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{A&E} Why I Loved Women's Conference

As a former student at Brigham Young University, I remember two days that occurred every year during the transition between winter semester and spring term. These two days were filled with lots of white tennis shoes, hugging, BYU fudge, whistling “As Sisters in Zion,” and yes, more BYU fudge. During these two days, BYU welcomes thousands of women from all over the world to Women’s Conference. 

Last week was my first year attending all of the sessions of Women’s Conference. I hadn’t attended up to this point because I always thought it was just a conference for my mom. Well, I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong about that. I’m converted. It was absolutely incredible. It’s like 15,000 of your best friends coming together to talk about the most uplifting things you can think of. I think the Energizer Bunny was working extra hard because everyone attending just seemed happier. And I know I left feeling like a different person--in a great way. 

Keynote speakers included: Virginia H. Pearce, Julie B. Beck, the Primary General Presidency, John and Susan Tanner, and Elder and Sister Bednar. 

Session topics varied from learning to be “enfolded in His quiet hour,” to working through addictions with loved ones, specifically pornography and drug addictions. I bet I could confidently say that every woman left Women’s Conference having said the following, or some kind of variation of it, at least once: “Wow. She said that just for me.” “I needed to hear that.” “That was the answer I was looking for.” I think, “I needed to hear that,” was my personal favorite for this conference, because I found myself saying it a lot. 

One of the most impressive moments of the two-day conference was Thursday evening when, literally, thousands of women came together for the Errand of Angels service project. Want to see some impressive numbers on what they accomplished? (I was scrambling as fast as I could to write these numbers down when they announced it later, so forgive me for missing a few; I don’t have every project and corresponding result.) All of these service projects were donated straight to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Humanitarian Services to be distributed in third-world countries, as well as the southern states in the U.S. that were hit with such horrible storms. 
  • 935 scarfs
  • 345 newborn fleece outfits
  • 175 book bags
  • 1180 bracelets/ cancer caps
  • 380 autism caterpillars
  • 460 journals/ personal history books
  • 277 Christmas stockings
  • 64 (gorgeous) quilts
  • 7700 hygiene kits
  • 34,315 newborn/ school kits
The title of the service project was quite appropriate--it absolutely was an errand of angels.

I think, as women, we often forget the true meaning and purpose of Relief Society. I saw one purpose fulfilled at this service project. I saw two other purposes fulfilled as thousands of women listened to speakers and took copious notes in order to increase their faith and personal righteousness, and determine how they can strengthen their homes and families. In her address, Sister Julie B. Beck said, “We have a Relief Society president because we are an organization. We are an organization because we have a specific outcome. The purposes of Relief Society are:

  • Help us to increase our faith and personal righteousness
  • Seek those in need and help them
  • Strengthen home and family
We do these things everyday, week, month and year. We are in the business of saving souls, my beautiful friends, because that’s His business!"