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Legion are the stories of unsung heroines

- Committed to serve Lord

- Need help, encouragement- Need understanding

"Legion are the stories that could and need to be told of women valiant in their testimonies of Jesus Christ who are unsung heroines in our midst," Elder Wayne M. Hancock said Sunday afternoon.

In his first conference address since being sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy last April, Elder Hancock said: "Amongst these noble women are those who through the tragedy of divorce or untimely death of a husband are of necessity required to take on the additional challenge of employment to provide for family and self.

"Though physically and emotionally exhausted upon returning home each day, she resumes her most important role of feeding, teaching, encouraging, correcting and loving her children so that they are nurtured in mind and spirit to be socially responsible, financially self-sufficient and committed to serving the Lord."

These challenging burdens, Elder Hancock explained, are frequently overlooked and not understood by those of a two-parent family orientation. "Wise are the bishop, priesthood leader and Relief Society president who ensure that carefully selected home and visiting teachers are given the opportunity to assist her with her children's needs and home maintenance. Their regular messages and visits bring hope and encouragement so often when most needed."

He spoke of family-devoted women, single or married, who have been unable to have children, and also of "women of misfortune, laden with despair, sorrow, lack of love of home, or the guilt and consequences from having trodden in forbidden path, away from the community of the saints where succor can be provided. They await being befriended by one in whom they can confidently place their injured trust and who can restore their self-esteem and tenderly accompany them back to truth and light."

Elder Hancock referred to women who join the Church without family support and of the "patient woman whose husband is a good man, but has not yet shared her need for him to return to or join the Church and bring the blessings of the priesthood into their home and family. She quietly but fervently prays for that good Samaritan in the Church who can uniquely reach out and relate to her husband in a Christlike way to lead him to the Church where he can feel welcomed, needed and loved."

In closing, he encouraged listeners to better understand and be sensitive to such sisters as was the Savior who "instinctively sensed the touching of the hem of His garment and the faith of a long-diseased woman behind Him. As Jesus said to her, so may our actions affirm to our noble sisters: `Daughter, be of good comfort.' " (Matt. 9:22.)