encounter spurious and emotionally charged messages about the Church, its leaders, and its doctrines. Some have family members and friends who are wavering in faith or who simply have questions about the Church and its standards. As parents and leaders we can help young women understand that they have the capacity to do, as President Nelson taught, and “access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers and … express their beliefs with confidence and charity” (“A Plea to My Sisters”).
Young women can speak with the power of God because they have been baptized, received the Holy Ghost, and consistently strive to live worthy of His companionship. The prophet Nephi taught, “I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel” (2 Nephi 31:13).
Speak by the power of the Holy Ghost
To speak with the tongue of angels simply means to speak by the power of the Holy Ghost. As Nephi explained, “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost” (2 Nephi 32:3). By virtue of the covenant we have made, each of us can speak by that same power. Like angels, we may declare the glad tidings of the gospel of Christ.
We may deliver messages of peace that edify the children of God, increase understanding, and inspire those who will listen to act in accordance with the will of the Lord. As we speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, the power of the Holy Ghost carries the message unto the hearts of those who will hear (see 2 Nephi 33:1). Young women must understand that wherever or whenever we speak, whether at home, at church, at school, or in the community, whether in person, on paper, in public, by phone, or on social media, “our words, like our deeds, [must be] filled with faith, hope, and charity” (For the Strength of Youth [booklet, 2011], 20).
We are accountable for the words we speak. Our words will condemn us if we are not careful to observe the commandments of God (see Mosiah 4:30). There is no place for gossip, vulgarity, swearing, or profanity in our conversations. We do not engage in “doubtful disputations” (Romans 14:1) or disagreements over personal opinions. We listen carefully to questions and concerns and show respect for those who may believe differently. We nourish one another with the good word of God (see Moroni 6:4). And on social media, we “follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another” (Romans 14:19).
Speak the words of Christ
“Angels … speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, … feast upon the words of Christ” (2 Nephi 32:3). President Nelson declared, “We need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation.”
Parents and leaders, encourage and teach young women to feast upon the words of Christ so that they may gain understanding and knowledge by the Spirit. By study and by faith, the laws and commandments of God are written in their hearts (see Mosiah 13:11). Then when they open their mouths to speak, they speak with the power and authority that comes from God. They speak with the tongue of angels.
When young women speak the words of Christ by the Spirit, their words can have power to help others feel the love of God, strengthen faith in Jesus Christ, and find answers to their questions. Their words bless others with enlightening, ennobling, and uplifting influence. Perhaps the most important words they speak will be to invite others to come unto Christ and find peace and joy in the blessings of His gospel. Young women can stand up and speak out in defense of true principles with loving kindness when they speak the words of Christ.
The Lord needs the voices of faithful young women. They do not have to know everything about the gospel of Jesus Christ to share the things that they do know. The words they speak in faith and in humility are a testimony of truth. Our young women take their place in the kingdom of God as they keep their covenants and speak the words of Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost their words may touch the hearts of friends and loved ones, that they may be “edified and rejoice together” (D&C 50:22).