On May 4-5, close to 12,000 women from around the world converged on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo, Utah, for the largest two-day gathering of LDS women anywhere in the world.
Co-sponsored with the Relief Society and Brigham Young University, BYU Women’s Conference included more than 200 presenters sharing insights on topics of interest to women of all ages. This year's conference theme, "Converted unto the Lord," is taken from the scripture found in 3 Nephi 28:23.
Sandra Rogers, chairwoman of the conference, was joined in welcoming participants to Thursday’s activities by Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president, and President Kevin J Worthen, president of BYU.
Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency and director of LDS Charities, offered the opening keynote address on the conference’s theme, “converted unto the Lord” (3 Nephi 28:23).
In her remarks to women gathered in the Marriott Center on the Provo campus, Sister Eubank discussed three basic “ingredients” of conversion and the role of Relief Society in that process.
"Relief Society is exactly the place for all of us who don’t fit in,” Sister Eubank declared. “It is organized under priesthood keys for women so that we have a place to grow, progress, build faith, talk about the reality of family life, and mourn with each other for all the stupid, crazy things happening to us as we are mortals.”
For those who say Relief Society is just a sewing circle or a book club for women with similar interests and backgrounds, Sister Sharon Eubank responded, “No. Relief Society has a work to do on the earth.”
The Lord has a stewardship for His daughters in the work of salvation, she explained, and “it can only be done by women who are truly converted unto the Lord."
Among this year's presenters was the newly called Relief Society general presidency, the Young Women general presidency, the Primary general presidency and Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Speaking to women gathered in the Marriott Center at BYU, Sister Bingham shared her "ordinary" story and "average" life.
Yet, she explained, even in her ordinariness, “Heavenly Father saw value, and has helped me begin to develop the gifts and graces He knows will help me become all that He has designed me to be,” she said. “Know that your Heavenly Father will provide all that you need to become 'extra'-ordinary as a daughter of God. The wonder of His heavenly economy is that every single one of us can be spectacular because of our unique bundle of talents and abilities.
“Unlike the world, in His kingdom there is no winner’s platform that only has room for one or two. Each of His daughters has been taught and prepared and gifted premortally with marvelous potential to become a queen in the celestial kingdom.”
On May 5, a special musical presentation featuring a cast of women of all ages and titled "Our Roots: A Celebration of Who We Are," honored every woman who strives to plant her life in the fertile soil of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In giving the final keynote address at the annual conference, Elder Stevenson encouraged listeners to avoid 'debilitating comparisons' of social media and to utilize the “new and exciting channels of technology” to share “knowledge of the Savior.”
“May each of you have the courage to blog, pin, like, share, post, friend, tweet, snap and swipe up in a way that will glorify, honor and respect the will of our loving Heavenly Father and bring a knowledge of the Savior to your family, loved ones and friends,” he said.
In addition to attending concurrent sessions throughout the day and listening to counsel given in the general sessions on both days of the conference, conferencegoers had the opportunity to participate in daytime service projects, a evening service project, an evening concert and an Instant Choir that performed during the closing session.
Videos of the talks will be archived later in the LDS Media Library in English and Spanish. Visit the website womensconference.byu.edu for more information.