Young Women general presidency speaks on ‘the beautiful reality’ of divine identity and discipleship

Addressing the topic “The Beautiful Reality of What It Means To Be a Daughter of God,” during a featured Thursday afternoon session of the BYU Women’s Conference, the Young Women’s general presidency divided their time and messages into three subjects — divine identity, discipleship and witnessing.

“We are beloved daughters. We are disciples of Jesus Christ. We are witnesses of God,” said President Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president, reminding listeners of the Young Women theme.

“Together we will be like a symphony, a rich and enveloping melody that reminds us of our divine identity and purpose as covenant women. Sisters, never forget that alone we are not enough, but because of our divine and supernal Savior, Jesus Christ, we are glorious.”

President Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president, speaks at the 2021 BYU Women's Conference on April 29, 2021, at the BYU Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.
President Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president, speaks at the 2021 BYU Women’s Conference on April 29, 2021, at the BYU Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. Credit: BYU Photo

President Cordon: Witnesses of God

At times, witnessing of God can feel a little daunting, President Cordon admitted.

“Even in the midst of our mortal remodel the Lord asks us to ‘stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places.’ He doesn’t give us any qualifiers. He doesn’t say, ‘When the house is clean,’ ‘when the children are at their angelic best’ or ‘when work finally calms down.’ He asks us to witness of Him now while we are in our ‘muddled mortal middle.’”

She added: “We won’t be perfect, and that is OK. But we can strive — and thankfully we can repent as needed.”

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The Lord asks His disciples to be a light and to witness to friends, family, co-workers, associates and strangers, President Cordon said. “We can do this because we do not do it alone. The lives of those around us are precious to our Heavenly Father, He invites us to treat them with love — His love.”

It is more than kindness, she continued, calling it “kindness in Christ” — a power that comes when goodness is combined with the promise of exaltation through a merciful and loving Savior.

“My beloved friends, no matter the rubble that may surround your feet, no matter the mess you feel you are in, look up and know that the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ shines through you for those around you. The Lord’s light is more than enough. You are enough. Stand tall, and shine on.”

Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, speaks during the 2021 BYU Women's Conference on April 29, 2021, at the BYU Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.
Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, speaks during the 2021 BYU Women’s Conference on April 29, 2021, at the BYU Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. Credit: BYU Photo

Sister Craig: Disciples of Christ

“I wish we could go to lunch and talk about what it looks like to be a disciple in your unique circumstances,” said Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency.

“We are all in different stages of life, but we are united in our desires to become more like Jesus Christ. This process of discipleship is not a checklist, it is individual, and it doesn’t happen quickly.”

Rather, discipleship starts right where one is, she said, citing three elements of love.

  • Love God: “If we want to be disciples, we will certainly be asked to do some things that are hard, some things that take us beyond ourselves and right into the ’Comforter’s zone.′ They don’t have to be big and flashy things — they will most often be small things, but we can do them with great love.”
  • Love others: “Disciples can show this great love in small acts — by opening your home and your heart to one who might be wandering; by loving others you work with — whether that work is changing diapers or changing minds.”
  • We are loved: “Jesus Christ heals broken things. We are all broken in some way — broken hearts, broken dreams, broken bodies, broken minds — and that is OK. … His grace heals, and we can be better and stronger because we come broken to our Savior and our Redeemer. Because we are loved.”
Sister Rebecca L. Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, speaks during the 2021 BYU Women's Conference on April 29, 2021, at the BYU Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.
Sister Rebecca L. Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, speaks during the 2021 BYU Women’s Conference on April 29, 2021, at the BYU Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. Credit: BYU Photo

Sister Craven: Divine identity

Sister Rebecca L. Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, listed five blessings of knowing one’s divine identity:

  • “It amplifies our understanding of what we can become and gives us a standard by which to live.
  • “It helps us to live our covenants and emulate Christ-like characteristics.
  • “It propels us to treat others as daughters and sons of God and shun divisive thoughts and behaviors.
  • “Understanding our divine heritage gives us strength to prevail over the adversary and sustain us through the challenges of life.
  • “It gives us eternal perspective.”

Like the Trojan horse of Greek mythology, Satan places seemingly appealing deceptions and distractions to minimize one’s identity and self-worth.

“Isn’t it reassuring that in a world that diminishes — and sometimes tries to erase — eternal titles such as mother and father, female and male, we hold these identities sacred?” Sister Craven asked. “We must be deliberate in our efforts to internalize our identity and teach it to our rising generation.”

Knowing of divine identity, she concluded, “gives me courage to stretch beyond my natural abilities to do things I never thought I could do. It helps me stay grounded in a world with conflicting attitudes and views. And it gives me confidence to face the future with faith.”

The BYU Cougarettes perform a dance routine to the song "Glorious" at the close of a BYU Women's Conference session featuring the Young Women general presidency on Thursday, April 29, 2021.
The BYU Cougarettes perform a dance routine to the song “Glorious” at the close of a BYU Women’s Conference session featuring the Young Women general presidency on Thursday, April 29, 2021. Credit: Alyssa Dahneke, BYU Photo

At the close of the session, President Cordon introduced a gift from the Young Women general presidency and the BYU Cougarettes — a dance routine performed by the Cougarettes to the song “Glorious.”

“Sisters, never forget that alone we are not enough, but because of our divine and supernal Savior, Jesus Christ, we are glorious,” President Cordon said.