Sister Neill F. Marriott, second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, spoke at BYU Women's Conference on May 4 on what it means to be a converted, covenant-keeping woman.
A converted, convenant-keeping woman comforts and serves others with the Spirit, Sister Marriott said.
These sisters “carry with them the blessings of heaven and the glory of God,” Sister Marriott said. “They turn their hearts to Jesus Christ and take His yoke upon them. And then, with healed and strengthened faith, converted sisters reach out to heal and strengthen others.”
Sister Marriott said earnest prayer can help women become converted. She shared several ways she prepares to talk to Heavenly Father when she needs more strength to carry a burden. These included finding a place where she cannot be interrupted, kneeling down, visualizing Heavenly Father, praying aloud, sharing her testimony with God and expressing the feelings of her heart.
Another way to become converted is to open the scriptures and read, Sister Marriott said. She said regularly reading the scriptures has given her revelation about how to change her heart and solve long-standing problems.
“Opening the scriptures humbly is an act of faith,” Sister Marriott said. “The more we read, the more we will discover God is not distant.”
Sister Marriott said conversion is also enhanced by going to the temple prayerfully, meekly and regularly.
“Through participation in sacred temple ordinances, we come to know God, and then we're irresistibly drawn to His love and our conversion increases,” Sister Marriott said.
The process of becoming more like God is a conversion process that includes gospel ordinances, Sister Marriott said.
“When we participate humbly and obediently in saving ordinances, we are turning to God,” Sister Marriott said. “We are yoked to the Savior and can then receive His power in our lives.”
Sister Marriott quoted Brigham Young, saying we are “living beneath our privileges” when we take ordinances and covenants lightly.
She defined a few of these privileges as living what is true, knowing we are loved, being guided by the Holy Ghost, the ability to identify and turn from Satan's temptations and being yoked to the Savior.
“It is the understanding of and the keeping of our promises to the Lord that generate a flow of covenant privileges into our daily lives,” Sister Marriott said.
One covenant Sister Marriott mentioned was that of comforting those who stand in need of comfort.
“I dare say that everyone in this vast hall needs some kind of comfort this very minute; I do,” Sister Marriott said.
She recounted an experience she had one year at Women's Conference when she sat alone at a table in the Wilkinson Student Center, wishing she had a friend with her. Sister Marriott said she felt warmed by the presence of a sister who sat beside her and offered Sister Marriott some of her mint brownie.
“We can sensitively reach out every single day to warm someone's heart or even begin a gospel conversation with another,” Sister Marriott said.
There are two kinds of suffering in mortality, she said. One is useful, and stretches our capacity to depend on Christ. The other is “needless suffering,” or willfully choosing the disobey God.
Sister Marriott compared the cases of the people of Alma, who had made covenants with the Lord, and the people of Limhi, who had not. Alma's people chose to make covenants with God through baptism, which brought them many blessings despite facing adversity. Limhi's people suffered needlessly because they didn't depend on the Lord.
“Do you identify with the people of Limhi or the people of Alma?” Sister Marriott said. “Are you fighting a losing battle with troubles or are you applying your faith in hard situations and drawing the strength that comes from covenants?”
The privileges of making covenants only come after we are converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, Sister Marriott said.
“Jesus Christ invites us to be yoked to Him, and that yoking is done by daily living the covenants we make.”