The annual LDS Scouting Leadership Conference was recently held at the Philmont Scout Ranch in eastern New Mexico (See July 22 Church News). Over the coming weeks, the Church News will publish highlights from this year's conference.
PHILMONT SCOUT RANCH, N.M. — Amid life's perpetual buzz, bustle and noise, LDS women can catch their spiritual breath by remembering the Savior's peaceful charge: "Be still and know that I am God" (Doctrine and Covenants 101:16).
The placid New Mexican high country surrounding the Philmont Scout Ranch seemed an apt setting for that message delivered by Young Men General President Charles Dahlquist and his wife, Zella Dahlquist, at a midday fireside for women attending the conference.
The annual LDS Scouting Leadership Conference at Philmont brings together local priesthood leaders from throughout the United States and sometimes Canada to develop their skills in working with young people. Many such leaders traveled to Philmont with their wives — women with hectic lives of their own filled with family duties, Church service and, perhaps, careers.
"Thank you for giving us an opportunity to serve," said Brother Dahlquist, adding that he is a product "of good women." He remembered being a teenager and walking in to his parents' bedroom to find his mother on her knees in quiet prayer. She was praying for her son.
"Your children know that you pray for them. They know you love them," Brother Dahlquist said.
President Dahlquist spoke of the New Testament story of sisters Mary and Martha — two good women who lived the best they knew how. While Martha played the busy host to Christ, troubling herself to make her sacred guest comfortable, Mary chose to forget her domestic duties and instead sat at the Savior's feet, listening.
Brother Dahlquist said he is grateful for both women. But if all women were like Mary, he said, nothing would get done. And if all women were like Martha, much in life that is important would be missed. It was Christ who had to remind the troubled Martha who was losing patience with Mary that her sister "was listening to something important."
Sometimes amid the noise of the world, LDS women can "be still and know that I am God."
Sister Dahlquist spoke of the special opportunity that Philmont's mountains offer for participants to catch their breath. The Lord, she said, has often used mountain tops to speak to His children. But away from such natural settings, LDS women may have to listen closely to hear the Lord's voice.
"The world screams at us — the Spirit whispers," she said.
Satan does not want such perceptive ears among LDS women, Sister Dahlquist said. Instead, the devil wants the sisters of the Church to be harried and unsettled by the world's many demands and distractions.
"(Satan) knows that if he can bring a woman or a mother down, he has a better chance of getting to the family," Sister Dahlquist said.
An LDS woman's life is filled with many essential duties such as prayer, scripture study, temple worship, family home evening and service. "But sometimes we pack in too much," she said. Her message included special counsel: don't overdo it.
"The Spirit has a difficult time speaking to a hurried heart," she said.
Be good, Sister Dahlquist counseled. Take care of yourself and don't leave the Lord's path.
"You can do a lot, but you don't have to do it all."
E-mail to: [email protected]