Sister Bonnie H. Cordon: ‘Becoming a Shepherd’

Young Women general president

Notable quotes:

  • "What better way is there to feed His sheep than to help them feel His love — through you?"
  • " Your sacred ministering assignment gives you the divine right to inspiration. You can seek that inspiration with confidence."
  • "Whether our sheep are strong or weak, rejoicing or in anguish, we can make certain that no one walks alone."

Talk summary:

Last April, President Russell M. Nelson extended an invitation to the membership of the Church to “feed our Father’s sheep in a holier way and to do so through ministering.

“To effectively accept this invitation, we must develop a shepherd’s heart and understand the needs of the Lord’s sheep. How do we become the shepherds the Lord and His prophet need us to become?

“As with all questions, we can look to our Savior, Jesus Christ — the Good Shepherd.”

Youth can be among some of the strongest shepherds. “I hope, like our prophet, that we recognize the magnificent strength and nobility found in these youth. They elevate, expand and magnify the work. Ministering side by side with them, we see wonders.”

The youth are needed. “If you don’t have a ministering assignment, talk with your Relief Society or elders quorum president. They will rejoice in your willingness to make certain His sheep are known and numbered, watched over and gathered into the fold of God.”


Sister Cordon shared three ways in which individuals can follow the Savior's example in becoming a trusted shepherd.

  1. "As we strive to follow the Savior's example, we must, first, know and number His sheep. We have been assigned specific individuals and families to tend so we are certain all of the Lord's flock are accounted for and no one is forgotten. Numbering, however, is not really about numbers; it is about making certain each person feels the love of the Savior through someone who serves for Him. In that way, all can recognize that they are known by a loving Father in Heaven."
  2. Second, individuals must watch over His sheep. "Do our sheep know we are watching over them with love and we will take action to help? … Our sheep may be hurting, lost or even willfully astray; as their shepherd, we can be among the first to see their need. We can listen and love without judgment and offer hope and help with the discerning guidance of the Holy Ghost."
  3. Third, all must be gathered into the fold of God. "To do so, we must consider where they are on the covenant path and be willing to walk with them on their journey of faith. Ours is a sacred privilege to come to know their hearts and point them to their Savior."

Speaker Snapshot:

  • Sister Bonnie H. Cordon was named the Young Women general president on March 31, 2018.
  • At the time of her call, Sister Cordon was serving as a counselor in the Primary general presidency.
  • Born March 11, 1964, to Harold and Carol Rasmussen Hillam, the third of seven children.
  • Raised on an 80-acre farm in southeast Idaho, she raised chickens and sold the eggs to her schoolteachers.
  • Before being called to the Primary general presidency, she was serving as a stake Young Women president.
  • Sister Cordon speaks fluent Portuguese which she learned as a young missionary in Portugal.
  • She studied education at Brigham Young University, where she met Derek Cordon. They were married on April 25, 1986, in the Salt Lake Temple.
  • They are the parents of four children.
  • As a family, they enjoy scuba diving, hiking, skiing and traveling.
  • She served with her husband as he presided over the Brazil Curitiba Mission from 2010 to 2013.

Recent talks:

During an LDSBC devotional on May 29, 2018, Sister Cordon talked about sharing light to get through the darkness. She also recalled a story from her childhood on the farm when Elder L. Tom Perry helped her feed her chickens. Read the talk here.

On March 25, 2017, Sister Cordon spoke during the women's session of general conference on trusting in the Lord and learning to "lean not."