Monday, April 2, 2012

A Tribute to Sister Julie B. Beck

I so enjoyed General Conference this weekend, though to be 100% honest I really only heard about 2/3rds of it. Jon and I are looking forward to some date nights this week when we can re-watch the talks we missed because of tantrums, poopy blow-outs, and other miscellaneous adventures! And even though life is crazy right now I just couldn't let this opportunity pass to publicly express my gratitude for Sister Julie B. Beck and her incredible service as the Relief Society general president.

You knew this was coming didn't you?

It is so strange but I knew several weeks ago that Sister Beck was getting released. We are getting so close to having our book done (it goes to the printer in a few days-- if it hasn't gone already) and I was thinking about how I'd like to take her a copy and say thank you for the guidance she gave us. As I was pondering about this I felt the spirit whisper to me that she was getting released. So when they were doing the releasings on Saturday afternoon and they panned over to where she was sitting I wanted to cry and scream "NO" (I actually think I did do that one)... but I wasn't surprised. I am grateful that the spirit prepared me for this because it may have been a lot harder for me if he hadn't.

I've made no secret of the fact that I have a great love and appreciation for Julie Beck. She has been the General Relief Society President for most of the time that I have been in Relief Society and I feel so much gratitude for her incredible leadership. She is an amazing woman, truly a modern day prophetess, and one of my greatest role models. In the post I wrote when I had the chance to meet with her I said that it would be fair to re-write the scripture about Captain Moroni and say,
" Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all [WOMEN] had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto [SISTER BECK] behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."

Really, she has been (and still is) my hero.

I feel that under her guidance that the "bar has been raised" for the Relief Society and that she has given LDS women a greater vision of our place and responsibility in God's work. I know that she has helped me better understand what it means to be a woman and what work God has for me to do on this earth. I can't even begin to count the many times that something she has said has been like a band-aid to my soul, answering hard questions that I have struggled with for years. I have the feeling that she sees and understands so much more than she can possibly share with us and I long to know what she knows and see what she sees.

That is a life journey I am looking forward to.

Thank you Sister Beck for a life full of Christ-like service and charity. Thank you for accepting the call to serve your God, even though I am sure it has been hard for you.

You have taught me to ask the hard questions and have faith that I will get answers.

I have asked. And I have received.

You will never know the impact you have had in my life. The only way I can think to repay you is to continue serving the God I know you love and the women around the world whom I know that both of you love.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Always,

Your sister in Christ

Heather

15 comments:

  1. Amen, sistah!

    I have felt, too, that Sister Beck is a prophetess. She has revealed things about womanhood and about our mission in the Relief Society that I never ever thought about before. I was very sad when I heard she was being released. I did look today and saw that, yes, she has been serving for 5 years, but it sure doesn't feel like it!

    I truly appreciate what she has done during her time as president and she has touched my heart in great ways. She is one my heros.

    The next president has great shoes to fill --- I look forward to learning more about her as I know that Lord is bringing in great women to help guide forward this awesome Relief Society organization.

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  2. I was so upset to see she was released. Love her. My hero too. So lovely you were able to meet her.

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  3. So many of us share similar feelings of love for Sister Beck. Thank you for your lovely tribute.

    tDMg
    Kathryn

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  4. During the opening prayer of that session this thought came to me: "She was called the year my oldest was born, and trend is that the presidency stays the same for 5 years, and that oldest turns 5 this year, so.... NO! She's getting released." And I started to feel sad. And then I was right. I wasn't surprised, but boy, did I cry. Felt so silly, but I sure loved her as the General RS President.

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  5. I loved your thoughts here. It is nice to have a hero, isn't it?

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  6. When I heard them release her, I immediately thought of you and wished I could hug you. I'm so relieved to know that you had been prepared in advance for the change. :-) Love you, and love Sister Beck.

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  7. She truly was for our day and time. It was her that was the catalyst for getting the book "daughter in my kingdom" put together and he understanding of women's roles and purposes with in the RS and priesthood were so powerful. She is my hero too!.

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  8. Beautiful tribute. Amen to it all!

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  9. Beautiful words and so true. We will miss you sister Beck!

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  10. I love her like you do and I loved this tribute to her. I cried Sunday morning as I just felt so sad and at such a loss with out her leadership and loving nurturing and tutoring across the pulpit. Now What? is really how I felt. I sat down to write her a personal letter, but knew that it is really discouraged. I never had the opportunity to meet her in person and realize I am one person of millions that love and will miss her. She is a hero in my life as well.

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  11. Wow, what a wonderful opportunity we have all had. I am glad that Sister Beck was the RS President for me in my first 5 years in the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS. When I joined this church, I wasn't so keen on "women's organizations", because in the world they are not as organized. But Sister Beck's strong testimony of the value of women in this church, and then teaching us to value ourselves, and to stand on the blessings of the priesthood, to joy in motherhood, even if some of us have no kids and to learn to love as a mother. I love that and I know we will benefit for a long time those teachings. I am looking forward to "meeting" the new President and her counsel. She also benefited from Sister Beck's leadership, and it can only get better. The strength of a leader is not theirs alone, but with the prayers and support of the congregation.

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  12. Sister Beck was called to be Relief Society president almost exactly one year before I entered. This was a marvelous tender mercy for me. I really felt that she was called straight out of the Young Women's Program into Relief Society just for ME.

    I don't remember when, but I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting, and did quite a bit of quoting 'Women Who Know'. After I gave the talk, my mother bore her testimony to me about the message I shared. She told me that if the message had come from any other woman in the ward, it would not have been so well received. I believe it was because I was SO NEW to Relief Society. I'm not sure I would have been confident enough to share what I shared without the familiarity I felt with Sister Beck because of her being such a big part of my Teenage years (all of them). The Lord truly knows what hes doing.

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  13. Thank you so much, Heather, for this post and this blog. It was through your blog that I first discovered and gained a love of the resources that are available to the women of the Church, and I also gained a love and appreciation for Sister Beck and the inspired leader that she is. I was so sad to see her go! I feel like I have really come to know and love her.

    I am a college student, and I have come to realize the importance of helping sisters my age know who they are and what their place is in the Lord's kingdom. I feel a great desire to carry on Sister Beck's legacy and help young women come to see the vision that she had.

    P.S. I know your friend Amanda (with the red curly hair)--we grew up together, and I was telling her how much I love your blog, and we discovered that she knows you! I hope I can meet you someday. :)

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  14. I have been on your site for 2 hours now... my foot has fallen asleep! :} I just can't read fast enough about all of these amazing women in the scriptures! I have enjoyed this "feast" of knowledge at 2 in the morning. I am excited to read from the scriptures and to liken them to myself - My new goal is to be a prophetess and always be ready to testify of the gospel and love of our dear Heavenly Father. Thank you for becoming one of my new heroes of great women today!
    Your Sister, Karen

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    1. Karen, I am so glad you found me. Thanks for your kind comment and I think your goal is a great one!

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