Through righteousness, the powers of heaven are available to everyone, Janette Hales Beckham, general president of the Young Women, said Saturday morning.
"Moroni teaches that `every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ.' " (Moro. 7:16.)Continuing, Pres. Hales related: "My first memories of a need for power came when my family moved the year I began third grade. I started figuring out more about friends and other people's families. Besides whose dad was the strongest, I noticed many of the kids were older than I. Luckily, I had two big sisters with lots of friends. In fact, I once said I could call out the whole high school if needed. I felt I had the needed personal power for safety and self-preservation."
Pres. Beckham told how the community in which she lived "seemed to rejoice with our family when my mother gave birth to her only son after four daughters. My dad was an only son, and now he had someone to carry on his name.
"Within months," she recalled, "it was obvious that Tommy was severely handicapped. A force that was just the opposite of my outside world started to be felt inside. There seemed to develop a new dimension of love, tenderness, compassion. I watched my mother and dad make adjustments in lifestyle to lovingly care for a child who in his 5 1/2 years never learned to sit or speak, but who warmed an entire room with his smile. The whole town seemed more gentle, interested, concerned. My outside fears were diminished. I felt securely attached because my mother and brother were there. My parents were home at night. Our home seemed more warm, full. There was a different power. It seemed to grow from the inside. It felt more permanent, unlike the temporary power I felt with my friends. It was calm and peaceful - the power of goodness, the power of love.
"There is a power in goodness that is often learned in families. There is a void when it is lacking," Pres. Beckham added.
She described how in the Liberty Jail the Prophet Joseph Smith was taught about priesthood power. "Priesthood power is used to minister, to preach, to teach, to baptize, to ordain, to heal, to seal, to restore, to bless, to prophesy, to testify, to do good."
In her concluding remarks, Pres. Beckham counseled: "My plea for each of us is to recognize that God has given each of us power - the power to act, to choose, to serve, to love and to accomplish much good. Perhaps it is time to take control of ourselves."