April ’16 General Women’s Session: Top 10 List

by Naomi Watkins

For me, Saturday’s Women Session might have been one of the best church meetings ever. So many things to celebrate! And I anticipate more goodness to come. A great tone has been set for the rest of General Conference.

10. The female announcer. While a female voice announcing the Women’s Session isn’t new to this session, it’s new enough that I still love hearing a woman’s voice narrate, setting the scene for a female-centered meeting.

9. The choir! Three hundred and fifty women and girls from around the world representing diverse backgrounds and cultures and many of whom were refugees. The song selections were especially sweet and pure and on-point: “I am a Child of God,” “Sweet is the Work,” and “Come Follow Me.” Read more about the choir.

8. Quotes by women leaders, stories about LDS women in history and women in the scriptures. Doing so highlights women speaking with the authority of God in the past and present. I especially loved this quote by Eliza R. Snow: “The Lord has laid high responsibilities upon us.”

7. A harkening back to the history and purpose of Relief Society, emphasizing both the call to offer relief and provide community (society).

6. The need to build up ourselves before we can build up others (Hi, getting and giving!). YW 2nd Counselor, Neill Marriott: “We build the kingdom when we nurture others. However, the first child of God we must build up in the restored gospel is ourselves.”General Relief Society President, Linda K. Burton: “Yet we must remember that none of us should run faster than we have strength.”

5. Recognition of both Heavenly Father and Mother rather than using the term “Heavenly Parents.” I love that Heavenly Mother was spoken of specifically, particularly in a meeting for women.

4. Expansion of the definition of “nurturing” to include more than child-bearing and rearing and illustrating how men can nurture, too. Sister Marriott: “The Savior’s creation of the earth, under the direction of His father, was a mighty act of nurturing.”

3. President Eyring using the words of the previous women speakers as a foundation for his own. I appreciated that even though he was the concluding speaker that his remarks acted more as a summary and footnote to the women leaders’ remarks who proceeded him.

2. The focus on women figuring out their personal ministries using personal revelation. President Burton: “Pray in faith to know what the Lord would have you do in your circumstances.” General Primary President, Rosemary M. Wixom: “The divine nature within us ignites our desire to reach out to others and prompts us to act.” The emphasis on how we should each start to serve where we are not only in location, but also given our unique capacities and abilities. It’s a message inclusive to all.

1. A focus on inclusion, community, and interfaith ministry, particularly calling women to serve the refugees in their local communities. Sister Marriott: “With the help of the Holy Ghost, we can create an emotional healing place for the the discriminated against, the rejected, and the stranger.” I loved how this message of love, service, diversity, and inclusivity permeated the entire meeting through the videos shown to those who participated in the meeting.

More of all of this, please!

What aspects of Women’s Session stood out to you? Touched your heart? 


6 Comments on “April ’16 General Women’s Session: Top 10 List

  1. Excellent post! I’m in agreement that the 1st session of the April 2016 General Conference was superb! The messages, music, videos and overall tone touched my soul in an exceptional manner. The diverse members of the choir, including members from 50 different nationalities, was simply amazing. And the Christ-like call to provide care for refugees was both humbling and inspiring.

  2. Don’t forget the presence of all three members of the First Presidency! Maybe I’m remembering incorrectly that in years past only one member of the First Presidency would attend (the one speaking). I love the shift that recognizes this meeting as the first session of General Conference.

  3. I was extremely grateful to be able to participate in the choir. I can only describe it as a miracle, watching members give time week after week to learn songs in a language that some did not even know. Their faith was inspiring and the Spirit was so strong all those weeks of practice and during conference.

  4. President Eyeing using the term “modest” appropriately. That was a huge win for me!

  5. I am queuing up the women’s session to listen to on my drive home tonight! It’s easy to criticize things that happen in the church in regards to women (and there are certainly things that I hope will change with time). I love hearing about what the church is doing right!

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