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President Susan H. Porter: ‘Lessons at the Well’

President Susan H. Porter: ‘Lessons at the Well’

President Susan H. Porter was released as first counselor in the Primary general presidency and sustained as the Primary general president, effective Aug. 1. She spoke during the women’s session of April 2022 general conference. She shared three lessons she is learning as she continues to come to the Savior. The following is a summary of what she said.

Notable quotes from President Porter

“No matter our circumstances, our lives are sacred and have meaning and purpose.”

“We can choose to turn to the Savior today for the strength and healing that will enable us to fulfill all that we were sent here to do.”

“You may be young or feel of no importance, but you can be as salt in your family and in your community.”

Summary of President Porter’s talk

After Sister Porter’s husband passed away, she asked the Lord: “What would Thou have me do?” Later, as she was going through the mail she saw a small picture in a catalog that caught her eye — it was of the Samaritan woman with Jesus at the well. 

“A loving Heavenly Father was inviting me to come to the Savior and learn.”

Here are three lessons she’s learned.   

1. “Our past and present circumstances do not determine our future.” The woman at the well had difficulties in her life and she became a powerful witness. 

“Like her, we can choose to turn to the Savior today for the strength and healing that will enable us to fulfill all that we were sent here to do.”

2. “The power is in [us]” (see Doctrine and Covenants 58:27).

It’s through making and keeping covenants in baptism and in the temple that the Lord will bless His children with “strengthening power” and “spiritual insights and awakenings.”

3. “Out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made comparisons to salt, light and leaven. 

“Even in very small amounts, each affects everything around them. The Savior invites us to use His power to be as ­­­salt, leaven and light.”

About President Porter

President Porter in the news

  • Phone calls to other women in the community led to a meeting, and that meeting led to an idea — to have a day of community service activities. That’s the beginning of the Women of Faith Service Project, said President Porter, who was serving as first counselor in her stake’s Relief Society presidency when it started. This year’s was on March 19 — and she brought a friend, Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham.
  • During the Friend to Friend broadcast on Feb. 19, the hosts on set emphasized that following Jesus takes daily practice, just like learning anything new. To demonstrate this principle, President Porter played a simple version of “I Am a Child of God” on the piano. The Primary general presidency — President Camille N. Johnson, Sister Porter and Sister Amy A. Wright — join the hosts and explorer to help children learn more about baptism, the Holy Ghost and the sacrament. 
  • At BYU Women’s Conference, she shared about how her husband was in the hospital while they were serving in Russia. She remembered the peace she felt as she sat by Elder Porter’s bed and later at home, alone but not lonely. “As I was wrapped in those memories,” President Porter said, “the Lord spoke clearly to my mind, ‘I did this for you.’”

President Porter’s recent social posts

  • President Porter wrote about how the love of the Lord and His temples can be shared with children of all ages, on Oct. 27, 2021. “We can be sure that no matter what choices they make in their lives, they will know of our deep love for them and for the blessings our Heavenly Father offers to us in His holy temples,” she said in the post.

  • On Dec. 9, 2021, President Porter wrote about the faith and devotion of her great-grandmother, who sailed from England to America to gather with the Saints in Utah.

  • When President Porter was asked by a Primary president how to help children reach out with love to those who may seem different from them, the words of a Primary song came to her mind. “Showing love by our actions is key,” she wrote on March 29.

Read more April 2022 general conference coverage

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