October 2011: General Relief Society Meeting

Tonight was the General Relief Society Meeting, a twice a year event for the women in my church.

I needed tonight’s session more than I needed the amazing dinner we had before the broadcast.  And I was really hungry and needed that dinner lots!  I found things that spoke to me in an instructive kind of way, lots that corrected me, and lots that simply guided me to ponder more on a certain subject.  It was very, very good for me.

And we had the feed in ASL for the first time EVER at our local Stake Center!  I cried!

I am sure my interpreters cried, too!

In response to advances in technology, and the live streaming of conference via social sites such as Twitter, the church has – for the first time – published clips and quotes from General Conference immediately following a session.  It’s so exciting, and such a miracle of technology.

CLICK HERE to see.

This is very exciting, as it means we can study the words and review what we learned much sooner in a physical sense.  However, I think it also makes us that much more accountable the more accessible it all becomes.  But this is a gift to us, and we celebrate it!

There was lots I learned, and much I wrote down to study and ponder and be ready to tackle in real life.  But here are some of the quotes made public already on the church website:

Sister Beck’s talk was profound, with deep doctrine and a sense of urgency, all layered in context for those not wanting to hear more.  She also reminded us:

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.

Sister Allred spoke of charity, and quoted Joseph Smith:

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!”

Sister Thompson testified of Temple blessings that help us:

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.”

President Uchtdorf’s poetic prose resonates with the women, and I was one of many who needed to hear this, which added a second witness to what Sister Beck had already said to us:

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.

He gave us 5 things not to forget:

(Created by We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ)

1.)  to be patient and compassionate to ourselves (we are too hard on ourselves; strive for what is good and righteous, but don’t make our expectations impossibly high; forgive ourselves; care for ourselves);

2.)  the difference between good and foolish sacrifices (don’t go overboard, doing a few small projects well is better than drowning in large projects or too many projects; serve within our means);

3.)  to be happy now, not just later (enjoy life; notice the little blessings we do have instead of focusing on negative things; instead of being too hard on ourselves, celebrate real accomplishments);

4.)  the why’s of the Gospel (the what’s and how’s will show you the path, but the why’s will keep you on it); and

5.)  that the Lord loves you.

This love-blessing was his closing to our session this night, the closing that made us weep.

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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About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


October 2011: General Relief Society Meeting — 1 Comment

  1. Oh Emily..This is a great write-up! I cannot believe that they have everything (transcripts and all) up and running…even video clips. Well, I can believe it, because I used to work in broadcasting, so I know it’s easy to do…but for the church to be doing it with such a quick turn-around. They are really on top of spreading the Lord’s word…so cool!

    I loved all of the talks…It was so dark in our chapel that it was really difficult to take notes, so I’m so glad I can go back and read them immediately! I loved the things that Sister Beck said about Visiting Teaching. Profound.

    And…we love sign language too. I’ve taught my kids using Signing Time videos ever since my first was a newborn. We love to sign! I was happy to see the signers in the choir last night. That choir was amazing!!! XOXO :)