General Women’s Session: Dieter F. Uchtdorf
I love that President Uchtdorf addressed us as “dear friends,” and that he said, “I always look forward to this session of Conference.”
I’m glad someone looks forward to it. I usually dread it, and up until this point in the evening I’d roundly disliked the session. My stake had put together a heartfelt and meaningful service project beforehand, which was the only reason I’d left my cozy living room, and I was reconsidering ever taking my daughters to a Women’s Session again. Already I’d had to apologize to my 8-year-old for the dead mother/starving infant story in President Wixom’s talk, and had suppressed giggles when Sister McConkie said, re temptation, “Turn it off!” (Trust me, it’s very funny if you’ve seen the Book of Mormon musical.)
The story President Uchtdorf told was about a young girl, Ava, and her Great-Aunt Rose. But it was really about the joy and hope that Rose felt as she studied the gospel, and about being happy in the work we’re all doing, whether it’s the work we expected to be doing or not. Within the story was a stark contrast to Sister McConkie’s talk, in which she told young women and girl-children that the most divine thing they can do is prepare for marriage and a family: an example of a single woman who was happy with her life, who had done and continued to do good and great works, and who had learned that faith and hope generate love.
It was a wonderful parable, and a wonderful talk. I’m just disappointed that it hadn’t been given by one of the women. When are we going to stop telling girls that their worth lies in their ability to be wives and mothers? When are we going to start encouraging girls to plan for meaningful careers? When are we going to take it upon ourselves to tell powerful stories about women, rather than wait for male leaders to interject them at the end of our meetings?