Some thoughts on General Conference and the joy I feel to be a Mormon woman

General conference is upon us in two days. Two days, people. Around here this is as exciting as Christmas. The other day, Grant (10) said, “Mom, I wish we could blip ahead 3 days so it would be general conference already.” Me too, son, me too.

I have two things I want to say about general conference because they are the ideas that are burning the brightest in my heart right now every time I think about this biannual event.

1. We have a living prophet! A. LIVING. PROPHET. I just can’t wrap my heart around how blessed I feel to know that our Father in Heaven still communicates with us today. He knows our day, our times, and the circumstances of our lives. He loves us and wants to help us navigate this scary world with the tools that will help us to succeed and to avoid sorrow and sin. And when I say “We” have a living prophet, I don’t just mean the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I mean THE WORLD. Just as in ancient days, God sends prophets and apostles to declare his gospel to the whole world. Just yesterday I read this quote and a “Wow!” went off in my brain:

“In the [several] two-hour sessions … , truths were taught, doctrines expounded, exhortations given, enough to save the whole world from all its ills—and I mean from ALL its ills. A rather complete education in eternal verities was given to millions with a great hope that there were ‘ears a’hearing and eyes a’seeing and hearts a’throbing,’ convinced of truth.” –President Spencer W. Kimball

In the class I teach, we recently read this story about Hugh B. Brown. My students loved the way he logically drew attention to the need for continuing revelation:

President Hugh B. Brown (1883–1975) of the First Presidency described a conversation he had with a member of the British House of Commons and former justice of the Supreme Court of England, who was not a member of the Church, about the need for living prophets and the revelation they receive:

“[I said,] ‘I am submitting to you in all seriousness that it was standard procedure in Bible times for God to talk to men.’

“[He responded,] ‘I think I will admit that, but it stopped shortly after the first century of the Christian era.’

President Hugh B. Brown

President Hugh B. Brown

“‘Why do you think it stopped?’

“‘I can’t say.’

“‘You think that God hasn’t spoken since then?’

“‘Not to my knowledge.’

“‘May I suggest some possible reasons why he has not spoken. Perhaps it is because he cannot. He has lost the power.’

“He said, ‘Of course that would be blasphemous.’

“‘Well, then, if you don’t accept that, perhaps he doesn’t speak to men because he doesn’t love us anymore. He is no longer interested in the affairs of men.’

“‘No,’ he said, ‘God loves all men, and he is no respecter of persons.’

“‘Well, … then the only other possible answer as I see it is that we don’t need him. We have made such rapid strides in education and science that we don’t need God anymore.’

“And then he said, and his voice trembled as he thought of impending war [World War II], ‘Mr. Brown, there never was a time in the history of the world when the voice of God was needed as it is needed now. Perhaps you can tell me why he doesn’t speak.’

“My answer was, ‘He does speak, he has spoken; but men need faith to hear him.’

“Then we proceeded to examine what I may call a ‘profile of a prophet.’ …

“The judge sat and listened intently. He asked some very pointed and searching questions, and at the end of the interview he said, ‘Mr. Brown, I wonder if your people appreciate the import of your message. Do you?’ He said, ‘If what you have told me is true, it is the greatest message that has come to this earth since the angels announced the birth of Christ’” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1967, 118, 120; emphasis added; see also The Profile of a Prophet, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Oct. 4, 1955], 4–5, 8; or “The Profile of a Prophet,” Ensign, June 2006, 36–37, 39).

I invite you to tune in to what God is saying in our day by listening to prophets and apostles. General Conference is this weekend, Oct. 5 and 6, and will be broadcast live on KSL, BYUTV (available via Dish and DirectTV), and streamed on mormonchannel.org and lds.org. The four general sessions will be both days at 10 am and 2 pm, Mountain Daylight Time. (1 hour earlier in California, 2 hours later for east coast.) If you just want to tune in to one session, the Sunday morning one is your best bet because the prophet and president of the Church will give his address during that session.

