The long awaited 2012 General Relief Society Broadcast has just concluded, and like many of you I am left to ponder upon the counsel that was given, and how this applies to what is going on both in the world, and in my own personal life. I imagine it will take a few days to really absorb their teachings -- and I look forward to a greater understanding of what God has inspired us to know. 

I have no doubt Sister Burton and her two counselors spent a great deal of time in prayer, seeking to know what our Heavenly Father would have them convey to the sisters of the Church -- and to all women at this time in the history of the world. I include President Eyring in these same thoughts. 

Personally, I was struck with the strength of each of their witness of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and their plea, to all of us, to apply its power in our lives. Our relationship with the Atonement is one of covenant, and that connection as a sister in the Relief Society came through loud and clear. Service and sacrifice are at the heart of every disciple of Jesus Christ -- male or female. Our baptismal covenant is at the center of what motivates each of our desire to become more like the Savior, as we strive to better live the gospel each day. 

If I had to express one message, or highlight, that came through to me personally, with the greatest power, it would be that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and covenants we have made with God, we are enabled to meet every challenge of mortality. And frankly, I can't think of a more potent message, applicable to every circumstance in life. How easily we can become sidetracked into thinking that the things that the world would have us focus on is important -- when in reality so very little of it actually is. 

Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, gave us three essential principles to guide us in our understanding of the Atonement and its power in our lives: 

1. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

2. There is power in the Atonement to enable Church members to overcome the natural man or women and become true disciples of Jesus Christ. 

3. The Atonement is the greatest evidence Latter-day Saints have of the Father's love for His children. 

“We have felt that Heavenly Father would first have us help His beloved daughters understand the doctrine of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As we do so, we know our faith will increase, as will our desire to live righteously,” she said 
“Second, as we have considered the critical need to strengthen families and homes, we have felt that the Lord would have us encourage His beloved daughters to cheerfully cleave to their covenants. When covenants are kept, families are strengthened. 

“Finally, we feel He would have us work in unity with the other auxiliaries and with our priesthood leaders, striving to seek out and help those in need to progress along the path. It is our fervent prayer that each of us will open our hearts and let the Lord engrave in them the doctrines of the Atonement, covenants and unity.” 

Read the entire summary of Sister Burton's address at LDS Church News

Updated: Complete text of Sister Burton's General Relief Society broadcast address is now available.

Sister Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, counseled Mormon women about becoming "spiritually awake" in order to fulfill our duties, and taught that it is through our baptismal covenant that we are changed. "The things we listen to and read and say are different, and what we wear is different because we become daughters of God, bound to Him by covenant."

She said, “Like those who went before, many today live in circumstances that are not ideal. “We continue to teach and strive for the ideal because we know that continually striving will keep us progressing along the path and prepare us for opportunities to receive all promised blessings as we ‘wait upon the Lord’ (Isaiah 40:31).

“Each of us has had and will continue to have adversity in our lives. This mortal life is a time of testing, and we will continue to have opportunities to use our agency to choose what we will learn from the adversity that will surely come. … It isn’t enough to just be on the journey; we must be awake to our duty and continue with faith as we draw upon the comforting, strengthening, enabling and healing power of the Atonement.”

Read the entire summary of Sister Stephens' address at LDS Church News.

Update: Complete text of Sister Stephens' General Relief Society broadcast address is now available.

Sister Linda S. Reeves, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency stressed that sisters need to turn to the Lord for strength and comfort when they are weighed down by adversity, sin, anguish and the challenges of life. This lesson came to her through a very personal life experience of not turning to the Lord at a time that she felt that she should have. I think we all felt her sorrow and had great compassion, and this because, no doubt, too many of us have tried to do hard things on our own as well.

“Dear sisters, our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, know us and love us,” she said. “They know when we are in pain or suffering in any way. They do not say, ‘It’s OK that you’re in pain right now, because soon everything is going to be all right. You will be healed, or your husband will find a job, or your wandering child will come back.’ They feel the depth of our suffering and we can feel of Their love and compassion in our suffering.”

“He has not forgotten you,” she said. “Whatever sin or weakness or pain or struggle or trial you are going through, He knows and understands those very moments. He loves you! And He will carry you through those moments. … He has paid the price that He might know how to succor you. Cast your burdens upon Him. Tell your Heavenly Father how you feel. Tell Him about your pain and your afflictions, and then give them to Him. Search the scriptures daily. There you will also find great solace and help.”

Read the entire summary of Sister Reeves' address at LDS Church News

Update: Complete text of Sister Reeves' General Relief Society broadcast address is now available.

In a beautiful address by President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, he urged LDS women to "watch over and comfort each other". But in doing so, he also stressed that we must seek the Lord for inspiration in helping us to know how to carry the burden of caring for others. He also stressed that we never judge another person and how they manage their personal trials. 

"During his address, President Eyring quoted the Prophet Joseph Smith’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, who said Relief Society sisters need to “cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction, that we may all sit down in heaven together” (Quoted in “Daughters in My Kingdom,” p. 25).

President Eyring explained, “There are three parts to that remarkable description of the qualifications to associate in a state of happiness with God. One is to care for each other. Another is to teach each other and be taught. And the third is to sit down together with God."

Read the entire summary of Presdent Eyring's address on LDS Church News.

Update: Complete text of President Eyring's General Relief Society broadcast address is now available.

Archives after the meeting

Watch video: 2012 General Relief Society Broadcast

The live video cached stream of the event will be available right after the broadcast ends.

Audio in 70+ languages will be available on and on the Mormon Channel in iTunes within 8 hours of the broadcast.

Video in 15 languages will start trickling in after that and will fill in completely within 24 hours of the broadcast at, podcasts, iTunes, and YouTube.


Kathryn Skaggs 

To help you get ready for 2012 General Conference you might enjoy this post: Confessions of a Prophet Stalker

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