Friday, February 28, 2014

General Women’s Meeting: Enjoy Spirit of Worldwide Sisterhood - Invitation Reminder

Just a reminder card for all  women, young women, and girls eight years of age and older.....

"Save As" to your computer or download here

Visiting Teaching

As disciple of Jesus Christ, how does the message of His life and Mission help you minister your sisters?

Becoming Like God - Must read article!

"The doctrine of humans’ eternal potential to become like their Heavenly Father is central to the gospel of Jesus Christ," says a new, detailed article titled "Becoming like God." The article was posted on LDS.org on Tuesday.

The LDS Church posted a new, deeply detailed article on its website Tuesday explaining the faith's doctrine about humans "becoming like God."

"The doctrine of humans’ eternal potential to become like their Heavenly Father is central to the gospel of Jesus Christ," the article states, "and inspires love, hope and gratitude in the hearts of faithful Latter-day Saints.


Mormonism Is a Christ-Centered, Global Faith - Video


This new video from the Church lists these facts and more for those not familiar with the faith.


STYLE GUIDE NOTE: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference.

March CES Devotional will be this Sunday! You don't want miss it!


Sister Linda K. Burton, general president of the Relief Society, will address young adults - single and married - in a CES devotional broadcast on Sunday, March 2, 2014, from the campus of Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho.

The devotional will be broadcast at 6:00 p.m. mountain time, and live audio and video broadcasts will be available a mormonchannel.org in English and at cesdevotionals.lds.orgin American Sign Language, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. The Church’s Facebook page will also include live English video of the devotional, under the “Live Broadcast” tab.



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Six Tips for Scripture Study

BY AFTON NELSON
Energize your time spent with the scriptures.

Do you sometimes find it hard to study—really study—the scriptures? Here are some ideas you can use to add more life to your scripture study and make the most of your reading time.
  1. 1. 
    Pray and Seek the Spirit
    Ask Heavenly Father to help you feel the Spirit as you read the scriptures. The scriptures were given by revelation and can be understood by revelation. When we rely on help from our Heavenly Father and the Spirit, we become humble, teachable, and ready to learn.
  2. 2. 
    Look at Maps
    Maps can help set the stage for your scripture study. The words and stories will have more meaning if you have a better understanding of distances traveled, climate, topography, and other prominent features of the places you’re reading about. For example, the story of Jonah in the Old Testament (see Jonah 1–3) gains depth when we know that the city of Nineveh was located close to modern-day Iraq and that Tarshish might have been located in Spain.
    How far away are these two places from each other? What would Jonah have to do to travel to each place? It was a long, difficult trip. How does this knowledge change your understanding of the story?
  3. 3. 
    Look for Lists
    Often a verse or verses of scripture will include a list. Once you start to recognize lists in the scriptures, you will see them often. For example, in 3 Nephi 17:3, Jesus has compassion on the Nephites and recognizes they are tired after a long day of listening and learning. He gives the Nephites a list of things to do:
    • A.
      “Go ye unto your homes, and
    • B.
      “Ponder upon the things which I have said, and
    • C.
      “Ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and
    • D.
      “Prepare your minds for the morrow.”
    Can this list help us get more out of our attendance at Church meetings? How can doing the things on this list help us with our scripture study? Whenever you see a list in the scriptures, write it out and see if you can apply the same steps to aspects of your life.
  4. 4. 
    Look for Patterns and Repetition
    When you notice a pattern or repetition in the scriptures, there’s often something to be learned from it, like in the accounts of Christ’s birth in the New Testament. In Matthew 2, Matthew repeats the phrase “that it might be fulfilled.” He focuses on how various elements of the Savior’s birth fulfilled Old Testament prophecies. Instead of creating a pattern of words like Matthew, Luke creates a pattern of people in his account found in Luke 2, where the shepherds, Simeon, and Anna all saw and bore testimony of the Savior’s divinity.
    What can we learn from these two accounts of the Savior’s birth? What do you think each writer was trying to accomplish by telling the story the way he did?
  5. 5. 
    Look for Commandments and Promised Blessings
    Often in the scriptures, when the Lord gives commandments He then tells us the blessings we will receive from keeping them. Consider the following:
    • “Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (D&C 4:7).
    • “And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments [the Word of Wisdom], shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones” (D&C 89:18).
    • “Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God” (D&C 121:45).
    Consider using two colored pencils as you read, marking commandments in one color and promised blessings in another. What do you notice? How does this pattern affect your testimony of our Heavenly Father’s love for you?
  6. 6. 
    Look for Personal Application
    Nephi tells us that we should liken the scriptures unto ourselves (see1 Nephi 19:23). The scriptures were written for us and apply to our lives. For example, we may not find ourselves mining ore to make tools to build a ship (see 1 Nephi 17), but all of us will be asked to do hard things. How can the way Nephi responded to his challenge to build a ship help us respond to our missions?
    The more you practice looking for personal application, the quicker you will begin to see it. The Spirit can teach us the beautiful truths of the scriptures if we do our part. But we have to open them and do more than just read the words. As we study with the Spirit, the scriptures can truly come to life for us.

