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General Relief Society Meeting Highlights

Watch and read excerpts from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and the general Relief Society presidency from the September 2011 meeting.


 

 

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The Power of Knowing "Why"

My dear sisters, the gospel of Jesus Christ is not an obligation; it is a pathway, marked by our loving Father in Heaven, leading to happiness and peace in this life and glory and inexpressible fulfillment in the life to come. The gospel is a light that penetrates mortality and illuminates the way before us.

While understanding the “what” and the “how” of the gospel is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel springs from the “why.” When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living, when we remember why we committed to making it a foundational part of our lives, the gospel ceases to become a burden and, instead, becomes a joy and a delight. It becomes precious and sweet.

Let us not walk the path of discipleship with our eyes on the ground, thinking only of the tasks and obligations before us. Let us not walk unaware of the beauty of the glorious earthly and spiritual landscapes that surround us. 

My dear sisters, seek out the majesty, the beauty, and the exhilarating joy of the “why” of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The “what” and “how” of obedience marks the way, yes, and it keeps us on the right path. But the “why” of obedience sanctifies our actions, transforming the mundane into the majestic. It magnifies our small acts of obedience into holy acts of consecration. 

—President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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You Are Not Forgotten

As a child, when I would look at the little forget-me-nots, I sometimes felt a little like that flower—small and very insignificant. I wondered if I would be forgotten by my family or by my Heavenly Father. 

Years later, I can look back on that young boy with tenderness and compassion. And I do know now I was never forgotten.

And I know something else. As an Apostle of our Master, Jesus Christ, I proclaim with all the certainty and conviction of my heart and soul—neither are you!

You are not forgotten.

Sisters, wherever you are, whatever the circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you, with an infinite love.

—President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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A Symbol of Joy

Sisters, there is something inspiring and sublime about the little forget-me-not flower. I hope it will be a symbol of the little things that make your lives joyful and sweet. Please never forget that you must be patient and compassionate with yourselves, that some sacrifices are better than others, that you need not wait for a golden ticket to be happy. Please never forget that the “why” of the gospel of Jesus Christ will inspire and uplift you. And never forget that your Heavenly Father knows, loves, and cherishes you.

Thank you for who you are. Thank you for the countless acts of love and service you offer up to so many. Thank you for all that you will yet do to bring the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ to families, to the Church, to your communities, and to the nations of the world.

—President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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Make Temple Blessings the Great Goal 

I hope my granddaughters value the temple as did the sisters of the first Relief Society, who believed that temple blessings were the grand prize and great goal of every Latter-day Saint woman. I hope that, like early Relief Society sisters, my granddaughters will strive daily to become sufficiently mature to make and keep sacred temple covenants and that when they go to the temple, they will pay attention to all that is said and done.

Through the blessings of the temple they will be armed with power and blessed to receive the “key of the knowledge of God.”  Through the ordinances of the priesthood found only in temples, they will be blessed to fulfill their divine, eternal responsibilities, and they will promise to live as committed disciples.

I am grateful that one of the Lord’s primary purposes in organizing Relief Society was to give the women the responsibility to help prepare “for the greater blessings of the priesthood found in the ordinances and covenants of the temple.”

—Sister Julie B. Beck

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Ministering as the Savior Would

As committed disciples of the Savior, we are improving in our ability to do the things He would do if He were here. We know that to Him, it is our caring that counts, and so we are trying to concentrate on caring about our sisters rather than completing lists of things to do.

True ministry is measured more by the depth of our charity than by the perfection of our statistics. We will know we are successful as visiting teachers when our sisters can say, “My visiting teacher helps me grow spiritually,” “I know that my visiting teacher cares deeply about me and my family,” and “If I have problems, I know my visiting teacher will take action without waiting to be invited.”

Leaders who understand the importance of ministering to others will counsel together to seek and receive revelation about how to edify visiting teachers and how to organize and carry out an inspired ministry.

—Sister Julie B. Beck

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Let Your Hearts Expand

Speaking to the sisters, the Prophet Joseph said, “Don’t be limited in your views with regard to your neighbor’s virtues. You must enlarge your souls toward others if you [would] do like Jesus. As you increase in innocence and virtue, as you increase in goodness, let your hearts expand—let them be enlarged towards others—you must be longsuffering and bear with the faults and errors of mankind. How precious are the souls of men!” 

The scriptural declaration “Charity never faileth” became the motto of Relief Society because it embraces these teachings and the charge that the Prophet Joseph Smith had given the Relief Society sisters to “relieve the poor” and to “save souls.”

These foundational principles have been embraced by Relief Society sisters throughout the world, for such is the nature of the work of Relief Society.

—Sister Silvia H. Allred

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Keeping Covenants Brings Joy and Peace

Our beloved prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, told us in our last general conference, “As you and I go to the holy houses of God, as we remember the covenants we make within, we will be more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation. In this sacred sanctuary we will find peace; we will be renewed and fortified.”

Once again, “Lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.”  Keeping covenants is true joy and happiness. This is comfort and peace. This is protection from the evils of the world. Keeping our covenants will help us in times of trial.

I testify that as we have faith in Christ and cleave unto our covenants, we will receive the joy spoken of in the holy scriptures and promised by our latter-day prophets.

—Sister Barbara Thompson

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