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What the 9 women in the General Presidencies had to say about their role in the priesthood

by | Jul. 09, 2020

During the women’s session of the October 2019 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson made this powerful statement to the sisters of the Church: “How I yearn for you to understand that the restoration of the priesthood is just as relevant to you as a woman as it is to any man.” He then entreated the women of the Church “to study prayerfully all the truths you can find about priesthood power.”

Like many other Latter-day Saint women in the world, the women in the General Presidencies of the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary did not take President Nelson’s invitation lightly.

Over the past two months, all nine women have published articles sharing what they’ve learned about accessing priesthood power during their lives. The articles were shared by Church News as part of their series, “Women of Covenant,” which seeks to “share stories of real women discussing what priesthood power looks like in their lives.” 

Women and men looking to better understand this important aspect of Church doctrine should consider studying the words of these faithful women leaders. Selected portions of their articles can be found below. Find their full remarks at Church News.

Relief Society General Presidency

President Jean B. Bingham

“One of the things I’ve learned about the priesthood is that we do best when we work interdependently with one another. That’s how the Lord designed it; that is the divine pattern. We don’t need to compete because all those different gifts and talents and abilities are needed—from both men and women. The Lord is leading us gently along that path so all of us can gain a better understanding of how to work together and how to value each other’s contributions. It truly is the best way to accomplish His work.

“Women don’t need to wait for someone to tell them what to do with their gifts, talents and power. We have the ability to receive revelation for ourselves. We shouldn’t wait to be acted upon; we need to have the courage to act on the revelation that we receive.”

Read President Bingham's message here.

Sister Sharon Eubank, First Counselor

Sister Eubank shared a story of a woman who had spent many painstaking hours sewing an altar cloth for the new Denver temple. Then one day, the woman’s grandson went into the sewing room and used scissors to create a hole in her work. The woman was devastated and had to start over on her project. 

“I envision priesthood power as a single, fine, smooth white thread that comes from God and loops in and out, up and around, seeming to have its own direction in our lives. But over time an intricate pattern is revealed. That design covers the altar of God, the holiest place where we bind on earth and bind in heaven,” wrote Sister Eubank.

“There is always going to be some event that comes along in our lives and snips a big hole out of our offering. It can make our hearts bleed as we feel all we have done with the best intention is wasted. But we each have the privilege to draw upon priesthood power and skillfully begin to repair each strand or even start fresh if needed.”

Read Sister Eubank's message here.

Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor

“Since I joined the Church, I have been able to serve in different callings and assignments that have required me to counsel together with fellow servants with whom I share the desire to serve Jesus Christ. Over and over, I have marveled at the power of God that I can feel in myself and others as we look for the will of the Lord collectively in sacred Church council settings.

“It has happened to me many times that, even though I have tried to prepare for a meeting by reading the material that will be discussed or by praying to ask for the revelation I need to be an active participant in that council, not much comes to my mind and heart in advance. However, once I am sitting in that divine setting trying to listen intently to what others say, and as I receive promptings from the Spirit, ideas and feelings start coming to me.”

Sister Aburto's message here.

Young Women General Presidency

President Bonnie H. Cordon

“By intentionally making service to others part of our life, we will discover the mysteries of God. We will discover peace, find strength, and receive an increase of power as we serve our Savior, Jesus Christ, and strive to be His hands to lift and bless those around us.”

Read President Cordon's message here.

Sister Michelle Craig, First Counselor

“I like the idea that I am on a quest for things of a better world. I can go on this quest with confidence because I have the Holy Ghost to help me. I also have my covenants, which bring priesthood power into my life.”

Sister Craig draws inspiration from to a scripture directed to Emma Smith.

“I love the way Emma was counseled to view her covenants—she was to ‘cleave unto the covenants’ which she had made. Cleave is another action verb, and it means ‘to stick; to adhere; to hold to.’ Our covenants make us stick to or bind us to the Lord, and that brings me the priesthood power that I need every single day.”

Read Sister Craig's message here.

Primary General Presidency

President Joy D. Jones

“Men and women have different but equally important responsibilities in the home and the Church. Priesthood power can help each person perform those responsibilities for the benefit of all.

“Because God’s priesthood power is on the earth today, great blessings are available to all worthy Church members, whether they are old or young, male or female, single or married.”

Read President Joneses message here.

Sister Lisa. L Harkness, First Counselor

“In the world, power is often an all or nothing possession. There is never enough of it to go around. It is often used to control others and is usually maintained only by force. Its misuse can lead to abuse and indulgent vices.

“In contrast, God’s priesthood power is distributed very differently. It is given, bestowed, conferred and shared based on conditions of worthiness. It operates on principles of righteousness, which include ‘gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned’” (D&C 121:41).

Read Sister Harkness's message here.

Sister Cristina B. Franco, Second Counselor

“Access to the power and blessings of the priesthood is available to everyone. As we remain faithful, we can receive those priesthood powers and blessings in all aspects of our life. It can provide us with protection, comfort, strength, peace, and promises that reach into the eternities. Through that priesthood power, the Holy Ghost also helps me to recall experiences in my life that continue to build my testimony and faith in God.

"I testify that as we exercise faith in the Lord and in His priesthood power, drawing nearer to Him and submitting to His will, we will see many miracles in our lives.”

Read Sister Franco's message here.

Lead image: Laura Seitz, Deseret News.
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Emily Abel

Emily first found her love for storytelling as an editorial intern at LDS Living. She recently returned as a content writer and loves that her job is to highlight the meaningful in life. Emily is a graduate of Utah State University in English. Hiking trails, dance studios, and behind the cover of a good book are some of her favorite places to be.

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