Ways to Read the Scriptures

Sometimes you can improve your scripture study by reading the scriptures in a new way. Read additional ideas in “Successful Scripture Study” in the January 2012 issue of the New Era or at lds.org/go/02A.

Draw Nearer to God

“As we engage with God in sincere prayer, read and study each day from the scriptures, ponder on what we have read and felt, and then apply and live the lessons learned, we draw nearer to Him. God’s promise is that as we seek diligently from the best books, ‘[He] shall give unto [us] knowledge by his Holy Spirit’ (D&C 121:26; see also D&C 109:14–15).”
Elder Ian S. Ardern of the Seventy, “A Time to Prepare,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 32.

Kitchen 101 - Volume Conversions

Useful information!
Just "Save As" to your computer

Two LDS missionaries heading home after family dies from CO poisoning


A brother serving in the South Dakota Mission and his sister, who was on a mission in Oregon, are returning to Pocatello, Idaho, Tuesday after learning their parents and two younger brothers died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Read full article at Deseret News

Monday, February 24, 2014

Picture of the Week


Elder Andersen to Address Seminary and Institute Personnel


Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will address Seminaries and Institutes of Religion teachers and administrators during the Church Educational System broadcast “An Evening with a General Authority” on Friday, February 28, 2014.

The one-hour broadcast originating from Salt Lake City, Utah, will be transmitted over the Church broadcast system and subsequently rebroadcast to many areas of the world (see below for languages, dates, and times).
Seminaries and Institutes of Religion personnel and stake seminary and institute teachers and supervisors may view the broadcast at selected meetinghouses. The broadcast may be recorded for inservice training during the school year. Stake, mission, and district presidents are encouraged to make meetinghouses available for this program as requested.

March 2014 - First Presidency Message - Service and Eternal Life, handout

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mormon missionaries robbed in Russia

(Jordan Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Russian police are looking for a man who robbed two Mormon missionaries at knife point on Saturday, threatened to kill them and forced them to withdraw money from an ATM before letting them go.
"Elder Jeffrey Alan Owen of Coppell, Texas, and Elder Kamron Hunter Call of Moab, Utah, both serving in the Russia Samara Mission, were robbed by a man they had met for a teaching appointment in Engels, Russia," Cody Craynor, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said Sunday. "The man forcibly drove them to an ATM and demanded they withdraw cash and then let them go. The missionaries were not harmed during the incident and are safe."
Call's family learned about the incident Saturday night from their stake president, according to the missionary's father, Russ Call. The missionary spoke with his family by telephone Sunday morning.
"He felt he was protected by the Lord and that the incident turned out as well as it could have," Russ Call said. "The missionaries aren't nervous about being there. They're ready to go back to work once the police find this guy."
The suspect was known to the missionaries, Russ Call said. The man, about 22 years old, had called them and invited the missionaries to bring a copy of the Book of Mormon to his apartment, where he was waiting with his 21-year-old wife or girlfriend. After they arrived, Owen and Call taught the man and woman for about 20 minutes. Owen told his mother Leslie in a phone call Sunday morning that after the missionaries told the couple they had to get to another appointment, the man jumped up and started cursing and ransacking their bags.
"He locked and barred the door and told them he was going to kill them both," Leslie Owen told the Deseret News.
The man took their money, phones and cameras, and the woman used her phone to look up the value of the missionaries' cameras, bags and phones. She also called friends and asked them to come over to the apartment and help them kill the missionaries, according to Leslie Owen and a Facebook item posted Sunday by Mike Call, Kamron Call's brother.
The friends refused. Russ Call said the missionaries believe the man had a mental breakdown or was high on drugs.
The man forced the missionaries to walk to an ATM and withdraw money for him. As is normal for LDS missionaries, "they had hardly any money available, for good reason," Russ Call said.
"I think it was about 3,000 rubles," he said, or about $85.
The man then gave the missionaries back their phones and about 100 rubles (less than $3) for bus or cab fare. The three men walked toward a cab. Owen felt impressed to keep walking, Russ Call said, and the man got into the cab while the missionaries walked away.
Owen and Call are not missionary companions. (LDS missionaries serve in pairs.) Owen, who has served as a missionary for 20 months, had returned to Engels for the day to attend a baptism of someone he had taught. He was on a "split," or missionary exchange, with Call. Meanwhile, Call's regular companion, Elder Kevin Boyer of Arizona, and Owen's companion, Elder Harrison, apparently had teamed up for the day.
After leaving the man, Owen and Call were late for the baptism and continued straight there, where they told their mission president what happened. The president took them to police.
"The police were very concerned about taking care of the missionaries and very thorough," Russ Call said. "They seemed to know the man."
Kamron Call's mother, Kimberly, was in Arizona visiting parents when the family learned of the incident. She spent a sleepless night, Russ Call said, until their son could call Sunday morning, though she knew he was safe.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Provo couple runs popular free LDS sheet music website

