An invitation to attend a Life Seminar in Northern Tasmania was a great opportunity for two Relief Society sisters to mingle with others in our community who share the same beliefs and goals for families and children. Members Gail Challis and Tania Honey gladly accepted the invitation from Claire Van Ryn, writer of the religious column for the Examiner newspaper, to participate in a full day of discussion and activity centred around the right to life for children and the support services that are available for women and their babies.
Paul O’Roarke, Gail Challis, Tania Honey,
Claire Van Ryn and Ciona Gerke
The day was run by the organisation Emily’s Voice, and the CEO, Paul O’Roarke was one of the keynote speakers. Their website states,
“Motivated by love, Emily's Voice seeks to change culture through a relentless, truthful and yet sensitive and hopeful national media campaign that inspires Australians to fall in love with the unborn and support women and families facing an unexpected or crisis
One of the exciting things that really impressed both Gail and Tania was the knowledge that each person who attended the seminar that day was a practicing Christian. The day began and ended with a prayer of thanksgiving for the life and love that Christ has for each of us, and how His power can be manifest in our lives if we will accept Him.
Noeline Booth, from BabyMum, a community
organisation that provides 24/7 support,
outreach programs and education for pregnant
and new mums. Their aim is to make
a better life for baby and mother.
They were able to participate in discussions about the health and well being of women and how Relief Society, the women’s organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, meets those needs. They were able to use The Family, A Proclamation to the World to share the vision of the church regarding families and their importance to our Father in Heaven.
Guest speakers included three brave women who shared their stories of grief and trauma after making the heartbreaking choice to terminate their pregnancies. All stated that if just one person had reached out to them in love and supported their desire to keep their child, life would have been so different.
The support services that attended all had one goal: to give unconditional love to all women throughout their pregnancies. All stated that counselling is essential. We must provide sincere, loving, wise counsel as parents and leaders. We need an understanding heart. The overall message of the day was that Heavenly Father loves us, forgives us. That is what his Atonement is all about.
Gail and Tania made many friendships that day and links to community organizations that can support women.
NB. Paul’s full keynote address can be accessed through the following link: Keynote address