Sister Susan H. Porter: ‘God’s Love: The Most Joyous to the Soul’

Sister Susan H. Porter, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, spoke during the Saturday afternoon session of October 2021 general conference. She taught worldwide listeners how feeling God’s love can change everything. The following is a summary of what she said.

Notable quotes from Sister Porter

“When you know and understand how completely you are loved as a child of God, it changes everything.”
“God’s love is not found in the circumstances of our lives, but in His presence in our lives.”
“God’s love, however, is not only received by those who come to the tree but is the very power that motivates us to seek that tree.”

Summary of Sister Porter’s talk

Knowing and feeling the love of Heavenly Father has the power to change many aspects of life — including how “you feel when difficult things happen” and “your view of God’s commandments.”

“When you know and understand how completely you are loved as a child of God, it changes everything.”

When Nephi was shown the tree of life, he asked to see the interpretation. The angel showed Nephi the city of Nazareth, Mary and baby Jesus. The angel declared: “Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!”

“At that sacred moment, Nephi understood that in the birth of the Savior, God was showing forth His pure and complete love.” 

God’s love isn’t just felt by those who have followed the iron rod and partake of the fruit. 

“God’s love, however, is not only received by those who come to the tree but is the very power that motivates us to seek that tree.”

At times, it can be difficult to feel God’s love. Prayer can help people to see His hand in their lives.

“God’s love is not found in the circumstances of our lives, but in His presence in our lives.”

About Sister Porter

  • Sister Susan H. Porter was sustained as the first counselor in the Primary general presidency in the April 2021 general conference. 
  • She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Brigham Young University in 1976. 
  • She and her late husband, Elder Bruce D. Porter, a General Authority Seventy, raised their family in Massachusetts, Virginia and Germany before moving to Provo, Utah. They have four children and 12 grandchildren. 

Sister Porter in the news

  • During the Sister to Sister event at BYU Women’s Conference, she shared how struggled to feel the Lord’s guidance after her husband died and she prayed to know how to move forward. It was when she was thumbing through the mail when a catalog with a painting of the Savior talking to a woman at the well that she received her answer. Often, the Lord is giving more revelation than one recognizes, Sister Porter said. When she struggles to recognize the Lord’s voice, she tries to “tune” her heart so she can feel and understand it. 
  • In episode 32 of the Church News podcast, she shared about receiving the call to serve in the Primary general presidency. 
  • At BYU Women’s Conference, she shared about how her husband was in the hospital while they were serving in Russia. She remembered the peace she felt as she sat by Elder Porter’s bed and later at home, alone but not lonely. “As I was wrapped in those memories,” Sister Porter said, “the Lord spoke clearly to my mind, ‘I did this for you’.”

Sister Porter’s recent social posts

  • Sister Porter shared on Aug. 20 about the importance of allowing children to work alongside parents, through service in the Church, in order to help them feel like active participants in the Lord’s vineyard.
  • She encouraged her social media followers on June 6 to consider using the Gospel for Kids app as a tool to “love and teach our Heavenly Father’s children.”

“Everyone has hard days and makes mistakes, children and adults alike,” wrote Sister Porter in a recent social media post on June 2. “The Savior asks us to extend kindness to everyone, including ourselves.”

Read more October 2021 general conference coverage