Provo couple runs popular free LDS sheet music website

Melissa and Roger Pack pose for a photo with their children Jarom, 6, Alissandra, 2-months, Joshy, 2, and Joseph, 4, at their home in Provo on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014

The Packs started the popular website freeldssheetmusic.org. 
Check it out!

Latest Updates Make Gospel Library App Easier to Use

 By Ryan Morgenegg, Church News staff writer
Screenshots from the Google Android (left) and the Apple iOS (right) versions of the Gospel Library app. The most recent major updates to the Gospel Library mobile app improves search, navigation, and other key functions that make it easier to study the gospel and access the latest digital content.

In response to user feedback and in an effort to constantly improve a member's digital experience with gospel content, the Church has released major updates to the Apple and Android versions of the Gospel Library mobile app improving search, navigation, and other key functionality.
“The refinements in these updates will significantly improve a person's ability to study the scriptures,” said Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. of the Seventy. “I'm excited about the helpfulness of the new features for users. The Apple version has a much improved search function with a dramatically simplified way of grouping and sorting search results. The Android version now has the same organization of content as the Apple version and the same visual interface design for easier recognition and navigation.”
Recent updates have improved how manuals like “Preach My Gospel” appear on screen.
Church members are encouraged to upgrade to these latest app versions to take advantage of ongoing development improvements. When members upgrade from the latest Android and Apple versions, their notes, highlights, and other personalizations will not be lost. However, users upgrading from the Apple 2.5 version should ensure that their notes are backed up before deleting the 2.5 version by signing in using their LDS Account username and password.
Highlighting, note taking, and cross-referencing improve a user's personal gospel study
For members who feel that using the digital scriptures is too complex, Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. offered some encouraging words: “The Gospel Library app is now easier to use than ever. We hope members of all ages will take advantage of this wonderful tool. We encourage members who are comfortable and familiar with the use and blessings of this technology to take a few minutes and show others how to get started and how to use its helpful features.” 


Monday, February 17, 2014

Standing as a witness at all times, in all things, and all places.... - Pictures of the Week

Check this out!

It is Olympian Noelle Pikus Pace.
She won the Silver Medal in the Skeleton Event
 Look what else she has around her neck: 
The Young Woman Torch Necklace.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

General Women’s Meeting: Enjoy Spirit of Worldwide Sisterhood


All women, young women, and girls eight years of age and older are invited to participate in the general women’s meeting on Saturday, March 29, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. mountain daylight time.
This meeting will provide an opportunity to gather in a spirit of worldwide sisterhood to enjoy messages from a member of the First Presidency and the general presidents of the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary organizations.
The general women’s meeting will be held in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, and will be broadcast to many areas of the world. Where travel distances permit, sisters are encouraged to gather together, especially as families, in Church meetinghouses to view the broadcast. Those of other faiths are also welcome to attend.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Newest Mormon Message: The Other Prodigal Son

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland shares the story of the older brother of the prodigal son and reminds us that "no one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another. He loves each of us—insecurities, anxieties, self-image, and all."

New Members Announced for Young Women General Board


SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced new members of the Young Women general board, who will help meet the global needs of the organization. The nine-member Young Women general board will include four board members from Utah, where the headquarters of the Church is located, as well as five women who live in Africa, Brazil, Japan, Peru and New York City.

