Church Leaders Share Messages of Service, Virtue During General Women's Session

Church Leaders Share Messages of Service, Virtue During General Women's Session

Semiannual meeting is first session of general conference

News Story

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints focused on giving service, being virtuous and following Christ as hundreds of thousands of women, young women and girls 8 years old and older gathered around the world on Saturday, September 26, 2015, for the general women’s session of the 185th Semiannual General Conference. The session was held at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was broadcast live in 67 languages to Latter-day Saint chapels, on television and radio and over the Internet.

Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, general president of the Primary, spoke about discovering one’s divine destiny. “I testify that life is a gift,” she said. “Our divine nature has nothing to do with our personal accomplishments, the status we achieve, the number of marathons we run, or our popularity and self-esteem. Our divine nature comes from God.”

“We are able to take our validation vertically from Him, not horizontally from the world around us or from those on Facebook or Instagram,” she added.

Sister Wixom said, “The world needs you, and your divine nature allows you to be His trusted disciple to all His children. Once we begin to see the divinity in ourselves, we can see it in others.”

“Our bodies are sacred gifts from our Heavenly Father,” said Sister Linda S. Reeves, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, who centered her remarks on the importance of virtue. “They are personal temples. As we keep them clean and pure, we can be worthy to help our Heavenly Father create bodies for His beloved spirit children.”


She warned about the dangers of pornography and other “seductive” media and the misuse of social media.

“Many in today’s world are looking for instant gratification and instant knowledge on the Internet,” explained Sister Reeves. “In contrast, we will be exceedingly blessed if we exercise faith and patience and go to our Heavenly Father, the source of all truth, with our concerns. So many answers and assurances can come through daily searching and studying the scriptures and with sincere and pleading prayer, but there are no such promises for the Internet.”

“The righteous cause we serve is the cause of Christ. It is the work of salvation,” emphasized Sister Carol F. McConkie, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency. “Whether we are age 8 or 108 … we have a divine nature and we each have a glorious work to do.”

“Righteousness emanates out to the world when we understand what God wants us to do and then we do it,” she added. “We all experience times and seasons in our lives. But whether we are at school, at work, in the community [or] especially in the home, we are the Lord’s agents and we are always on His errand.”

“In the work of salvation there is no room for comparison, criticism or condemnation,” said Sister McConkie. “It is not about age, experience, or public acclaim. This sacred work is about developing a broken heart, a contrite spirit and a willingness to use our divine gifts and unique talents to do the Lord’s work in His way.”

“When we serve in the name of the Lord, with purity of heart, we reflect the Savior’s love and give others a glimpse of heaven,” she said.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, was the concluding speaker of the general women’s session, which is held twice a year. He shared a parable titled “A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose,” which offered a message of faith, hope and love. “As I pondered what I should say to you today, my thoughts turned to the way the Savior taught. It is interesting how He was able to teach the most sublime truths using simple stories.”

In the story, an 11-year-old girl named Eva spent the summer at her aunt’s house while her mother recovered from surgery. Though it was difficult at first, Eva learned to love her aunt, who, despite the fact that she lived alone in the countryside with her gray cat, “was quite possibly the happiest person [Eva] had ever known.”

“As you walk along your own bright path of discipleship, I pray that faith will fortify every footstep along your way; that hope will open your eyes to the glories Heavenly Father has in store for you; and that love for God and all His children will fill your hearts,” summarized President Uchtdorf. 

The session was conducted by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, general president of the Young Women. The general women’s session is the first of six general conference sessions. Music for the session was provided by a choir composed of women, young women and girls ages 8 and older from northern Utah.

General conference continues next Saturday and Sunday, October 3–4, at the Conference Center, with two-hour sessions each morning at 10 a.m. and afternoon at 2 p.m. (MDT). The general priesthood session will be held Saturday evening, beginning at 6 p.m. (MDT). All sessions will be broadcast over TV, cable and satellite as well as streamed live on the Internet. 

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.