“The Lord has laid high responsibilities upon us.”
This quote from Eliza R. Snow, given by Sister Neill F. Marriott during the general women’s session of the 186 Annual General Conference, encapsulated the sweet spirit and theme of service that dominated the meeting.
Throughout the evening, from the inclusion of women from 52 countries, many of whom are refugees, to the videos shown and the addresses given, the Church also made a clear statement about the ongoing refugee crisis and how members of the Church are supposed to act towards all men.
Each address, given by Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, Sister Neill F. Marriott, Sister Linda K. Burton, and President Henry B. Eyring, focused on service and how women of the Church could follow the example of Jesus Christ by developing an attitude of selflessness, relying on the Holy Ghost for guidance, and the true nature of love.
“Prayerfully determine what you can do…to serve the refugees living in your neighborhoods and communities,” Sister Linda K. Burton, General President of the Relief Society, said.
The videos shown also highlighted the refugee crisis. The first video played, entitled “When We Were Strangers”, showed how the early pioneers were essentially refugees in their own country and how the people of Quincy, Illinois helped save their lives during their expulsion from Missouri. The second video was about a Mormon woman from the United States and a Muslim refugee. It showed their relationship, what they learned from each other, and how they connected through the sport of running.
President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency closed the evening.
“My prayer for the sisters in the kingdom, wherever they may be or in whatever circumstances, is that their faith in the Savior and His Atonement will lead them to do all they can for those God asks them to serve. As they do, I promise that they will move up the path to become holy women, whom the Savior and our Heavenly Father will welcome warmly and reward openly,” he said.
Also in attendance was President Thomas S. Monson, who seemed to be lively and in good spirits, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, and Elder Ronald A. Rasband.