Privileges and Responsibilities of Sisters

Under the direction of President Spencer W. Kimball, a meeting was called where all women twelve and older gathered together on September 16th, 1978.  You can find his addresses compiled in a talk called, Privileges and Responsibilities of Sisters.  There were so many good parts to this talk, I had to share it with you.

He lays out in detail what we should be doing as Women of God.  Sometimes, while battling the daily grinds, we forget and get caught up in the world.

“May I begin with re-emphasizing some everlasting truths.  My dear sisters, choose to keep the commandments of God.  For men, for women, for young, for old, this is the secret to happiness, here and hereafter.  Keeping them with self-mastery and personal discipline allows the real freedoms that exalt and sustain us.  The basic commandments are as simple as they are true: the Ten Commandments as given by God to Moses and the addition to them of what the Savior said—to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, might and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.

Attend to your personal and family prayers and family devotions.  Keep the Sabbath day holy in thought and deed.  Live strictly the Word of Wisdom.  Attend to all family duties.  Keep your life clean and free from all unholy and impure thoughts and actions.  Cultivate those associations and activities which will not threaten and lower your high, righteous standards.

Study the scriptures.  Thus you may gain strength through the understanding of eternal things.  You young women need this close relationship with the mind and will of our Eternal Father.  We want our sisters to be scholars of the scriptures as well as our men.

You need an acquaintanceship with his eternal truths for your well being, and for the purposes of teaching your own children and all others who come within your influence.

Be chaste and do everything in your power to help others to be.  Be so absorbed with uplifting, enriching pursuits and pastimes that you leave no room for the negative or the evil that might move in to fill some bored or thoughtless void.

Remember always that the Lord has sanctified some things, and they are not to be forgotten or departed from.  They are divine principles, which if adhered to, will make you supremely happy.

The words of all inspired prophets will teach you that violations of the law of chastity are sins in the eyes of your Heavenly Father.  It is a transgression to be involved in any illicit sex activity such as fornication or adultery.  It is a transgression to become involved in lesbianism or to engage in any lustful activity.”

These statements are pretty bold and direct.  We need to hear the white against the black and gray.  I appreciate a prophet who can cut through sludge with the two-edge sword of truth.

I love his tenderness in these words:

“Now, the General Authorities are very much aware of the fact that many of our sisters are widows.  Others have become divorced.  Still others have never had the privilege of temple marriage.  We want all such sisters to understand that when we speak of family life, it is not done to make them feel sad or unappreciated.  The leaders of the Church have said often, and clearly, that women in such circumstances include some of the most noble spirits of our Father in heaven.  Those who make the best of what life has given to them will be rewarded for all that they have done in the service of our Heavenly Father and their fellowman.

Mormon women are basically strong, independent, and faithful.  They have chosen to live by a creed and a way of life that can be demanding at best.  From the earliest days of the Church, active membership has meant faith, fortitude, denial, selflessness, and good service.

Each of you should be grateful to be a woman!  To be a righteous woman during the winding up scenes on this earth, before the second coming of our Savior, is an especially noble calling.  The righteous woman’s strength and influence today can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times.  She has been placed here to help to enrich, to protect, and to guard the home—which is society’s basic and most noble institution.  Other institutions in society may falter and even fail, but the righteous woman can help to save the home, which may be the last and only sanctuary some mortals know in the midst of storm and strife.

One of the important messages that emerges from the history of great women in all ages is that they cared more for the future of their families than for their own comfort.  Such good women had a grasp of what matters in life.  When called upon to do so, they could fashion a lovely city in the midst of a swamp or make the desert blossom as a rose.

Never let it be said that you did not understand.  Please think on these things.”

I am continually amazed that our prophets have told us everything we should be doing during our sojourn on this earth.  There is a long list of do’s and don’ts.  The most important thing that impresses me is that it all matters.  We are accountable for all of our choices, our level of obedience, and our endurance to the end.