`Use talents to protect, nurture and influence'

Create places of security, Virginia U. Jensen urged Relief Society sisters Sept. 27.

Speaking during the General Relief Society Meeting in the Tabernacle on Temple Square, Sister Jensen, first counselorin the new Relief Society general presidency, said: "Sometimes this world is a frightening place to be. I believe, however, that women have unique opportunities and special gifts and talents to protect, nurture and influence others. We can create `places of security' where marriages, children and families can thrive and avoid the evil of the world."

Sister Jensen declared: "This is a marvelous time to live on the earth. Ours is a day seen in vision by many of the prophets down through the ages of time."

Yet, as Father Lehi taught in 2 Ne. 2:11, "It must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things," Sister Jensen reminded the congregation. "Sisters, I do not believe that you and I are here at this unique time by an accident. I believe that, like Esther of old, we are `come to the kingdom for such a time as this' (Esther 4:14) when our influence, our example, our strength, and our faith may stand as a bulwark against the rising tide of evil that threatens to engulf our homes, our families and our loved ones."

Sister Jensen related the efforts of Captain Moroni in chapter 48 of Alma in protecting Nephite cities from Lamanite attacks.

"How do we, like Captain Moroni, create places of security for those around us in these sometimes frightening and perilous times?" Sister Jensen asked. She added that members can begin by following the admonition found in 1 Tim. 4:12: "Be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in Spirit, in faith, in purity."

Continuing, she said: "A woman who keeps the commandments is using our Heavenly Father's blueprint to build a place of security for herself and her family. Those around her know they can trust her. They can feel safety and peace within her influence. Adherence to the Lord's commandments is the foundation of her fortress.

"To provide safety for those around us, we as sisters need to expand our knowledge of all things spiritual. We need to learn and progress in understanding and teach our children those things that will make them less vulnerable to deceit and to the designs of those who conspire against righteousness. Ignorance is not bliss; it is dangerous."

Referring again to Captain Moroni, Sister Jensen said: "Sincere prayer can be more effective in protecting our families than the earthen walls Moroni erected around the Nephite cities. The changes prayer effects in our homes are multiple. It restores peace and gives hope. It lightens heavy hearts and heals the wounds of sin. It restores perspective, allowing us to recognize our blessings even in the midst of our trials. Finally, it guides us in making decisions."

Sister Jensen recalled how one evening not long ago she was walking past a playground where a family was choosing sides for a game. One of the children called out, "Mom, choose me."

"As I walked on these words rang in my ears. I can imagine children the world over saying, `When you decide where to spend the time and gifts that God has given you, Mom, choose me.' "

Sister Jensen encouraged LDS women to remember and reach out to elderly people and single mothers.

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