On Saturday, October 6, President Russell M. Nelson addressed the women of the Church for the first time during a historic general women's session.
President Nelson began by sharing a recent experience he had in South America. While addressing Saints, President Nelson accidentally said, "As the mother of 10 children I can tell you that. . ." Not realizing he had said "mother," President Nelson went on with his address but the translator, knowing the mistake, changed "mother" to "father." Only one other person knew about the incident.
"My wife Wendy heard it and she was delighted with my Freudian slip," President Nelson said with a smile.
Clarifying that motherhood is not dependent on whether or not a woman has children, President Nelson emphasized how much mothers are needed in the world today.
"I hope you sense how deeply I feel about you, all the good that you do. No one else can duplicate the influence of a mother," he said.
Speaking about the unique influence women have on the world, President Nelson also called on the women of the Church to "shape the future by helping to gather scattered Israel."
To help with this challenge, President Nelson invited the women of the Church to do four things:
1. A 10-day fast from social media
President Nelson encouraged the women of the Church to "pray to know which influences to remove" in their lives during this fast and refrain from indulging in negative influences.
2. Read the Book of Mormon between now and the end of the year
Though admitting some may consider this challenge impossible, President Nelson shared, "If you will accept this invitation with full purpose of heart, the Lord will help you find a way to achieve it" and, "the heavens will open for you."
3. Establish a pattern of regular temple attendance
President Nelson asked the sisters of the Church to "know more about temples than you ever have before" by establishing a pattern of regular temple attendance and studying the blessings of the temple.
"More time in the temple will allow the Lord to teach you to draw upon His priesthood power when you have been endowed in His temple," President Nelson promised.
4. Participate Fully in Relief Society
Though the church meeting schedules have changed, President Nelson encouraged sisters to participate fully in Relief Society and study the Relief Society statement and declaration.
Noting that sisters are the key to a home-centered church, President Nelson closed with a reminder that the work in the latter-days cannot be accomplished without the women of the Church.
"My dear sisters, we need you. . . we simply cannot gather Israel without you. I love you and I thank you. . . as you prepare the world for the Second Coming of His beloved son," President Nelson said.
Lead image from lds.org