Finding Joy in the Savior’s Plan

In September 1975, just after the United Nations declared a decade for women, a reporter was interviewing me about Latter-day Saint women. “Can you hold the priesthood?” she asked. “Do you feel Mormon women need to be liberated?” I felt confused, awkward, and unsure of my answers. After she left I pondered the questions she raised, determined to find answers for myself.

Today I wish that reporter would return. I would like to tell her that I know the gospel is true and that joy comes from following a plan where women and men have unique paths. Married or single, rich or poor, in the marketplace or at home, a woman finds joy by following the Lord’s commandments and bringing refinement and beauty into the world. Knowing this is so, why should we heedlessly pursue the philosophies of men?

President Kimball said, “Let us get our instruments tightly strung and our melodies sweetly sung. Let us not die with our music still in us. Let us rather use this precious mortal probation to move confidently and gloriously upward toward the eternal life which God our Father gives to those who keep his commandments.” (A Woman’s Choices, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1984, p. 97.)

No matter what our situation in life, we are a conduit for beauty. We must learn to sing our own song while life lasts, not to let others control the music of our lives or cover it up with a cacophony of noise.

We need not search for a woman’s place; we need only search for the Savior. He will show us the vision of our potential and help us find the joy that comes from being virtuous women.Wilma Gardner, Salt Lake City, Utah

[photo] Photography by John Snyder

Blessed by My Callings

When I was a single parent I had a full-time job that required many hours beyond the usual eight-hour-a-day commitment. So when I was called to be a counselor in the ward Relief Society presidency, I wondered how I could possibly add more to my schedule.

But I accepted the calling, and I found that I was able to organize my life as I never had before. I found time not only for my Church calling, but also for longer scripture study.

Later, the bishop called me to be the ward magazine representative and asked me to visit every home in the ward. After the interview, I cried all the way home, wondering how that calling could possibly have been inspired.

But it was. My nephew was living with us then, and he, my son, and I had not yet developed the family unity necessary for true gospel living. But as I enlisted their aid, “our” calling soon brought us together. We worked hard to reach our common goal and felt a great sense of accomplishment when we finished. The unity remained even after I was released.

Church callings are inspired. They help the person who receives the call to grow. A person who doesn’t have a strong testimony of a gospel principle may be called to teach that principle to others and may well receive a strong witness of the truthfulness of the principle as he or she teaches it.

Heavenly Father wants us to learn and practice gospel principles. Accept a calling with gratitude. The person who will be blessed most through your calling will be you!Joyce B. Stone, Clovis, New Mexico