During last week’s initial announcement, the women auxiliary leaders discussed the board changes, the upcoming semiannual general women’s meeting, scheduled for 29 March 2014, which will involve women and girls, and new online leadership training.
The new Young Women general board members include Carmela Melero de Hooker, Lima, Peru; Leslie Pope Layton, Sandy, Utah; Denise Posse Lindberg, Draper, Utah; Dorah Mkhabela, Soweto, South Africa; Janet Matthews Nelson, Brooklyn, New York; M. Lúcia Silva, São Paulo, Brazil; Susan Saxton Taggart, Salt Lake City, Utah; Rosemary Thackeray, Orem, Utah; and Megumi Yamaguchi, Nagoya, Japan.
Women on the general board are assigned to help the Young Women general presidency meet the needs of the global Church as they visit with members in their areas, review and provide recommendations regarding curriculum and other resources for members, work on committees and projects and provide training and support as assigned by the general presidency.
Young Women boards began in 1880 with Sister Elmina Shepherd Taylor, Young Women general president, having 24 board members.
 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Letter from a Working Mother to a Stay-At-Home Mother, and vice versa - Must read it!

by Carolyn Ee
Photo credit: picjumbo.com


Some people have been questioning what you do at home all day. I know what you do. I know because I’m a mum and for a while I did it too. 
I know you do unpaid work, often thankless work, which starts the moment you wake up, and doesn’t even end when you go to sleep. I know you work weekends and nights, with no discernible end to your day or working week. I know the rewards are joyous but few.
I know that you seldom have a hot cup of coffee or tea. I know that your attention is always divided, often diverted from a moment to moment basis, and you cannot ever count on completing a task in the one go. I know that you probably don’t get any down time when you’re on your own at home, unless you have a single child who still naps in the daytime.
I know the challenges you deal with daily, usually with no peer support or backup. The toddler tantrums, the toilet training accidents, the food battles, the food on the floor, the crayons on the wall, the sibling rivalry, the baby that never seems to stop crying. I know how the work seems incessant, like an endless cycle – you shop for food, prepare it, cook it, attempt to feed it to your children, clean it off the floor, wash the dishes, and repeat in three hours.
I know you fantasise about having an hour to yourself to eat your lunch in peace, or about having an afternoon nap. I know you sometimes wonder if it’s all worth it, and feel envious of your friends who are having coffee breaks at work. I know that sometimes when your partner gets home in the evening after his work is done, he wants to put his feet up exactly when you need a break the most, and this can bring you to tears. 
I know that you are misunderstood by so many who do not appreciate the difficulties of caring for small children on your own, all day, and refer to you as joining the “latte set”. They imagine you spend your day sipping coffee while your children play quietly. I know you miss your financial independence. I know you feel amused and sometimes annoyed when others proclaim “TGIF!” because to you every day is the same – there is no Friday, no break from your job. I know that many people do not understand that you work – you simply work an unpaid job at home.
SAHM, I don’t know how you do it. I admire your infinite patience, your ability to face each day cheerfully and bring joy into your children’s lives even when they wear you down. I admire your dedication to being a constant presence in your children’s lives even if it isn’t always easy. I admire the way you work without expecting any reward – no promotions, no fame, no salary. I know you want your children to feel important and loved, and SAHM, you do this the best.
I just wanted you to know that I understand. We’re both mothers. And I know.
Love from the trenches
Working Mum

