Approximately 700 women learned more about this Hawaiian phrase while attending the annual women's conference held at the BYU-Hawaii Campus.
Translated, the words mean "striving for perfection," the theme of the three-day conference, which began May 4.General Primary Pres. Michaelene Grassli gave the keynote address. She focused on kulia ika nu'u, suggesting that people come closer to perfection when they accept their imperfections.
"Even the cleanest room is not totally free from dirt," she declared, "and there really aren't any perfectly happy people. Accepting this puts perfection into perspective.
"It is limited vision that keeps us from living life to its fullest," she continued. "The degree to which we achieve satisfaction and fulfillment in this life, I believe, is in direct proportion to our ability to focus on eternal perspectives. It has nothing to do with position, fame, wealth, accolades, or even degrees, as valuable and as positive as those things may be. But it has everything to do with love of God, love of fellow man, service, honesty, and morality."
Conference-goers chose from 65 workshops and lectures. with topics ranging from planning a meaningful retirement to choosing an eternal mate.
"We cover the whole spectrum," said conference chairman Jane Garside. "We offer something for spiritual, physical, social, psychological and educational concerns and interests."
The conference, which many non-members attend, is a highlight in many of the sisters' lives because they don't have easy access to this kind of instruction and association. "Some sisters tell me that the minute they get back to their islands, they start raising and saving money so they can attend the next year," Sister Garside explained.