Relief Society General Presidency: "God is in Charge"
With general conference quickly approaching, we have the privilege of bringing you a candid conversation with the Relief Society General Presidency. These three women are uniquely qualified with life experiences that make them a powerful force for good. In this week's episode, the General Presidency discusses what they have learned from working closely with the First Presidency. They also share what they wish women in the Church understood right now and what 2020 has taught them about God’s love.
When we want what He wants we find joy, even in times of difficulty.
Relief Society General Presidency and Board – “Just Like You” video:
Sister Bingham speaks at United Nations:
Part One of Sister Aburto's story:
Deseret Book Live video with Sister Aburto:
Article about ProjectProtect: "ProjectProtect concludes after six weeks with nearly 6 million masks" June 23, 2020
Sister Eubank's talk addressed to single sisters: "A Letter to a Single Sister," YA Weekly, March 2020
Gospel Topics essay that Sister Eubank mentions: "Joseph Smith's Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women"
3:48- Life During a Pandemic
9:30- Labels Don’t Matter
13:36- Uniquely Called and Qualified
18:48- “I Hope Being Single Isn’t The Most Interesting Thing”
21:58- “Our Story Is Not Over Yet”
25:06- Women and the Restored Gospel
30:13- Lessons Learned in Three and a Half Years of Service
34:48- Actively Participating
36:03- 2020, Anxiety, and God’s Comfort
37:42- Difficulties Are Part of Life and Christ is the Answer
39:01- What Does It Mean To Be “All In” the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Morgan Jones 0:00
When we realized we were quickly approaching our 100th episode, we wanted to do something special. Something to thank you for spending – in some cases – nearly 100 hours of your life with us. Fortunately, there were a few other people who were also eager to let you know how much you are appreciated for every good thing you do. So today on All In, I am so grateful to the Relief Society General Presidency for joining me.
Sister Reyna Isabel Aburto was born in Nicaragua. She and her husband Carlos Aburto are both converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her life was greatly shaped by surviving an earthquake that took the life of her older brother, and by civil unrest in her native country. She has worked in the language industry for more than 25 years and owns a small translation business with her husband. She served on the Primary General Board from 2012 to 2016.
In addition to her calling as the first counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, Sister Sharon Eubank is employed as the director of Latter-day Saint charities. A native of Redding, California, she taught English as a second language in Japan, worked as a legislative aide in the US Senate, and owned a retail education store in Provo, Utah prior to becoming employed by the Church's welfare department in 1998. She served on the Relief Society General Board from 2009 to 2012.
Sister Jean B. Bingham is the 17th General President of the Relief Society. At the time of her call on April 2017, she was the first counselor in the Primary General Presidency and also previously served on the Primary General Board. Sister Bingham was born in Provo, Utah, but spent her childhood and youth living in Texas, Minnesota and New Jersey. In addition to their two daughters, she and her husband Bruce were the foster parents of multiple children and teenagers who have become part of their family. She previously taught English as a second language and worked as a nurse's aide.
This is All In, an LDS Living podcast where we ask the question, what does it really mean to be all in the gospel of Jesus Christ? I'm Morgan Jones and I am so beyond honored to have the Relief Society General Presidency with me today. President Bingham, Sister Eubank and Sister Aburto, welcome.
Sister Bingham 2:38
Sister Aburto 2:39
Sister Eubank 2:39
It's an honor to be here.
Morgan Jones 2:40
Well, this is – this is such a treat and I have been looking forward to it, and I know that our listeners will be so thrilled to hear from you. And especially I think it's fun in a more relaxed environment. So really, to kick things off and set that tone. I want to remind Sister Bingham of something. Sister Bingham, I don't know if you remember this, but I sat next to you in a session in the Salt Lake temple, and afterward, after the session, fell down the stairs of the Salt Lake temple right in front of you and your husband. Does this ring a bell?
Sister Bingham 3:19
No – I only remember good things, Morgan.
Morgan Jones 3:25
It is one of my funniest memories. So I – I'm glad that you've blocked it out. I have not. I don't – luckily, I don't get embarrassed very easily. But I hit the ground so hard. So I will never forget it.
Sister Bingham 3:37
You must have fallen so gracefully that I didn't even think it was odd.
Morgan Jones 3:43
Well, first of all, before we – before we get kind of into some deeper topics, I wanted to start out and talk a little bit about how your lives have changed during COVID. So what does COVID living look like for the Relief Society General Presidency?
Sister Bingham 4:00
Well, I'll tell you, one of the big things that has changed in our lives is no traveling. I think just for myself I've had 8 or 10 trips that have been canceled since COVID. And of course now, just like everyone else, we're very careful the wear our masks, we physically distance. I seldom go the store – I send my husband, I'm very lucky that way. And we do a lot more online ordering. It's just like so many other people. But I think one of the things I've really appreciated is the Sunday home worship. We have children and grandchildren from literally coast to coast of North Carolina to California and we gather, and I'm just loving that opportunity to share that that special experience with them.
Morgan Jones 4:43
Sister Eubank 4:44
I'm – like Sister Bingham, it's changed the nature of what I do every single day and what we do as a Presidency. But in some ways as our trainings have gone online or as our visits have gone online, we're suddenly with people in their homes. So we're on a Zoom instruction and you see a mom with her three kids, you know, she's feeding them toast. And you see – but we've been invited into their homes. And in some ways, it's much more intimate than sitting in a chapel with 500 people clear in the back, we would never see that mom with her three kids. And somehow, we've invited each other into a very intimate setting. And so – I, in some ways, feel closer to people. In some ways – I guess what I'm saying is there are benefits to what is happening and I hope we'll keep some of them.
