"I love the image of our glorious Mother Eve receiving the Savior as He visits the spirit world with hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of her daughters standing behind her, ready and excited to receive the fullness of the gospel. Women who, even though we don't have their names, lived lives that put them on the same standing before God as the men who were in the congregation, great and righteous men like: Adam, Abel, Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Elias, Malachi, Elijah and the prophets of the Book of Mormon (D&C 138: 40-49) .
How I would love to get a glimpse of those women, to learn their names, to know their stories and to hear their testimonies of the Lord Jesus Christ... I look forward to the time when Christ will come for the second time and Eve will once again stand before God with ALL her faithful daughters and present them to the Savior. That will be one meeting I hope I get to be a part of!"
Then a few days later, after the general Relief Society Meeting, I wrote this post. In it I said:
"Last week I wrote about Eve and her faithful daughters and I remarked that I would LOVE to get a glimpse of these women. Well, God answers the prayers of our heart because during the broadcast I got that glimpse.
Imagine this place
the Conference Center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, filled to capacity with over 21,333 righteous women (and millions more in meeting houses around the world) standing and singing "How Firm a Foundation". Especially imagine them singing at the top of their lungs with tears streaming down their face (I'm sure I wasn't the only one crying) the last verse of the song,
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes:That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,I'll never - no, never, no, never forsake!
As I stood in my meeting house, more than 100 miles away from the Conference Center, and sang this hymn my mind was filled with images of women all over the world standing along side me and singing their devotion to Jesus Christ. I felt such a connection to these women and to the women on the other side of the veil whom I felt were standing with us. I realized that I was only one in the army of millions of faithful women-- past, present and future--whose testimonies of the gospel burn strong in their hearts and who are ready and willing to do all that God asks of them. I know that even though we are so far apart we are all bound together as sisters through the gospel of Jesus Christ. No matter where or when we live or have lived we are all the daughters of Eve-- glorious, faithful and strong. I am so grateful that God answered my prayer and granted me what I wanted... a glimpse."
Well on Saturday night I got that glimpse... again.
During the opening hymn of the General Relief Society Meeting as I stood shoulder to shoulder with women I love and sang:
Fear not, though the enemy deride;
Courage, for the Lord is on our side.
We will heed not what the wicked may say,
But the Lord alone we will obey.
("Let Us all Press On", read and hear it here)
I felt the power and majesty of all the righteous women of God-- on this side of the veil and beyond-- and I was humbled.
We are simply glorious.
And I saw that we haven't even begun to realize our power.
I will freely admit that I was nervous about this General Relief Society Meeting. I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to love or respect the new President, Sister Linda B. Burton like I had the former president, Sister Julie B. Beck. In fact, I'd pretty much convinced myself that she was going to fall flat on her face in comparison... not so Christ-like... but it was how I felt. I didn't realize it until later, but I had a bit of an agenda about what I wanted her to say and I went into the meeting with a, "Okay, lets see how good you are. Let's see if you say this..." mentality.
Once again... not very Christ like
And certainly not a good mindset in which to receive personal revelation.
Yet after my sweet experience during the opening song my heart was softened, and when Sister Burton got up to speak I felt a wave of love for her wash over me. Not only that, but I also felt the "mantle" of her presidency fall upon her, much like I saw the mantle of prophecy fall upon President Thomas S. Monson the first time he spoke after being sustained as the Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I realized that, even though I still love and miss Sister Beck, that Sister Burton has been called by God to lead His women and to carry the work we have to do on this earth forward. I loved listening to her talk and saw that she is a powerful woman of God, who knows, sees, and understands. I am excited that God has chosen her to lead the women of His church and the world (if they will listen) and can't wait to see what He has in store for us.
I was also very impressed with her counselors, even though I was inclined not to be because of my bad attitude. I found that I loved Carole M. Stephens' talk about "awakening" to our spiritual duties, there was a lot of deep ideas in there that I can't wait to go back and read closer. And Linda S. Reeves' experiences and thoughts brought me to tears and opened up a beautiful new train of thought in my mind about Mary, Martha, Jesus and Lazarus which is sure to turn into a post one of these days. After her talk I went back and studied that story and wow, there is a lot of powerful stuff in there!
It got me really excited for General Conference! I have been fasting and praying hard the last few weeks that my heart will be soft and open enough to hear and understand the messages God wants me to understand. If you haven't watched it before it would be well worth a few hours of your time... I promise.
What did you like most about the General Relief Society Meeting on Saturday?