Sister Tamara W. Runia: ‘Seeing God’s Family Through the Overview Lens’

In these last days, perhaps our greatest work will be with our loved ones — good people living in a wicked world’

Sister Tamara W. Runia, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, spoke during the Saturday evening session of October 2023 general conference. She invited all to zoom out and view their family relationships through an eternal lens. The following is a summary of what she said.

Sister Runia’s talk summary 

While humans have an earthbound point of view, God sees the grand overview of the universe. Through the eye of faith, individuals can zoom out and view themselves and their families with hope and joy. Amid their worries, they can feel that everything is going to be OK — now. They can choose hope in Christ and in one another.

“Families are a God-given laboratory where we’re figuring things out, so missteps and miscalculations are not just possible but probable. … Let’s zoom out to view family relationships as the powerful vehicle to teach us the lessons we came here to learn as we turn to the Savior.”

The adversary does not want individuals and their loved ones to return home together, and he tries to perpetuate a sense of panic. When zoomed in, it can be hard to see that direction matters more than speed. God is not bound by time and sees who His children really are.

“While our families aren’t perfect, we can perfect our love for others until it becomes a constant, unchanging, no-matter-what kind of love — the type of love that supports change and allows for growth and return. … In earthly families, we’re simply doing what God has done with us — pointing the way and hoping our loved ones will go in that direction, knowing the path they travel is theirs to choose.”

Notable quotes

“In these last days, perhaps our greatest work will be with our loved ones — good people living in a wicked world.”

“It is my witness that the Savior has the ability, because of His Atonement, to turn any nightmare you are going through into a blessing.”

“It’s the Savior’s work to bring our loved ones back. It’s His work and His timing. It is our work to provide the hope and a heart they can come home to.”

See the full text of Sister Runia’s talk: ‘Seeing God’s Family Through the Overview Lens’

Who is Sister Runia?

Sister Tamara W. Runia, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency.
Sister Tamara W. Runia, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Sister Runia began her service as first counselor in the Young Women general presidency on Aug. 1. 
  • She was born in Concord, California, and grew up in Walnut Creek, California.
  • Sister Runia was a freshman at Brigham Young University studying broadcast journalism when she met her husband, R. Scott Runia, a BYU basketball player. They were married in the Oakland California Temple and have seven children.
  • Sister Runia and Brother Runia served as mission leaders of the Australia Sydney Mission.

What has Sister Runia done recently?

Follow the Young Women general presidency on Facebook and Instagram.

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