Come listen to living prophets

2. We can get answers to our prayers and the concerns of our hearts as we listen to general conference. One of the reasons I love conference so much is that it recharges my spiritual batteries and prepares me to face the challenges of my life with more courage and determination. In the days leading up to conference, I spend time thinking about and praying about things I want to learn and questions I want to have answered. I can testify that, without exception, I have found what I need in the words of the conference speakers– sometimes the answers come in direct counsel, other times in quiet whisperings in my mind and heart as I listen, but the answers always come. I love this promise by Elder Holland and I believe it with all my heart.

conferenceisforyou-conference[See a two minute video about conference that includes this quote here.]

Finally, I love being a woman and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You may have caught wind of some noise in the news lately of a small faction of LDS women who feel some discontent because the men of the Church are ordained to the priesthood and they are not. I do not wish to disparage them or assume anything evil of them, but I want to state for the record that they represent a small minority among LDS women. The great majority of the millions and millions of women in the Church feel that their contributions, with or without any formal ordination, are equal and significant. We know of our value to God, His kingdom, and His church. We feel the great responsibility of our influence and power both within the Church, in our families, and in our communities. God’s daughters are no weaklings; He knows how to use us and puts great faith in us to further His work. And even though this small faction of dissent is a minority within the Church, they have every right to find answers to their questions, just as I do to my own personal questions. I can only assume that at general conference this weekend, whether directly or indirectly, the mind and will of God on this issue will be revealed as it has been many times in the past*. His doctrines will be reiterated and made clear. I hope that we can all listen with “ears to hear” and look for ways to apply these principles in our lives and personal testimonies. I recently came upon this quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley, and in light of some of these recent conversations, I was struck by how we are each given an equal opportunity to choose to sustain our leaders or not:

When President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) was sustained as the President of the Church, he explained the commitment we make when we sustain our Church leaders: “This morning we all participated in a solemn assembly. That is just what the name indicates. It is a gathering of the membership where every individual stands equal with every other in exercising with soberness and in solemnity his or her right to sustain or not to sustain those who, under the procedures that arise out of the revelations, have been chosen to lead.

“The procedure of sustaining is much more than a ritualistic raising of the hand. It is a commitment to uphold, to support, to assist those who have been selected.  …

“Your uplifted hands in the solemn assembly this morning became an expression of your willingness and desire to uphold us, your brethren and your servants, with your confidence, faith, and prayer” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 70–71; or Ensign, May 1995, 51; emphasis added).

This past weekend, we had the opportunity to hear from our general Relief Society presidency (the women’s organization of the Church) and they reiterated the great power and eternal blessings that come into women’s lives as we make and keep our covenants and participate in temple service. Our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, emphasized the love of our Heavenly Father and testified that it never changes. I personally have felt in my own life the power, the blessings, and the love that He offers to His daughters, and I am proud to be a woman in His Church.

*There are several talks that have addressed the matter of women and the priesthood directly, but this most recent one is my favorite as it concisely summarizes the doctrines and policies, as well as states clearly the importance and value of women in God’s work. It is called “Let Us Think Straight,” by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, given in August of this year. (You can read or watch the talk in its entirety here.)

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Women as Gospel Scholars

Women as Gospel Scholars

I am a gospel scholar. Not by the definition that means I’m some kind of an expert, but I am a student of the gospel. I love to study the scriptures and especially the words of living prophets. I love to take questions and issues and concerns in my life and do exhaustive research of all I can find that has been said by prophets about that particular topic. I am constantly amazed at how many of the answers I seek are THERE. They are just there if we look and study. Almost 20 years ago, I was walking through the BYU Bookstore on my way to class and I overheard Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s voice coming out of the speakers in the LDS book section. It was some kind of talk on tape (yep, tape) and this phrase jumped out at me and has remained with me ever since:

“We need more women who are gospel scholars and more men who are Christians.”

That charge has given me the reassurance that women can absolutely be gospel scholars– they can understand and teach the doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ; they can be wise scriptorians. And not only can we be gospel scholars, we should be.

Why study the gospel?

“Even though the eternal roles of men and women differ,… this leaves much to be done by way of parallel personal development—for both men and women. In this connection, I stress again the deep need each woman has to study the scriptures. We want our homes to be blessed with sister scriptorians—whether you are single or married, young or old, widowed or living in a family.

