I really enjoyed going to Women’s Conference this past week. It was fun to see my sisters, listen to the speakers, meet new people and learn from the talks.
I had a special treat on Friday when I met Kristin Klein from Alpine Klein Bunch for lunch. After reading her blog for over a year, enjoying her insights and admiring her beautiful photography, it was so much fun to meet her in person. Thanks Kristin for a wonderful time!!
I will write more about my sister’s presentation another time, but right now I want to comment on a few highlights for me from other talks.
I loved the talk given in the general session Thursday night. Sister Forste spoke about how we as women are frequently hard on ourselves, and never feel we are good enough, smart enough, thin enough, etc. In contrast, studies have shown that men are more content with who and where they are.
A study was cited where men and women were given a survey of 31 questions where they were asked to rank their level of performance in such areas as church attendance, scripture reading, etc. Although men ranked themselves lower than women in 26 of the 31 categories, when asked “If you were to die today, which kingdom of glory do you think you would inherit?”, most men said, “Celestial” while most women said one of the lower kingdoms.
I found that more amusing than anything else. And although we were encouraged to see ourselves in a more positive light, it struck me that Women’s Conference itself exists because women always want to do better. When I later asked some men if they would ever attend a “Men’s Conference” their response was, “No! Why would we want to go to another meeting?”
Another talk I enjoyed was by Sister Savage. She talked about building unity in marriage by keeping our baptismal covenant. I loved that. It is interesting to me that although we enter into the baptismal covenant individually, we renew the covenant each week as a group when we partake of the sacrament. That alone helps us to build unity with those in our families and church congregations.
But in applying the covenant specifically to marriage she made three main points.
1. When we covenant to “take His name upon us” we are covenanting to act as Christ acts. To do as He would do. If we remember that in our marriage relationship we will always be kinder, more loving, and more patient with our spouse.
2. When we covenant to “Always remember Him” we are covenanting to remember and apply His atonement in our lives. This means we are willing to sacrifice our will for the good of others. It means we are willing to forgive and to seek forgiveness.
3. When we covenant to “Keep His commandments” we are covenanting to always put the Lord first in our lives. And when we both put the Lord first, everything else becomes easier. We won’t have to argue over who is right, because we will always be trying to do what is right—according to the will of the Lord.
Another talk I LOVED was by Sister Elizabeth Ricks. She spoke on standing for truth and decrying evil. She told a story of a time when Sister Elaine Dalton, general young women’s president, was asked to address a gathering of 900 priesthood leaders. As sister Dalton walked into the room, all 900 men stood out of respect. Sister Dalton later commented that they were not standing for her, they were standing for womanhood.
I loved that. I wish we could always show that same degree of respect for womanhood and manhood, motherhood and fatherhood.
Sister Ricks went on to say that we can “stand” for righteousness in different ways. She told of Queen Esther who saved her people, Mary Elizabeth Rollins who rescued the pages of the newly printed “Book of Commandments” when scattered by a mob, a ten year old girl from Yemen named Nyrood, who stood against spousal abuse, Issac, Abraham’s son who was willing to be a sacrifice, and Joseph Smith, who was killed.
She then said, “Esther stood by kneeling, Mary Elizabeth stood by hiding, Nyrood stood by escaping, Isaac by lying and Joseph Smith by dying.
I thought that was beautiful and it left me with a greater desire to always stand for truth and righteousness in everything I do.