But I "like" lots of people. Why do I quote her?
Because I believe she is our leader.
Because I know she was prepared to lead the women of this church.
Because she is bold and direct, and says what the Lord wants His daughters to hear.
Because she wants us to be and do the things Heavenly Father wants us to do and be,
and she wants us to have power, more than she needs to be liked. (We love her, but popularity isn't her motive...you get it)
Because she loves us. Loves us enough to help us see where we need to grow, where we need to be strong and what we need to protect.
Because she has been chosen for this time, our very own "prophetess".
Because, just as I do the prophet, his councilors and the twelve apostles,
I have a testimony of the female leadership of this church.
Which is why the General Relief Society Meeting this Saturday is my favorite day of the year (it beats my birthday, and may even tops Christmas...um maybe not, but even the consideration shows you how much a enjoy the broadcast)
I love gathering with my sisters and hearing counsel from our leaders (the "without kids" aspect, may be a perk). A few years ago I sat on a bench squished tight with sisters, all of whom I loved, sisters, who had become a part of my life and not just my ward. It had been cold in the chapel that evening and my one friend went and grabbed blankets out of the trunk of her car. We snuggled through the meeting and lingered probably longer than our husbands expected, not willing to leave the Spirit of unity, love and purpose we felt.
What a good night.
In less than a week, I get more Julie B.
I spent this afternoon listening to Her latest talk at BYU Women's Conference
This is my favorite part (you should listen to it though, it's better than just reading it)
"When our daughter had her baby recently, we brought home a
number of grandchildren to our home and I volunteered to tend for five days. And I promise you giving this talk is easier than doing that! When I finally would get into bed at night, I would say to my husband, “I think I’m going to die! Every bone and muscle in my body hurts. How do they do this?”
And then someone would wake up in the night and need something, and I didn’t get my
sleep that I needed. And always it was just feeding, feeding people!
I learned that my mothering skills were a little out of date. My grandmother skills were okay, but I had to go into the mode of being a mother and I was a little out of practice. And that meant when we needed disciplining, and stopping crying, and things like that going on, I prayed a lot. I couldn’t remember what I used to do in the olden days. And I thought the Holy Ghost is supposed to bring all things to our remembrance, and so maybe I’ll remember. So I kind of meshed up the mothering role with the grandmothering role, and in times of great stress I just fed a lot of cold cereal! I think they are still coming down from the sugar high, but it made people happy! So, anyway, it was wonderful to be reminded of what that work is like and what is involved, and what it entails, and what we need to do as a Church to support the actual labor that needs to go into a home and a family."
Love it! Love that on days when I'm not feeling very Julie B. Beckish, ie void of vision and lacking a sense of purpose amidst the exhaustion, I say too myself, even Sister Beck would resort to cold cereal at this point! (Typing the names Julie this much is making me think of the movie "Julie and Julia" which this post is starting to resemble in a funny way:)
I love how she gets to the heart of things. From the same talk:
"One of the questions that I get frequently is, “Is it okay if I work outside of my home or I don’t work outside of my home?” You have to know that as an international, global, Relief Society
president, that question isn’t always appropriate in all of the world’s countries. There are many, many places where if our women don’t work, they don’t eat. So of course they have to work. The question of whether or not to work is the wrong question. The question is, “Am I aligned with the Lord’s vision of me and what He needs me to become, and the roles and responsibilities He gave me in heaven that are not negotiable? Am I aligned with that, or am I trying to escape my duties?”
Aligning with the Lord, is really what Relief Society (and the gospel) are all about.
Bathsheba, Belle, Barbara or Bonnie...
It doesn't matter because each as they are called and serve are given the vision of Heavenly Father's daughters.
Sister Beck spoke of the blessing of that vision, when she said,
"I’m grateful for Relief Society, not only for its beginnings but for what it is today.
And I’m just beginning to have a glimpse of what the Lord has in mind for his daughters.
The vision that comes to me sometimes is so glorious and staggering and humbling and thrilling. It is difficult to contemplate.
I am so grateful for the blessing I have had in my life to connect and know and be lifted up by strong, faithful, purposeful women who knew their identity in the kingdom of God and helped move His gospel forward. I’m grateful for those who have exemplified charity and have become
as the Savior is. I am thankful for this wonderful association and sisterhood which unites us in the Lord’s work."
I'm so excited to learn from our history.
When it was first announced, I admit I took a while to get excited
(I think I looked at Releif Society as progressing...beyond dollies and center pieces...and felt like looking back would mean... going back?
I was humbled and converted to the concept when a friend explained her sisters thoughts on the new RS curriculum.
"Those sisters didn't make excuses" (I have children, or my husband is away--for years as missionaries, not business trips) "they just did what needed to be done. "
Yup, it doesn't matter whether we're curling, back combing or straightening our hair, whether we're picking out petty-coats or panty-hoes for church, because the fundamental tests and trials of womanhood are eternally designed,
on going and forever relevant.
Can't wait for Saturday.