It’s part of being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: callings come and then callings end through what we call a “release.” The General Relief Society presidency — Julie B. Beck, Silvia H. Allred, and Barbara Thompson — was released this past weekend. I believe the Lord has worked through these women. I believe that they receive revelation about what the Lord wants Mormon women to hear. They are women of vision and compassion, and have taught with clarity, consistency, and power.
I am still mulling over all the messages that have had such an impact on me; there are too many to adequately capture! Sister Beck in particular has been a significant person of influence in my life. She has talked boldly and powerfully about womanhood, motherhood, and the divine mission of Relief Society. She knows God and knows how to get answers from Him, and has encouraged us to seek personal revelation, reminding us that “The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.” She reiterates this truth in the recent Mormon Channel Relief Society discussion that we shared a few days ago.
Alas, there is still too much swimming in my head. So, for today, I will share a few posts from other Mormon women expressing their gratitude for Sister Beck and the outgoing general Relief Society presidency. They have captured many of the same teachings that have touched my life in profound ways.
We look forward to seeing what the Lord has to teach us through our new Relief Society leaders, Linda K. Burton, Carole M. Stephens, and Linda S. Reeves.
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Mormon blogger “An Ordinary Mom” shared some of Sister Beck’s quotes that “are constantly percolating” in her head. I echo her feelings that Sister Beck has “had a profound impact on my life.”
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Another Mormon mommy blogger pays tribute to the outgoing Relief Society presidency by linking to different talks and teachings from these women that have had an impact on her:
“I’m not sure what made this Relief Society Presidency so dear to me. Maybe it was the easy access to their words. Or maybe I finally grew up enough to pay attention.”
(I think we all grew up more — or perhaps, better said, grew up unto God more (using words from another former general Relief Society leader, Kathleen H. Hughes) — as we listened to these wise women and let their words sink into our souls.)
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I loved Jocelyn’s quote that “If all women “had been, and were and ever would be like” Sister Beck…the very powers of hell would be shaken forever.” She shares a few links to talks that have influenced her as well:
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Janelle expresses her gratitude to Sisters Beck, Allred, and Thompson, also linking to several talks that were given over the years, and expressing her gratitude, saying, “Not only am I a better woman because of your words but I have also gained greater insight into how to access the divine guidance and grace from my Lord and Savior.”
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I have tears in my eyes as I read Angie‘s post, reminding of yet another aspect of Sister Beck’s teaching that has been so clear, and is so critical for us as women in our busy lives. “[T]he thing that struck me most [listening to Sister Beck's Women's Conference talk] that night was the pattern: to prioritize our lives by what is essential, what is necessary and what is nice to do.” I echo Angie’s words: “I am always looking for patterns, for lists, for help. This pattern from Sister Beck has been the clearest pattern for me, so essential, so tender, so pointed as to how to get where I need to be, how to get back to where I should never have left.”
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Kathryn pays tribute to the outgoing Relief Society presidency and expresses her support for the new presidency in her post. I agree with her declaration that”For me personally, she was/is a modern-day prophetess. Her power and spirit are emblazoned upon our hearts, and forever we are knit together as sisters in Christ.” I also echo her testimony that “Sister Burton’s call is to work equally along side of our priesthood leaders, and under their direction, to accomplish the exact same work of Lord — and to accomplsh it with power.”
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Heather at Women in the Scriptures wrote a beautiful tribute today. She shares that Sister Beck “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.” Heather had a chance to meet Sister Beck and includes a picture from that day. She concludes her post by saying, “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.”
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Emily at The Lioness at the Gate added a post tonight. “I am truly grateful for Sister Beck’s boldness and bravery in doing what she was called to do. Thank you, Sister Beck. You truly had an impact on my life.” Emily has listed several blog posts that she has written about Sister Beck’s teachings. Like Emily,
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Stephanie at Diapers and Divinity will be going on a blog haitus soon, so I was especially grateful that she was willing to compile a list of the blog posts she has written before slipping into lurkerdom. She has a long list of posts inspired by Sister Beck (some serious, some not so much so). Stephanie writes: “There are so many things I could say about the powerful influence that Sister Beck has had on my testimony, but I think the best evidence is this list of posts where I have quoted her or referred to some of her teachings and counsel.” I just skimmed over one of her posts (the Sunday Leftovers one) and found this gem: ”In response to a question I asked Sister Julie Beck when she visited here in the fall, she stated, ‘We place demands on ourselves that the Lord would never place on us.’” (Reminds me of a recent statement Sister Beck made, in an LDS Living interview: “ “I used to be a very guilt-ridden person, but I’ve learned that the Lord uses many opportunities to teach me. I learn from experience when something didn’t feel good, so next time, I do it another way. Don’t carry it around your whole life.”)
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