Dear Working Mum
I know you sometimes get judged by others for leaving your children in the care of others to work. Some people imply that you don’t love your children as much as us SAHMs do, and that it’s best for children to be at home with their mothers.
How can they say this about you? I know you love your children just as much as any other mother. I know that going back to work was no easy decision. You weighed up the pros and cons, long before you conceived a baby. It has always been one of the most important decisions of your life. You thought about this even while you were in high school and were choosing subjects for Grade 11.
I see you everywhere. You are the doctor I take my children to when they are sick. You’re my child’s allergist, the one who diagnosed her peanut allergy. You’re the physiotherapist who treated my husband’s back. You’re the accountant who does our tax returns. My son’s primary school teacher. The director of our childcare centre. My daughter’s gymnastics teacher. The real estate agent who sold our house. What sort of world would it be if you hadn’t been there for us? If you had succumbed to the pressures of those who insisted a mother’s place had to be in the home?
I know you weigh up every job to see if it will suit your family. I know you wake up an hour before everyone else does, just so you can get some exercise done or some quiet time. I know that you have attended meetings after being up all night with your toddler. I know that when you come home in the evening, your “second shift” begins. The nay-sayers don’t understand that you run a household AND hold a job. You come home, cook dinner, bath your children and read them stories. You tuck them in and kiss them goodnight. You pay the bills, do the grocery shopping, the laundry, the dishes, just like every other mother does.
I know that you often feel guilty about having any more time away from your children so you sacrifice your leisure time. I know you can’t bring yourself to take a “day off” for yourself when your children are at daycare. I know you accept that work is your “time off” for now. I know that when you are at work you don’t waste a single minute. I know you eat your lunch at your desk, you don’t go out for coffee, and you show complete dedication and concentration to your job. You chose to be there after all. You want to be there.
I know how discerning you are about who is looking after your children, and that many long daycare centres offer excellent care. I know you only leave your children in a place where you confident they are loved and well looked after. I know that you spend many days caring for your children at home when they are sick, and sacrifice your pay. I know that you secretly enjoy these days, and revel in being able to be with your children.
I know that sometimes you feel guilty about not being there all the time. But WM, I know this. You are setting a wonderful example to your children. You are showing them that a woman can have a career, contribute in some way outside the home, and still be a loving mother. You are showing your daughters that they can do anything they want to do in life. You are displaying strength, endurance, dedication, tenacity, and you do it with so much joy and love.
I just wanted you to know I understand. Because we’re both mothers.
Love from the trenches
Stay-At-Home Mum
Carolyn is a medical doctor and researcher. She blogs about health and her journey to discover the Nirvana of work-family balance. She has a toddler and a three-year-old and a wonderful husband, and returned to full-time work/study in February 2014. In her “spare time” she enjoys running and the occasional eating of cupcakes.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

YW 2014 April - The Apostasy and the Restoration, handout



for 2013 we had:

Dear LDS Relief Society, I don't have kids, but I'd still like to be friends


By For the Deseret News


Dear Angela,
I’m happily married, but I don’t have children, yet. This fact seems to be very unsettling to the other women in my ward Relief Society (women’s group). They all bond very quickly and seemingly easily because of their children while I’m kind of this odd woman out because I’m in a different phase of life. I love making new friends, but I’m finding this “no kids” thing a real obstacle. I guess my real issue is that I want to feel like I “belong” in Relief Society, but nobody is interested in being my friend! I want to change how my Relief Society views me, and I want to make friends. Any suggestions?
Thanks!
Detroit Lady
==================
Dear Detroit Lady,
I get this type of question a lot from women in Relief Society. Some say, “I’m a widow, so people seem to be uncomfortable talking to me,” or “I’m the only single one, so people seem uncomfortable talking to me” and “I’m a new convert, so people seem uncomfortable talking to me,” etc., etc.
There are times I’ve even felt like, “I’m the only black girl in this room and so people seem to be uncomfortable talking to me ….” It seems like we all have our own version of this struggle.
Luckily, there are things you can do. What I’ve worked on recently is finding ways to speak to people individually and outside of church. It’s nearly impossible to develop deep, meaningful relationships by just making eye contact over a shared hymn book or during the 5-10 minutes in between classes.
But if there is someone that you’ve thought, “Yeah, I want to know this person better,” then make plans for some type of activity during the week. It should be kid friendly, and not a lot of fuss, just a way for you to spend some time seeing that your new friend is more than her kids, and that you are more than your “no kids.” You know what I mean?
Trying to “change your Relief Society’s” views is a big (and, I think, probably really frustrating) task, but getting to know these unique women on an individual basis sounds like it could be really rewarding and a lot of fun.
Will you let us know how it goes?
Love,
Angela

Readers: Do you have a difficult time making friends at church? Is it hard to make friends with someone who doesn't have kids when you do?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Auxiliary Changes Designed to Unify Sisters Worldwide - "We are together"!