“Regardless of your particular circumstances, as you become more and more familiar with the truths of the scriptures, you will be more and more effective in keeping the second great commandment, to love your neighbor as yourself. Become scholars of the scriptures—not to put others down, but to lift them up! After all, who has any greater need to “treasure up” the truths of the gospel (on which they may call in their moments of need) than do women and mothers who do so much nurturing and teaching?” –President Spencer W. Kimball,” The Role of Righteous Women,” Oct. 1979

Or would you like some more recent encouragement? How about President Thomas S. Monson?

“You young women ask silently, ‘What can I do to insure my eternal joy? Can you help me?’ I offer [some] suggestions:

First, study diligently. All that has been said this evening points to the holy scriptures as an unfailing guide in our lives. Become acquainted with the lessons the scriptures teach. Learn the background and setting of the Master’s parables and the prophets’ admonitions. Study them as though each were speaking to you, for such is the truth. … Crash courses on scripture study are not nearly so effective as the day-to-day reading and application of the scriptures in our lives.” —“A Time to Choose,” April 1995

What to study?

Women as Gospel Scholars(1)

Don’t get me wrong. I have an unnatural love affair with the Internet and it is not inherently evil, nor does it need to be altogether avoided, but Google and blogs and forums should not be our primary resources when looking for truth. God is the source of all truth and He has promised us over and over and over again that if we knock we shall receive. He communicates with us through prayer and through his authorized servants (prophets, apostles, and leaders with stewardship to teach us). Start there. Search there. Authorized sources include:

    1. Scriptures/Standard Works (+ Related Church curriculum: Guides, Study Helps, Manuals). Watch the first few minutes of this talk by Elder Richard G. Scott and really think about the power that comes through scriptures. A great activity is making a list with two columns and fill them in as you listen:  1) What Scriptures Are, and 2) What Scriptures Do.Elder Hugh W. Pinnock instructed,

      What can we do to keep ourselves more in tune doctrinally with our Heavenly Father? There are [some] simple steps:

      … Second, study the scriptures with our family, with other members, and with friends, but also search the words of God in private contemplation. Search the scriptures as they relate to our priesthood, Relief Society, Sunday School, Young Women, and Primary lessons. Study the scriptures for additional enlightenment on how to be more happy and less frustrated in what only too often is at least temporarily a sad and dreary world. Every four years we are guided carefully through all of the scriptures in the adult curriculum of the Church. In a lifetime, each member can become a spiritual scriptorian instead of remaining a scriptural simpleton. How blessed we are to have our four books of scripture in editions that include efficient indexes, chapter headings, and other study helps such as the Topical Guide. —“Learning Our Father’s Will,” Oct. 1984

    2. Words of Living Prophets and Apostles. Sister Julie B. Beck taught the women of the Church the importance of knowing our heritage and understanding the strength of the women that preceded us. She testified,

      “Just as the sisters in the first Relief Society meetings received instruction from prophets and apostles, we study the words of Church leaders today.” — “Relief Society: A Sacred Work,” Oct. 2009

      I like to consider that the most recent conference edition of the Ensign is actually an extra section at the end of my Doctrine and Covenants and I should read it carefully. And often. I can’t say enough about how much I love and appreciate the general conference messages. Their teachings are timely, personal, and true. President Monson challenged each of us to study them:”May we long remember that which we have heard during this conference. I remind you that the messages will be printed in next month’s Ensign and Liahona magazines. I urge you to study the messages and to ponder their teachings and then to apply them in your life.” —“Until We Meet Again,” GC Oct. 2009

    3. (Here are a few of my favorite online resources for enhanced scripture study.) I think I’ll do a follow-up post and show the nitty-gritty of the kinds of information you can find on these sites. Here’s a hint: LOTS of awesome. But for now, I give you a list with links to some excellent gospel study sites.

      lds.org [search*]

      scriptures.lds.org

      gc.lds.org

      speeches.byu.edu

      scriptures.byu.edu

      mormonchannel.org (archives)

      byutv.org (search: discussions)

      si.lds.org

How to study?

  1. With faith. It’s okay to have questions. Questions begin the quest for answers; they make us knock. Moroni promises us that when we ask with real intent, we will know the truth. I love this discussion with Sister Beck where she sets forth an example of faith-based pattern for study and research.
  2. Obey. This is the hard part, but I’ve found that the more we obey what we learn, our capacity to learn even more is increased. Consider these scriptures:

    Alma 31:5          …The word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.

