Dependence upon God: independence from world

"Dependence upon God is independence from the world," said JoAnn Shields, a member of the Young Women General Board. In offering opening remarks for a Women's Conference panel on "God's Power in the Home: Increasing Family Effectiveness," she explained: "Asking, yielding and trusting bring God's power into our minds and into our homes."

Sister Shields was one of six auxiliary general board members comprising the panel. After Sister Shields's opening remarks, the board members teamed up in pairs to speak about God's power in childhood, God's power in adolescence and God's power in adulthood.The first pair consisted of Patricia H. Nielsen of the Primary General Board and Coleen K. Menlove of the Young Women General Board. Sister Nielsen said: "Much of what children understand of God's character they will learn from us. They are dependent upon us to model God-like qualities."

Sister Menlove said: "Let us act with brightness of hope, cope with difficulties without being discouraged. Children are sensitive to our anxieties, but they are encouraged by our hope."

Nancy S. Hardy of Young Women General Board, who teamed with Sister Shields, spoke of parents "yielding" or "loosening," not "losing" hold of adolescents. "Studies show they want your love, your relationship, your guidance, even your rules. They just want more and more freedom to move within your loose hold."

Carol B. Thomas and Cherry B. Silver of the Relief Society General Board were the final panelists. Sister Thomas spoke of opening oneself to loved ones. "When we open space in our lives to a loved one, we pull down those territorial fences. We don't just share a house, food and income, we open ourselves emotionally as we share time and ideas and feelings."

Sister Silver said: "We need to move from the culture of the world to the culture of the gospel. In the culture of the gospel we have the model of Jesus and of families striving to live in covenant relationships."