Sister Sharon Eubank: 'Turn on your light'

Righteous women have a significant part to play in building the kingdom in the latter-days, Sister Sharon Eubank taught during the General Women’s Session of the 187th Semiannual General Conference held in the Conference Center on Sept. 23.

“For my text I am going back almost 40 years to a remarkable prophecy written by President Spencer W. Kimball,” said Sister Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency. “September 1979 was only the second time the women of the global Church had met in their own general meeting.”

President Kimball had prepared his talk but when the day of the conference came, he was in the hospital, so his wife, Camilla Eyring Kimball, read his remarks on his behalf. The talk emphasized the influence of the good women of the world prior to the second coming of the Savior, and offered an “electrifying charge” to the women of the Church.

Sister Eubank pointed out three important parts of President Kimball’s charge to be a “significant force” in the last days. First, that it will be the good relationships of women that will trigger much of the major growth coming to the Church in the years ahead.

Second, the friendships that Relief Society women, young women and primary girls build with sincere, faithful godly women and girls of other faiths and beliefs will be a significant force in how the Church grows in the last days.

Third, President Kimball called the women from other backgrounds “heroines” who will be "more concerned with being righteous than selfish," and who will show that integrity is more valuable than visibility.

“I have met so many of these good women as I do my work around the world,” Sister Eubank said. “Their friendships are precious to me. You know them too among your friends and neighbors. They may or may not be members of the Church right now but we connect in friendship that is very important. How do we play our part? What should we do?"

Sister Eubank shared five things women can do to “play our part” in the building of the kingdom on the earth.

1. Be righteous.

“Being righteous doesn’t mean being perfect or never making mistakes,” Sister Eubank said. “It means developing an inner connection with God, repenting of our sins and mistakes, and freely helping others. Women who have repented have changed the course of history.”

2. Be articulate.

“Being articulate means to clearly express how you feel about something and why,” Sister Eubank taught.

“Use your voice and your power to articulate what you know and feel — on social media, in quiet conversations with your friends, when you are chatting with your grandchildren. Tell them why you believe, how you know, what it feels like, if you ever doubted, how you got through it, what Jesus Christ means to you.”

3. Be different.

“Innovation and creation are spiritual gifts,” she said. "When we keep our covenants, it may make us different from others in our culture and society, but it gives us access to inspiration so we can think of different solutions, different approaches, different applications. We aren't always going to fit in with the world, but being different in positive ways can be a lifeline to others who are struggling.”

4. Be distinct.

Distinct means to be recognizably well-defined, Sister Eubank taught.

“The restored gospel is recognizably well defined,” Sister Eubank said. “We have to be distinct about how we follow it. … We need to practice living the gospel before the emergency so that, unafraid, we will be strong enough to help when others are being swept away by the current.”

5. Do numbers one through four on the list in happy ways.

“Being happy doesn’t mean to slap a plastic smile on your face no matter what is going on,” she said. “But it does mean keeping the laws of God and building and lifting others. When we build, when we lift the burden of others, it blesses our lives in ways our trials cannot take away.”

Sister Eubank reminded listeners that there is an energy that comes from happiness and optimism that blesses and builds everyone around them.

“Any small thing you do to light real happiness in others shows that you are already carrying the torch President Kimball lit,” she said.

Just as President Kimball invited women to be a part of the building of the kingdom in the last days, Sister Eubank invited the younger generations, “the future leaders in this Church” to carry the light forward and be the fulfillment of this prophesy.

“I appeal to each of you to put yourself in a place where you can feel the generous love God has for you,” she said. “You cannot put yourself beyond the reach of that love. When you feel His love, when you love Him, you will repent and keep His commandments. When you keep His commandments, He can use you in His work. His work and glory is the exaltation and eternal life of women and men.

“The prophets are calling on us, my sisters. Will you be righteous? Will you articulate your faith? Can you bear being distinct and different? Will your happiness in spite of your trials draw others who are good and noble and who need your friendship? Will you turn on your light? I testify that the Lord Jesus Christ will go before us and be in our midst.”

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