To Uplift and Inspire: Rise Up in Strength, Sisters in Zion

This woman is who I want to be when I’m a mom. She just embodies the grace, strength and warmth I want as a mother. So super fun. And I’m so glad to be so flush with talks again–although I’ll admit I have yet to listen to 1.5 of the sessions (I was at work for one and totally fell asleep halfway through another). I’ll get there, though, and in the meantime I can talk about the favorites I did catch (of which there were many!)

I suppose I should also explain–General conference came again! It comes every six months (thank heavens! I need it at least that often) and so I have a whole new round of talks to go through. Today’s comes from the general women’s session, given by Bonnie L. Oscarson, the Young Women’s General President. It’s titled Rise Up in Strength, Sisters in Zion.

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“Sisters, we live in “perilous times.””

“Moroni says he has seen our day, and it includes wars and rumors of wars, great pollutions, murders, robbing, and people who tell us that there is no right or wrong in God’s eyes. He describes people who are filled with pride, caught up in the wearing of expensive clothing, and who make fun of religion. He is shown people who are so obsessed with worldly things that they allow “the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by”3 without being noticed.”

“Moroni asks a soul-searching question of us—we who are living in these times. He says, “Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ?”4 This indictment accurately describes the increasingly secular condition of our world.”

“Sisters, I don’t believe that conditions are going to improve going forward. If current trends are an indication, we need to be prepared for the storms that lie ahead. It would be easy to throw our hands up in despair, but as covenant people we need never despair.”

Let me repeat that for you.

“It would be easy to throw our hands up in despair, but as covenant people we need never despair.”

“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. We need women who can detect deception in all of its forms. We need women who know how to access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers and who express their beliefs with confidence and charity. We need women who have the courage and vision of our Mother Eve.””

“despite the conditions of our day, we have many reasons to rejoice and be optimistic. I believe with all of my heart that we sisters do have the innate strength and faith that will allow us to meet the challenges of living in the last days.”

“we need to acknowledge the centrality of God our Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, to our faith and salvation. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. We need to study and understand His Atonement and how to apply it daily; repentance is one of the greatest blessings each of us has to stay on course.”

“Second, we need to understand the need for the restoration of the doctrine, organization, and keys of authority in these latter days. We need to have a witness that the Prophet Joseph Smith was divinely chosen and appointed by the Lord to bring about this restoration and recognize that he organized the women of the Church after the organization that existed in Christ’s Church anciently.”

“And third, we need to study and understand temple ordinances and covenants. The temple holds a place at the very center of our most sacred beliefs, and the Lord asks that we attend, ponder, study, and find personal meaning and application individually”

“Sisters, even the very youngest in this audience can rise up in faith and play a significant role in building the kingdom of God. Children begin gaining their own testimonies by reading or listening to the scriptures, praying daily, and partaking of the sacrament in a meaningful way.”

“Young women of the Church need to see themselves as essential participants in the priesthood-directed work of salvation and not just as onlookers and supporters. You hold callings and are set apart by those holding priesthood keys to function as leaders with power and authority in this work. ”

“All women need to see themselves as essential participants in the work of the priesthood. Women in this Church are presidents, counselors, teachers, members of councils, sisters, and mothers, and the kingdom of God cannot function unless we rise up and fulfill our duties with faith. Sometimes we just need to have a greater vision of what is possible.”

“Our youth are being exposed to difficult questions on a daily basis, and many of us have loved ones who are struggling to find answers. The good news is that there are answers to the questions being asked.”

“I worry that we live in such an atmosphere of avoiding offense that we sometimes altogether avoid teaching correct principles.”

“Certainly, sisters, we need to use sensitivity, but let us also use our common sense and our understanding of the plan of salvation to be bold and straightforward when it comes to teaching our children and youth the essential gospel principles they must understand to navigate the world in which they live.”

“I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I am eternally grateful for the direction, power, and daily help I receive as a covenant daughter of God. I testify that the Lord has blessed us, as women who live in these perilous times, with all of the power, gifts, and strength that are needed in order to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that we may all see our true potential and rise up to become the women of faith and courage our Father in Heaven needs us to be. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

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Powerful words. Even just reading them, I can see the dignity and strength with which she carries herself. It was even better to hear her give the talk herself. That is a woman with the Spirit of the Lord. #momgoals (someday when I have kids).

Thanks for reading,

Cozybooks

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