Sister Carol F. McConkie: ‘The Beauty of Holiness’

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“We are daughters of Heavenly Father and each of us has a divine heritage of holiness,” Sister Carol F. McConkie, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, said during the women’s session of the 187th Annual General Conference held on March 25.

Drawing from a Psalm of Thanksgiving by King David, Sister McConkie shared the scripture, “Give unto the Lord the glory due His name: bring an offering, and come before Him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (1 Chronicles 16:29).

“I see the beauty of holiness in sisters whose hearts are centered on all that is good, who want to become more like the Savior,” she said. “They offer their whole souls, heart, might, mind and strength to the Lord in the way that they live every day. Holiness is in the striving and the struggle to keep the commandments and to honor the covenants we have made with God. Holiness is making the choices that will keep the Holy Ghost as our guide.”

Holiness is setting aside natural tendencies and becoming a saint through the Atonement of Christ the Lord, Sister McConkie taught.

“Our Father in Heaven knows us. He loves us and He has provided for us all that is required so that we can become holy as He is holy.”

Sister McConkie shared three ways a woman can act in holiness as a daughter of God.

Holiness is keeping covenants

“We recognize the multitude of tests, temptations, and tribulations that could pull us away from all that is virtuous and praiseworthy before God,” she said. “But, our mortal experiences offer us the opportunity to choose holiness. Most often it is the sacrifices we make to keep our covenants that sanctify us and make us holy.”

Sharing the example of a 13-year-old girl named Evangeline from Ghana, Sister McConkie spoke of how the young girl’s effort to magnify her calling as Beehive class president has helped her less-active friends attend church. She visits young women in their homes, gets permission from their parents for them to attend meetings and even helps them do their chores so they have time to go to church.

“If we will keep the associated covenants, the sacred priesthood ordinances will change us, sanctify us and prepare us to enter the presence of the Lord,” Sister McConkie said. “So we bear one another’s burdens; we strengthen one another. We retain a remission of sins when we give spiritual and temporal relief to the poor, the hungry, the naked and the sick.”

Holiness comes as people keep themselves unspotted from the world, make their homes holy places, and reach out to others in kindness and compassion. Holiness comes as a person stands as a witness of God and forsakes the ways of the world.

Holiness is taking the Holy Ghost as a guide

“Holiness is a gift of the Spirit,” Sister McConkie taught. “We accept this gift when we choose to do those things that will increase the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost in our lives.”

Using the example of Mary and Martha in the New Testament, Sister McConkie spoke of learning to “sit at the feet of the Holy One of Israel and give time to holiness.”

“Do we set aside the phone, the never-ending to-do list, and the cares of worldliness? Prayer, study and heeding the word of God invites His cleansing and healing love into our souls. Take time to be holy that we may be filled with His sacred, sanctifying Spirit. With the Holy Ghost as our guide, we will be prepared to receive the Savior in the beauty of holiness.”

Holiness is becoming a saint through the Atonement of Jesus Christ

Drawing from the words of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon, Sister McConkie spoke of becoming a saint — someone who is submissive, meek, humble, patient and full of love — through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

“Do we see our utter dependence on the grace and mercy of Christ our Lord?” she asked. “Do we recognize that every good gift, temporal and spiritual, comes to us through Christ? Do we remember that according to the Father’s eternal plan, peace in this life and in the glories of eternity are ours only in and through His Holy Son? …

“I testify that as we come unto the Holy One of Israel, His Spirit will come upon us that we may be filled with joy, receive a remission of our sins and peace of conscience.” @marianne_holman

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