    Alma 32:27        But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

    John 7:16-17    Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

  3. Sacrifice. The best way I know how to describe this is simply making the time to study. The Red-Headed Hostess offered the following excellent suggestions on her blog, where she explains each one in greater detail:

Women as Gospel Scholars(2)

God has big plans for His daughters. I just know it. I believe there is great spiritual power in women that is sometimes latent inside us because we are not (to borrow an Elder Holland quote) “fanning the flame of our faith” as much as we can. But of this I am sure: Our power and influence is multiplied as we learn and apply the doctrines of Jesus Christ in our lives. President Kimball boldly shared a glimpse of what Heavenly Father expects of us:

“Study the scriptures. Thus you may gain strength through the understanding of eternal things. You young women need this close relationship with the mind and will of our Eternal Father. We want our sisters to be scholars of the scriptures as well as our men. You need an acquaintanceship with his eternal truths for your own well being, and for the purposes of teaching your own children and all others who come within your influence.” —“Privileges and Responsibilities of Sisters,” Oct. 1978

and finally,

“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world. . . . Thus it will be that female exemplars of the Church will be a significant force in both the numerical and the spiritual growth of the Church in the last days.”–The Role of Righteous Women,” Oct. 1979

So, my sisters, get your study on. We have a work to do and we need the Spirit to get it done.

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{This has been a collection of thoughts and resources I gathered as I prepared to teach one of my classes at BYU Education Week. I know it’s long. I hope it’s helpful.}

Children Are an Heritage of the Lord, by Ken Craig


By the last week of April, our plans for a November baby were in place, and the anticipation was settling in.

By the first week in May we knew a miscarriage was imminent.

It didn’t sneak up on us, but I’m not sure how you prepare for something like that. Katie knew something had been wrong for a few days, and was grappling with the possibility of a miscarriage long before I considered it. And even though she told me when her concern started, I dismissed it. I didn’t discount that something might be wrong, or insist that it wasn’t a miscarriage. But I held on to the thought, or maybe hope, that it was something else. Something less definite.

I don’t think I realized how much of that day for Katie was spent processing what was most likely happening or what could be happening or what she hoped wasn’t happening. As the husband, without the constant reminder that life is growing within me, I operated on the daily assumption that when Katie wasn’t telling me something, it meant that everything was fine; and when she did tell me something, I could take a moment to wish and hope it away.

I prayed often for Katie. More than morning and night. But I remember the palpable moment I realized that my prayers and supplications were subconsciously or maybe intuitively always for Katie, and not necessarily the baby. And I think that’s when I started to slowly, but not out loud, accept what was already impressing upon me in small waves.

This baby was not coming.

Over the next few days, we didn’t discuss it much.  I didn’t understand what might be happening, so I didn’t know what to prepare for. I would often hug her and ask, “Are you okay?”

She would look away, distracted, dealing with her own feelings. “Yes,” she said simply, and moved on with her tasks.

It seemed so ineffectual, merely asking if she were ‘okay.’  I wished I could tell her what was really in my heart.  I wanted to say, “I’m so sorry this is happening to you.  I’m so sorry I can only stand here completely helpless and watch you emotionally dragged and quartered.  I’m sorry I don’t know how to make this all go away and heal your body and strengthen your soul.  Please tell me what I can do to show my concern.  Please tell me that you’re not ‘okay,’ but that if I were to do this or that, you would be.  And please, please don’t let me go through this by myself.”

Then, late one evening, Katie asked me for a priesthood blessing. I knew the request was time-sensitive, so I immediately called a close friend and asked him to come assist me in administering to my wife.  As I placed my hands on Katie’s head, I could feel how loved she was by her Father in Heaven.  How known she was.  How important.

I waited for the clarity to come that all would be well with the baby, but it wasn’t happening.  I waited longer.  Never had I struggled more against the impulse to mix my emotions with the revelation I was receiving on somebody’s behalf.  Everything in me wanted to tell Katie that she would be blessed to give birth to a beautiful baby and her body would heal.  Life would be as wonderful as she hoped.

