Stand firm and steadfast: Claim the promises of eternal glory

Remain firm, steadfast and immovable as daughters of God, Relief Society General President Mary Ellen Smoot admonished Sept. 29 in the Conference Center.

"We choose to be steadfast and immovable in our faith because of the promises of eternal glory, eternal increase and continued family relationships in the celestial kingdom. We love our families and know that our greatest joy and peace come to us as we watch each family member face the tests of life and make righteous choices to overcome the world," she said.

During the General Relief Society Meeting, Sister Smoot spoke of the sisterhood of the Church's women's organization. "This organization for all women of the Church is for the purpose of helping to bring us to the Savior and assisting one another in helping the sick and the poor. Relief Society sisters will put their arms around the new members and make everyone feel needed and nurtured no matter what their status of life is at this time."

Quoting the Savior's words in Matthew 22:37-39, to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," and to "love thy neighbour as thyself," Sister Smoot said: "These are the great commandments. As we strive to live these commandments, the others will take care of themselves.

"How is our relationship with Heavenly Father? Do we love Him with all our heart, might, mind and strength? How well do we love our families, our neighbors, our Relief Society sisters, our fellowman? These questions help us recognize the things that matter most and serve as a template upon which we can place the activities of our days to see how we measure up.

Relief Society sisters from Salt Lake City area sing in choir at General Relief Society Meeting.
Relief Society sisters from Salt Lake City area sing in choir at General Relief Society Meeting. Credit: Photo by Scott G. Winterton

"Yes, at times we are beset by troubles and pain and grief. But we must not surrender. We must not retreat. Oh, that the words of our declaration could take root deep within us: 'We are beloved . . . daughters of God. . . . We are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ. . . . We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity.'

"Discouragement, sorrow, pain and grief may beset us and try us. But my beloved sisters in the gospel, while it is too late to turn back, we can stand firm and steadfast and leave footprints on the hearts of those whose lives we touch. We can smile at the rage of the tempest and ride triumphantly across the boisterous ocean of circumstance. We can have the testimony of Jesus Christ light up a lamp that will guide us through the portals of immortality."