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‘We have so much to look forward to’: Women’s session focuses on preparedness, hope

President Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president, conducts the women’s session of the 190th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oct. 3, 2020.
President Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president, conducts the women’s session of the 190th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

SALT LAKE CITY — To help Latter-day Saint sisters feel ready for the future, President Russell M. Nelson drew upon three principles of preparation as demonstrated by a war hero in the Book of Mormon.

Directing his remarks to female members ages 11 and up, President Nelson acknowledged the challenges of our time and recounted the successful military strategies of Captain Moroni, chief captain of the Nephite army, who defeated the enemy by creating places of security, preparing the minds of the people to be faithful to God and never halting preparations.

President Nelson expressed confidence in the abilities of Latter-day Saint women.

“Your vigilance in safeguarding your homes and instilling faith in the hearts of your loved ones will reap rewards for generations to come,” the church leader said. “My dear sisters, we have so much to look forward to. The Lord placed you here now because he knew you had the capacity to negotiate the complexities of the latter part of these latter days. He knew you would grasp the grandeur of his work and be eager to help bring it to pass.”

Messages of temporal and spiritual preparation, to “Be of Good Cheer” and finding hope in Christ were among those shared during the Saturday evening women’s session of the 190th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

President Nelson called the 8 million sisters of the church “heroic” and thanked Latter-day Saint women for their efforts to care for their families, minister to others, transform homes into missionary training centers, study the “Come, Follow Me” curriculum and make millions of protective face masks.

While it’s important to be temporally prepared for unforeseen trials, President Nelson said he’s more concerned about spiritual and emotional preparation.

“I promise that as we create places of security, prepare our minds to be faithful to God and never stop preparing, God will bless us,” he said.

President Russell M. Nelson greets women leaders before the women’s session of the 190th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oct. 3, 2020.
President Russell M. Nelson greets women leaders before the women’s session of the 190th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Leaders of the Relief Society, Young Women and Primary organizations shared messages of unity, hope and the Savior’s healing power.

Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, discussed three suggestions for creating a “union of feeling” in the world, including the gift of mercy, making your boat “swing” like the 1936 gold medal University of Washington rowing team and to “clear away the bad as fast as the good can grow,” a reference to the allegory of the olive tree in Jacob 5.

“As covenant women, we have broad influence,” Sister Eubank said. “We have power to remove prejudice and build unity.”

Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, speaks during the women’s session of the 190th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.
Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, speaks during the women’s session of the 190th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Sister Rebecca M. Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, spoke about the Savior’s continuous pattern for change.

“As we repent and turn our hearts to him, we gain a greater desire to make and live sacred covenants,” she said. “We endure to the end by continuing to apply these principles throughout our lives and inviting the Lord to changes us.”

Sister Cristina B. Franco, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, told about ordering a new piano that was damaged during its delivery to her home. She likened the broken piano to how people can be healed through the power of Christ’s Atonement.

“As we come unto Jesus Christ by exercising faith in him, repenting and making and keeping sacred covenants, our brokenness — whatever its cause — can be healed,” she said.

While we all face tribulations, opposition and challenges, Latter-day Saints can find hope in the “heavenly counsel” and promise to always “Be of good cheer,” President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, said.

“In the midst of all this, we have that heavenly counsel to be of good cheer and to find joy in the principles and promises of the gospel and the fruits of our labors,” President Oaks said.

President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, cited scripture and the words of previous church leaders describing the essential role that Latter-day Saint women will play in preparing the church for Christ’s second coming.

“You will play a crucial part in the grand times ahead,” President Eyring said. “Sisters, you were given the blessing of being daughters of God with special gifts. You brought with you into mortal life a spiritual capacity to nurture others and lift them higher toward the love and purity that will qualify them to live together in a Zion society.”

President Bonnie H. Cordon, the Young Women general president, conducted the session.

The Tabernacle Choir at Tabernacle Square is not performing live at the the conference due to the pandemic. Recordings of choirs from previous conferences were used during the women’s session, including “As Zion’s Youth in Latter Days” from September 2015; “I am a Child of God” from September 2014; “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” from March 2017; and “More Holiness Give Me” from March 2016.

Sister Liz Darger, a member of the Young Women general board, gave the opening prayer. The closing prayer was offered by Sister Kathryn Reynolds, a member of the Relief Society general board.