Sunday, October 07, 2007

Women Who Know


I love Sister Julie B. Beck, the General Relief Society President. She is a woman of strength and yet softness. She says what she means directly and without pulling any punches, and yet she also speaks with tact. As I listened to her address us at the women's conference session last week, I was deeply moved by the way she told us what is expected of us and how we should be living our lives as daughters of God. She leaves us without excuse -- we must raise the bar on our own behavior and on our own personal journey to strengthen our testimonies and become holy.

Today she spoke of the stripling warriors. I've always loved this story from the Book of Mormon and that's why I named our homeschool "The Stripling Warrior Academy." She told of the mothers who taught their sons with such fervency that the boys could say, "We do not doubt our mothers knew it." She then outlined what a woman who knows will do, how she will act, and what she will say.

I have never felt so empowered by a General Relief Society President's messages before. I sustain and support all the women who have held this calling, and each of them have shared wonderful, inspired words with us. But there is something about Sister Beck that makes me want to take up my bundle and not only keep marching, but to march with my head held high and to take others along with me.

I needed this so badly today. Last night was one of those bad mommy nights. My two-year-old dropped an entire bottle of basalmic vinegar on the living room carpet, and the other children kept running back and forth through the puddle, thereby spreading the smell and the spotting even further while I tried to get it all cleaned up. At times like that, it's easy for me to lose sight of the ultimate goal and get bogged down in "why me?" and thoughts of wanting to hire a substitute mother and get out of Dodge. But when I hear talks like these, that remind me of the vastly important calling I've been given and how I must stay the course, it gives me the courage to keep going.

13 comments:

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Thanks for posting about this. I've been catching upon on the sessions I missed on KSL's website. I'll go catch the RS session tonight.

Holly said...

I loved this talk, too. I can't wait to read it when it's finally available. I felt empowered and at the same time so inadequate as I listened to her. I kept thinking, "I'm not that kind of mom." But, then I realized that I have to work at "becoming" that kind of mom, rather than just floating along day by day.

Framed said...

Her talk was wonderful. I was lucky enough to attend the women's conference with sisters from my ward. Unfortunately, during Sister Beck's talk, people were still being seated and were walking right in front of us. Very distracting. Can't wait to read it. The other talks were fantastic. Also, I have always loved Sister Bonnie D Parkins' message about feeling the love of the Lord in your life each. That has become very meaningful to me.

Jen said...

I'll have to reread it when it comes out in the conference issue. A few minutes into her talk, I sneaked out to my room to sob on my bed, it touched a nerve after losing the baby a few weeks ago.

Alison Palmer said...

Some people wish kids came with a handbook. I wish they came with warning labels! What else in life can drive us completely insane in both positive and negative ways each and every day. Oh, yeah Motherhood is great. I just wish somebody would have warned me.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Jen, I'm so, so sorry. Those emotions are so tender.

Josi said...

It was a great talk--only I need to rise up. But I realized it takes the 'desire' to be there, and too often I think that where I am is good enough. But I can do more. She has a wonderful way of making me feel like I have that power though.

Jeri said...

Amen sister - I loved and hated (not really) Sister Beck's talk. I sat there thinking - that's not me, that's not me, that's not me. When she got to "women who know DO LESS" I shouted out - I do that! (Not exactly in the way SHE meant it, but I had to feel like I was doing SOMETHING...)

Actually, I wrote down all the things she said and I spent an hour soaking in the tub tonight pondering what I wanted to work on first. The message was truly one that confirmed the holiness of a woman's role, while being uplifting, encouraging, and urging continual improvement.

An Ordinary Mom said...

I think her talk was truly inspiring and uplifting. I know some people have had a really difficult time with what she said (some of the sites and comments I have read elsewhere indicate this) and feel guilty that they don't measure up. I honestly don't believe this is they way she intended us to feel.

What I love about the gospel is the fact that we are able to receive our own personal confirmation from the Lord about the things we are supposed to be doing in our lives. Only He can tell us what we need to do to improve.

Tristi Pinkston said...

One thing to keep in mind, too, is that this gives us something to shoot for. We're not in trouble if we aren't that way right this minute!

Lee Ann said...

My Instant Internal Editor was jumping in on Sister Beck with all sorts of between-the-lines comments: "Women Who Know always wipe the spots off the bottoms of their mixers", and "Women Who Know clean the whole microwave, not just the part they can see without leaning over!"

Luckily, my husband chose that moment to lean over to the kids and say, "Hey, guys! That lady's talking about your mom."

So, maybe I'm ok, and maybe I can do better.

Keeley said...

Yeah, Sister Beck really lays it on the line, doesn't she? Kinda makes you want to sit up and quit looking like a slob with your feet up while you type on the computer.... =D

Oh NO, you poor thing, Tristi! An ENTIRE bottle of Balsamic Vinagrette. Oh my gosh. Do you have a green machine? Those things are worth their weight in gold.

Speaking of which, I thought I detected the scent of urine over by the couch today, and my husband has just now announced, "Hey, it smells like urine over here."

Dang! The toddler must have had a stealth pee somewhere. How on earth am I going to find it as it's no doubt all dried now? I'm going to have to green machine the entire couch and living room floor. *sigh*

Hey, Tristi, want to run away somewhere and leave the family to do the dishes, clean the house, and wipe up their own dang pee and vinegar? =)

Marne said...

This was by far my favorite talk in conference. It reached me, as it did most all women, I think. The message was very powerful and to-the-point. We are women who know!

So sorry for your loss, Jen. I can't imagine how difficult that must be.

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