But those impressions never arrived.  I found myself making all kinds of additional promises to Father, if only He would grant us this one blessing.  But I knew what needed to be said.  I felt impressed to promise Katie that this experience would draw her closer to Him, that whether a baby came or not, she would be at peace in her heart and mind, and in her soul.  Somehow, that knowledge brought me a degree of hope that I had not anticipated.

The next morning Katie seemed remarkably calm. Not carefree, but peaceful. She said she knew this pregnancy would not develop into a child. And she felt calm and comforted by the blessing. I could see that she was blessed with understanding and insight. I felt reassured by her confidence. My feelings up to that morning had truly been focused on Katie’s well being. A miscarriage would affect her physically, as well as emotionally and mentally. My understanding and acceptance of what was happening were a direct response to hers; I was relieved at her confidence and was now determined that everything would be fine. If Katie was at peace, so was I.

Right?

Wrong.

I left for work that morning, hoping that the background noise of the radio would provide a needed distraction during my commute.  I was ten minutes into my drive when the world suddenly slowed down and my mind became singularly focused.

I began to process my own reaction to the reality that a child I was anxious to know and love would not be arriving. I felt like I was going to miss the chance to meet somebody who would have affected my life in a beautiful way…and there was no way to retrieve that specific opportunity.  Suddenly, I felt swallowed up in sadness.  I wasn’t angry or resentful.  I didn’t feel cheated or that life was unfair.  I just felt sad.  And that sadness enveloped me.

The radio became so hushed I just turned it off.  I became unaware of other cars, other drivers.  The air was still and stifling, and I felt energy draining off me like steam.  When I arrived at the office, I pulled into the parking lot and sat in my car, no initiative to leave my seat.

My emotions are very near the surface under even the most benign circumstances; so with the profound sadness I was experiencing, I found that I was crying, quietly.  I wasn’t overwhelmed with emotions, nor did I feel that my exterior was cracking. But I knew that I didn’t feel like talking about what was going on.

I worked half the day and then left for an ultrasound appointment with our midwife. As Katie and I drove to the office, our conversation included speculations from one side of the spectrum to the other. From “Maybe I was never pregnant?” to “What if we’re completely off and everything is okay?” But when the ultrasound showed what we had already suspected, that a miscarriage was imminent, we weren’t startled. That sadness briefly stung my heart again, and I studied Katie’s face, searching for any detectable sorrow. I thought I could see it, but it was buried under a brave, accepting face, so I didn’t say a word to her. I felt like speaking would have pulled the foundational block out from under her pyramid of strength, and her calm exterior might have given way. And that just seemed unnecessary. So I simply squeezed her hand.

We drove home somewhat oddly comforted in knowing for certain where we were at, physically. We didn’t say anything to anybody else, as we hadn’t told anybody yet, not even our parents. The next couple of days were just watching and waiting, but brought us closer. I felt conscious of Katie and what was going on inside her.

At the end of that week, my parents were set to arrive at our house for the weekend, and literally, as I heard my kids squealing that Grandma and Grandpa were here, Katie found me and told me that it had just happened. She cried a light, heartfelt sigh of relief, finally feeling that she had turned a page and felt closure from a long, uncertain experience. I hugged her so close I wasn’t sure if my hug was sustaining her or vice versa.

I walked outside and met my parents at the car. I hugged them, helped grab their stuff, and then told them a little about what the last week had been like. I wanted to let them know so they could be sensitive to Katie.

My dad and I were taking my boys camping for the night, and Katie and my mom and the girls had planned to do a Girls’ Night at home. As Katie went into the kitchen to start their special dinner, my mom pulled Katie in to her and said, “Don’t you worry about dinner. We’re going out. Let’s take it easy tonight.”

I watched Katie melt into my mom’s embrace, crying. Of course it was more than the promise that she wouldn’t have to cook dinner. It was being understood, being cared for. It was the profound link between women, between mothers. It was an answer to prayer and the fulfillment of a blessing.  My mom had had a miscarriage between my two youngest brothers and so understood much more deeply than I, though I wanted to. And Katie felt that. I will always be grateful that my mom was there; that she is exactly who she is, with the instincts that she has, and the love she’s had for Katie since day one.

