Friday, 11 April 2014

Devonport Stake women receive strength and relevation from General Women's Meeting

In sacrament meetings across the stake on Sunday 6 April 2014, a letter was read inviting all members to "gather together" to participate in the General Women's Meeting and General Conference rather than watching them from home. The letter reiterated the Lord's promise in D&C 110:21-23 that as the stakes of Zion "gather together, and stand in holy places," they would be blessed with strength and revelation, blessings that will be necessary to realise our stake vision. This promise was fulfilled in abundance that evening at the General Women's Meeting, as Paige Triffitt reports...

On the 6th of April 2014 Devonport Stake women aged 8 upwards, came together to watch and listen to the 2014 General Women’s Meeting of this years 184th General Conference. It was the first time that this meeting has included girls aged from 8 to 11 and what a special meeting it was. Not only was it so nice to see so many women there but also the number of babies as well! I think all generations were represented at this meeting and what a wonderful sight it was.

The thing that always stands out to me and touches me the most is not so much as what is said but what is sung. There were so many beautiful pieces played and sung by both choir and congregation. My first thought when the congregation of women started to sing the second verse of ‘Teach Me To Walk In The Light” (pg.177 Children’s Song Book or pg.304 Hymns) with the 8 to 11 year old girls standing, was how they sounded so much like angels. Never have I heard a more beautiful sound than the women of our stake as well as those in the recorded meeting, singing that song. Now I don’t know what angels sound like but I can bet it sounds pretty similar! It was such a wonderful spiritually uplifting meeting. And it was so nice to be able to sit there feeling of the spirit whilst eating Chico boys and Maltesers with my mum, sister and friends.

The Primary general president, Sister Rosemary M. Wixom spoke first. She spoke on how "Keeping covenants protects us, prepares us and empowers us.” As I was going over her talk I found so many wonderful quotes that I would love to share with you but there was one that stuck out to me the most. If I could I would quote her whole talk, I would quote all the talks given in that meeting! Quotes and music would have to be my favourite!  Sister Wixom said, “Tonight, we sang about walking the path in the light. As individuals we are strong. Together, with God, we are unstoppable.” What a wonderful statement, declaring that on our own we are strong but with the help of others and of God we can not be stopped no matter what comes our way.

Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson the Young Women’s general president, spoke on how we all need each other and how we are all sisters. It was really such a wonderful talk and I encourage all of those who have not watched, read or listened to it, and even those who have heard it to hear it again. She stated “We must stop concentrating on our differences and look for what we have in common.” The adversary does not want us to unite together as women as he knows just what we are capable of if we do just that. We must overcome our differences and prove that we can do it; we can work together as children of God and accomplish His will. At the conclusion of her talk Sister Oscarson invited us “…to not only love each other more but love each other better.” She then stated, “May we realise just how much we need each other, and may we all love one another better.” We do need each other, we need to build each other up and help everyone around us to stay on the straight and narrow path that leads to our goal as men and women of the church.

Next Sister Linda K. Burton the Relief Society general president addressed us. She talked about becoming Disciples of Christ. She said that we need to put the things of the world aside and to come unto Christ as that is what true disciples do. One of my favourite statements of the night was said by Sister Burton and it reads, “You have been sent to earth in this dispensation of time because of who you are and what you have been prepared to do. Regardless of what Satan would try to persuade us to think about who we are, our true identity is that of a disciple of Jesus Christ.” We have been chosen to come to earth at this time. We have been chosen to do the work of the Lord and we need to show Him that we can do it. We need to show Him that we can follow Him and live His commandments. We cannot let the world persuade us that we are not important as we know that “…the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;” (Doctrine and Covenants 18:10).

The last speaker of the night was President Henry B. Eyring, one of my personal favourites. He spoke again on covenants and how lucky we as women of the church are to have these covenants. He said “Only a few of His daughters have the opportunity in this life to even learn of those covenants. You are one of the favoured few. You, dear sisters, each of you, are a daughter in the covenant.” How lucky we are to be able to know that we have a loving Heavenly Father and to know the true Gospel. We have to share what we know so that we can help others lives to be filled with God’s love. President Eyring concluded his talk with this statement, “He sees not only what you are but what you may become. Because He loves you, He will provide the help that you need to move yourself and others upward along the way back to His presence.”

The evening concluded with a lovely supper provided by the auxiliaries. Sisters enjoyed renewing friendships and spending quality time with their families as captured in the accompanying photos.

I encourage all those who did not attend or have not watched this special meeting to do so. You will be blessed with the spirit and you will come to know of the importance of unity and covenants in our lives as women. I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed this meeting and how strong the spirit was.

You can watch the meeting below, or download the talks as text or audio/video at http://gc.lds.org.