Thousands Attend Mexico’s First-Ever LDS Women’s Conference

Contributed By Andrea Bradley de Ahedo, Church News contributor

  • 26 November 2015

Conference attendees pose for a photo during a 12-stake, first-of-its-kind women's conference in Monterrey, Mexico, November 15–16.  Photo by Andrea Bradley de Ahedo.

MONTERREY, MEXICO

In a first-of-its-kind event in Mexico, nearly 4,000 sisters of the 12 Monterrey LDS stakes came together November 15–16 for a women’s conference at the city’s Cintermex convention center. The theme of the conference was “Filling Our Homes with Light and Truth,” inspired by an April 2015 general conference talk by Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, first counselor in the Primary general presidency.

Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, speaks during a Sunday devotional as part of the LDS women's conference November 15 in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Dalene Griffin.

Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, poses with two conference attendees. Photo by Andrea Bradley de Ahedo.

During the Sunday devotional, Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, encouraged sisters to rely on the Savior as their source of light and truth. Recounting the story from Ether in which the brother of Jared was trying to resolve the difficulties of crossing the ocean, Sister Burton taught that although the Lord helped the brother of Jared find air and a way to direct the barge, He left it to the brother of Jared to find a source for light.

“The Lord wants us to be spiritually self-reliant,” she said. “He made the brother of Jared work and come up with a solution himself.”

Sister Burton challenged the sisters to commend themselves unto the Lord and exercise faith in a world filled with “mountain waves” (see Ether 6:4-6). “We need to do our part and then let the Lord lead,” she said, explaining that once the people of the brother of Jared had done their part, the Lord could then keep His promises and be the light they needed.

“If you doubt the love of our Savior Jesus Christ, read the Book of Mormon,” she said. “It is filled with love letters from our Heavenly Father. It will fill us with light, and we can use that light to bless our families and bless our communities.”

Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, speaks during a Sunday devotional as part of the LDS women's conference November 15 in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Andrea Bradley de Ahedo.

Elder Benjamin De Hoyos, Elder Paul B. Pieper, and Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela of the Seventy, who are serving as the Mexico Area Presidency, their wives, and Sister Denise P. Lindberg of the Young Women general board were also present for the pioneering event. Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president, and Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, sent words of love and encouragement in Spanish in a surprise video greeting shared during the devotional.

Sister Burton shares a a surprise video greeting from Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president, and Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president. Photo by Dalene Griffin.

Sister Guelida Salazar de Gonzalez, one of Mexico’s Mormon pioneers, recounted when there were only 4,000 members in Mexico. Sister Gonzalez was the wife of Monterrey’s first stake president and reminded sisters of the plain and precious gospel truths that stand the test of time.

Sister Guelida Salazar de Gonzalez, one of Mexico’s Mormon pioneers, speaks during the LDS women's conference November 15–16 in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Dalene Griffin.

Breakout sessions on Monday included mini classes on motherhood, family history, communication in the family, technology, decision making, and caring for the body, mind, and spirit.

“We all prayed that we could be an instrument to bless the life of others with the words we spoke,” said Grace Melendez, one of the workshop presenters. “There were many hugs given, tears shed, and smiles shared. We will be talking about this conference for years to come.”

One of the women's conference breakout sessions on Monday, November 16, in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Dalene Griffin.

The conference also included a colorful cultural program of dance and song through the ages performed by more than 50 dancers and 5 professional soloists from the Monterrey stakes and a Q&A session with Sister Burton, Sister Lindberg, Sister Evelia de Hoyos, and Elder Valenzuela of the Area Presidency.

Dancers from the colorful cultural program of dance and song through the ages performed by more than 50 dancers and 5 professional soloists from the Monterrey stakes. Photo by Dalene Griffin.

Dancers from the colorful cultural program of dance and song through the ages performed by more than 50 dancers and 5 professional soloists from the Monterrey stakes. Photo by Andrea Bradley de Ahedo.

Dancers from the colorful cultural program of dance and song through the ages performed by more than 50 dancers and 5 professional soloists from the Monterrey stakes. Photo by Andrea Bradley de Ahedo.

Sister Burton speaks during the women's conference Q&A session that also featured Sister Lindberg, Siser Evelia de Hoyos, and Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela of the Seventy and a member of the Mexico Area Presidency. Photo by Dalene Griffin.

Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela of the Area Presidency speaks during the women's conference Q&A session that also featured Sister Burton, Sister Lindberg, and Sister Evelia de Hoyos. Photo by Dalene Griffin.

Sister Elda de Gonzalez, director of the conference organization committee. Photo by Debra Diaz.

“May the Lord bless you even more and this wise and inspired counsel we have heard continue in your minds and in your hearts,” said Elder de Hoyos. “Please share it with your fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons.”

Sister Elda Gonzalez, who served as director of the conference organization committee, said she relied heavily on her team of 18 sisters from various stakes. “I never imagined the impact that this would have on our lives. Many hearts were softened and bonds of friendship were strengthened. … My soul is truly joyful knowing that the purpose of the conference was accomplished. My testimony has grown, and I know that our Heavenly Father loves us. I can say with complete surety as Nephi says, “For I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7).

“The conference was a truly spiritually enriching experience,” said Elizabeth Rodriguez Heredia, a recent convert. “I left feeling strengthened and motivated to improve my character and habits.”

“I participated in the choir, and the most beautiful part was the view of seeing so many daughters of God reunited,” said Sister Sarai de Góngora. “It reminded me and reaffirmed the great plan our Heavenly Father has for us, the importance of being women to strengthen our families and to help those who are in need.”

A choir performs during the “Filling Our Homes with Light and Truth” LDS women's conference November 15–16 in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Deborah Diaz.

In the months leading up to the women’s conference, sisters from the 89 Monterrey wards sewed baby bibs, hats, blankets, and mittens, donating 711 sets of the baby items to Hospital Regional Materno-Infantil de Alta Especialidad.

A photo of women posing with sets of baby bibs, hats, blankets, and mittens they helped sew, which were eventually donated to a local hospital, was displayed during the conference. Photo by Dalene Griffin.

A photo of women posing with sets of baby bibs they helped sew, which were eventually donated to a local hospital, was displayed during the conference. Photo by Dalene Griffin.

Close to 4,000 sisters attend the first-ever LDS women's conference in Mexico November 15–16, which took place in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Andrea Bradley de Ahedo.

Close to 4,000 sisters attend the first-ever LDS women's conference in Mexico November 15–16, which took place in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Andrea Bradley de Ahedo.

Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, poses with a conference attendee. Photo by Dalene Griffin.

Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, poses with a conference attendee. Photo by Dalene Griffin.

Close to 4,000 sisters attend the first-ever LDS women's conference in Mexico November 15–16, which took place in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Dalene Griffin.

Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, poses with conference attendees. Photo by Dalene Griffin.