In an effort to increase the feeling of sisterhood among Latter-day Saint women of all ages across the world, the general presidents of the women’s organizations have announced changes that will impact Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary.
Reflecting the Church’s international growth, women who live outside of Utah and outside the United States have been called to serve on the newly formed Young Women general board.
In addition, auxiliary training—previously held in conjunction with April’s general conference at Church headquarters for those who could attend—will now be delivered to sisters worldwide through an integrated, global, web-based training effort that will be provided in key languages.
These changes were announced weeks before girls ages eight and older, young women, and women in the Church will gather for the Church’s semiannual general women’s meeting—which will replace the general Relief Society and Young Women meetings that have been held annually for decades.
“We all know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is worldwide,” said Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president. “That reason alone provides opportunities for advancement and progression. All of these things—the general women’s meeting, the training that will come online, and also international boards for Young Women—are pointing in that direction, to meet the changing needs of women.”
The Church News met on February 3 with Sister Wixom; Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president; and Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, to talk about the upcoming meeting and the changes that will help their organizations reach out to a growing international Church membership.
Their hope is to bring the women of the Church together with international boards, integrated global training, and the general women’s meeting to celebrate womanhood and covenant keeping.
The “emphasis is the covenant path that we are all on together,” said Sister Oscarson.
Sister Burton said collectively the changes will have a big impact.
“We know that revelation is scattered and we receive a piece here and a piece there and they all form a beautiful picture as we take each piece as it comes. It is something to celebrate.”

International Boards

Sister Oscarson said that when she and her presidency were called last spring and asked to consider a Young Women general board, they felt like the time was right to include sisters from across the globe. As part of the board, four women from the Wastach Front will serve side by side, by the use of technology, with women from Africa, Peru, Japan, Brazil, and New York City.
“This is a global Church,” Sister Oscarson said. “As we develop programs for the young women of the Church and think about the needs of the young women of the Church, it, in my mind, becomes essential that we incorporate the voices of sisters from outside the United States and outside of this area to understand those needs.”
Sister Oscarson said she hopes the international board will send the message to women across the world that the Lord is aware of them. “It is a unifying thing. It helps make the Church smaller. It helps address the needs throughout the world. I think the message it sends to everyone is important.”
Sister Burton said the Relief Society and Primary leaders will be watching and learning from the Young Women international board. Leaders haven’t determined yet if they will call international members to the Relief Society and Primary boards. “Because this is a Spirit-driven work we will follow the Spirit and see where it takes us,” she said.
Sister Wixom said the three women’s auxiliary presidencies meet together weekly. “That gives us the opportunity to learn how this is working,” she said.
Sister Oscarson said she doesn’t yet know all the details of how the new board is going to interact. “We are paving new ground. We feel like we are being led by the Spirit as we go.”
The new board members were called by teleconference and told the majority of their work will be done the same way. “The time is right for this,” she said.

Integrated Global Training

Sister Wixom said new online training will make it possible for women all over the world to receive the same message at the same time.
Another change, added Sister Burton, is the timing of the training. The annual training emphasis and materials will be developed after April general conference for posting on approximately June 1.
Developing training after April general conference will allow the organizations’ leaders to reflect the prophetic priorities and counsel of the General Authorities in their messages.
“This will connect us worldwide,” she said. “We will all be speaking with the same voice.”
Sister Oscarson said the training will consist of online video segments and other materials and will respond to the growing needs of the worldwide Church. “Hopefully, it will reflect the input we receive from our board members, especially those from international areas,” she said. “We need to help the women of the Church realize how essential they are to this work. We are all needed. We have special gifts and talents that no one else can offer.”

General Women’s Meeting

The First Presidency of the Church announced November 1 that beginning in April the semiannual general women’s meeting will replace the general Relief Society and general Young Women meetings.
Sister Burton said the Relief Society general presidency has talked about where the idea came from to make the change. “We couldn’t pinpoint where this idea came from, because it has come from so many different sources, and the timing and the pieces that have come together have been remarkable,” she said.
Sister Wixom said leaders wanted to be inclusive and invite Primary girls ages 8-12, in addition to young women and women. “As we counseled together we came to the conclusion that it begins for girls when they turn 8 years old and they take upon themselves the baptismal covenant,” she said.
Sister Burton said she is excited for the meeting because “there is power in gathering. … We elevate each other in a way when we are together that is absolutely remarkable.”
Sister Wixom said even the Primary children will be able to bring something to the gathering as they have an important role to play in the work of salvation.
“These girls are capable of giving and also of receiving revelation that will come from participating in this event.”
Something that makes the meeting valuable, said Sister Oscarson, is for women and girls, ages 8 and older, to be able to see how important they are for each other. She wants to “help them see that we are all in this work of salvation together, that we are not divided into organizations that keep us separate. We need one another.”
“Each season of life is so important,” added Sister Burton. “We need to see all the seasons together so that we can strengthen one another and glean from our unique perspectives along that covenant path.”
Sister Wixom said the new general meeting sends the same message as integrated global training and international boards: “It is unity. It is seamless in spirit and purpose. We are together.”
By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News assistant editor