PROVO, Utah — Sending greetings to the more than 15,000 women who attended the 2003 BYU Women's Conference, held May 1-2 on the campus of BYU, was Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, wife of Jordan's King Abdullah II.
"I regret not having the opportunity to be there today to salute all of you — who like so many women in the Arab world — hold family and faith at the center of your lives, your work and your dreams," Queen Rania wrote in a letter read during the opening general session by Sandra Rogers, chairwoman of the BYU Women's Conference Committee.
"Like you, I believe that for all the many wonders of the modern age, the strength and warmth of community life still rest on these 'traditional' values.' . . . Mormon women embody a rich tradition of compassionate service — of caring for the weak and comforting the needy. Muslims too share belief that our duty is to take care of others and that mercy, charity and compassion define our worthiness in God's eyes."
Elder Cecil O. Samuelson of the Seventy — and president of BYU as of that morning — greeted attendees at the conference.
"I appreciate this distinct honor and privilege this morning in my first official public act as president of Brigham Young University to welcome you all to the 2003 BYU Women's Conference," Elder Samuelson said.
During an "Evening of Service and Good Works" and other service activities, conference-goers assembled 44,555 hygiene kits, 14,942 school kits and 4,952 newborn kits, and tied 123 quilts for Humanitarian Services. Beginning on this page are highlights of a few messages delivered during the conference.