As I thought about that moment I realized how many people I know and love who have had miscarriages. But for how common they are, rarely are they discussed. I imagine it’s because the event may be common, but the experience is personal. It was for us. It seems like a very private grieving; mourning the loss of possibilities, of plans.

We have since added a seventh child to our little family.  Like her brothers and sisters, she has added a measure of joy to our lives that goes beyond expression.  We’re grateful for her sweet spirit in our home.

I’ll always remember that touch of sadness that accompanied that unique experience of ‘what might have been.’ But through it all, I knew Heavenly Father was mindful of us, that he was aware of our anxiety, our sorrow. And I know He is aware of our unwavering gratitude for the blessing of family.

‘Children are an heritage of the Lord,’ the Psalmist writes. I couldn’t agree more.

Ken Craig is an account executive for SealSource International as well as a small business owner. He has a passion for writing, which he discovered when he began writing comedy sketches in college as a founding member of BYU’s first comedy troupe, The Garrens. This is also where he met and married his wife, Katie. Ken serves as a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he resides with his wife and their seven children.  Their family adventures are featured in Ken’s blog, “The Craig Report,” and he is also a contributing writer to www.parttimeauthors.com.

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Today there is a “Blog Hop” about the Family Proclamation. Please share your own feelings or testimony or inspiring thoughts on your blog.  Then go to any of these other hosting blogs and leave a link to your blog post at the bottom of the posts there. You will find a “Mr. Linky” tool, where you can enter in your information and direct us all to what you wrote.  Go on now; I’m excited to read what you have to say.

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GCBC Week 7: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus” by President Dieter F. Uctdorf

Did you get your conference Ensign in the mail?  Yay.  Now you can curl up on the couch and read the talks with the Ensign in hand, not to mention the joy of marking them up.  This week we will study President Uctdorf’s talk.  I loved the message of moving forward with faith and not getting hung up on doubt or hesitation.  I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this one.

“Waiting on the Road to Damascus” by President Dieter F. Uctdorf

What stood out to you as you read?  In what ways do you think he’s asking us to apply this message?  Share your thoughts and conversation in the comment thread below.  If you’re new to GCBC, check out the club here.

GCBC Week 6: “LDS Women Are Incredible!” by Elder Quentin L. Cook

Happy Mother’s Day!  It’s a day to be honored for doing honorable work.  One breakfast in bed or homemade card is not enough to thank mothers for all the work they do day in and day out, but it’s a lovely gesture that helps us know our work doesn’t go unnoticed.  So while the talks at church (and this talk here) gush about all the great things that women and mothers do, suppress the urge to feel guilty about what you wish you did better (No, really.  Stop it.), and celebrate all the amazing things you do.  Celebrate your remarkable role as a woman and mother in the kingdom of God.  You really are incredible.

“LDS Women Are Incredible!” by Elder Quentin L. Cook

Share your thoughts in the comments below.  If you’re new to GCBC, check out the club here.

GCBC Week 2: Priesthood and Handmaidens

General Conference Book Club Week 2:



It’s time to get this party started. In an effort to simplify my life a little bit, we’re going to go through the talks this time in order, from Saturday morning session all the way through to Sunday afternoon session.  (As much as it pains me to skip them, we’ll leave out the Priesthood session and the Young Women’s Broadcast –which was SO great– so please make time to study them on your own.  You won’t regret it.)  I’m actually starting off this round with two talks.  It’s only because there will not be enough weeks to fit in every single talk by the next General Conference in October, and it seemed fitting to begin with a little extra “umph” while we’re still riding high off of our Conference momentum.  Plus these two talks fit so harmoniously together– each focuses on the potential power that men and women have as they fulfill their individual roles with righteousness.  I loved both of these talks, and many of you mentioned in the comments how touched you were by Sister Beck’s message.  Hers is a fantastic talk for mothers.  So come on, everyone.  Grab your testimony by its britches and study and ponder these talks this week.  Share your thoughts, insights, questions, and testimony below.

Go here to find the media versions of the talks (audio, video, mp3, etc.).  If this is your first visit to the General Conference Book Club, you’re just in time.  Click here to learn how it works, and welcome.