Morgan Jones 5:29
Yeah, I agree completely with that. I mean, I think anybody that has worked from home can relate to that. You're seeing a part of people's lives that you've never seen before. Sister Aburto, what about you?
Sister Aburto 5:40
I think that we are equally busy in a different way. Like in my case, I live Orem, and I commute usually. I usually take the train and it's about an hour and a half each way for me to go to Salt Lake. But I feel that we have more assignments now in other countries and even all over the United States. And we are able to connect with people in a more personal way, just like Sister Eubank said. But it's interesting to see that the Lord's work continues. That it has never stopped. For us, it never stopped. Because we are blessed to have the means to communicate in different ways now. And it's also interesting to see how we still need to be diligent. And we also need to be sensitive to what the Lord is trying to tell us and teach us. So because we need to learn a new way of doing things, you know, a higher way, and we need to be better than we were before. We cannot go back to where we were before all of this.
Morgan Jones 6:41
I think that is so spot-on. And so true. You all undertook quite the service project during COVID, with ProjectProtect. I was so impressed. I was in North Carolina at the time and I remember when you all announced it and it was like pull up to D.I., pop your trunk, we'll give you the mask kit and it was just so organized, and I remember thinking, "I wonder if there is another service project in the world that is as organized as this one." So as you all participated in that, how did you feel the power of the women of the Church?
Sister Eubank 7:19
Maybe I could start because it was the hospital administrators that actually contacted Latter-day Saint charities, which I just – it's my day job, you know, besides Relief Society. And their question was, "Is there any way we could engage the women's organization, the Relief Society, would they consider doing it?" And they knew, it was interesting that they knew, some of – many of them, not members of our faith – "You have the ability to organize, you have the ability to somehow mobilize people and get them behind a project like this." They needed 10,000 volunteers a week. They were after 60,000 volunteers. And when they asked, "Is that possible?" Our whole presidency said "Absolutely." I mean, this is what we do all the time. And so I had a lot of confidence in Relief Society, and boy, did they come through. And the great thing about what happened in Salt Lake was it was able to be replicated in other places. Because the Relief Society is the same all over the world.
Sister Bingham 8:12
I just have to say I was so proud of Relief Society sisters and the community of neighbors who stepped up to take part in this incredible effort. I mean, each week they would come week after week, they'd return to get their new bundle of 100 plus masks, and they'd sew them and return them in just a few days. There were even women who set up pickup stations on their part, who couldn't make it to the pickup station at D.I. I mean, it was incredible. I was so proud of all of our women. And I really loved that they were all ages of women that were participating as well as configurations of families. We saw – anyway, just marvelous examples of people who were willing to, to give, and they were such a blessing to not only the lives of the medical providers, but the patients that they would be dealing with. It was just an astounding effort that we were so thankful that the sisters would participate in.
Morgan Jones 9:10
Yeah, and obviously that was in Utah but I've been amazed – I search every morning for links for LDS Living – and I've been amazed every morning. It's like a different area in the Church is doing something. Donating food, donating time, and so I think so much good has been done during this time. I want to talk a little bit about a video that your Presidency and members of your board, I guess, were part of and it was released in May of 2019. And it was a little bit revolutionary, for lack of a better word, because it showed all of you wearing pants. Which probably shouldn't feel like, monumental but we haven't traditionally seen you in pants. We usually see you at General Conference in your skirts or your dresses, but it felt like to me – and I watched it back yesterday – everything in that video felt very intentional and thoughtful. And music played as these words were displayed on the screen it said, "Of the 10 women in the Relief Society Presidency and board, six have experienced financial problems. Four have experienced infertility. Six have family who identify as LGBTQ. Nine have family with addictions. Two are battling chronic illness. Two have experienced divorce. One is a stepmom. Seven have had loved ones incarcerated. One has experienced death of a spouse. All have been affected by depression or anxiety. Eight have lived internationally. Four are stay at home moms. Nine are community leaders. Four hold a graduate degree, and nine work outside the home." Obviously, that's a powerful message to send, so I wondered, how did that video come to be? And why was that an important message for your Presidency to communicate?
Sister Bingham 11:03
Well, you know, the video came about because as we got to know our new General Board members, we discovered that every one of us had experienced challenges, and even traumas, as you mentioned, and yet all of us have felt the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement have lifted each of us – kind of over and through those difficult experiences. We wanted to reach out to our sisters and say, "We belong. You belong. Each one of us have felt these same experiences."
Sister Eubank 11:33
I hope the message came through in the video, I always want it to. We put each other in these segregated labels, you know, "I'm, I'm divorced, I'm, I'm this and that," and everybody feels like because of their labels, they can't be the perfect image. And in the end, those labels don't matter. It's our vulnerability that connects us to Jesus Christ and to each other. And it's all about those two great commandments. And so all of those things that we put on the screen of "this has happened and this has happened," it doesn't matter, because we're all in this together. I hope that that's the message that came out of that video.
Morgan Jones 12:06
I think that definitely came through. Sister Aburto?
Sister Aburto 12:09
I would like to say for the record, we DO wear pants. You know, I'm wearing pants right now. And we wear them to go to the store, to exercise, to work in the yard, to do chores at home. And as women, as human beings, life also happens to us in a real way. And we are on this journey together. We are – I feel that we are more similar than we are different. And we have more in common with other people than we think. And we are also all in need of the redeeming healing that Jesus Christ offers. And we need to see each other as His fellow servants. And we need to find ways to bring each other to Him, because as we do so, He can heal us and He can heal others.
Morgan Jones 12:57
Beautiful. That has been one of the biggest things that I feel like I've learned from hosting this podcast, is that it doesn't matter who we interview and it doesn't matter what their life circumstances or the situation that they're in – at the root of it all – we're experiencing the same, we're feeling the same emotions. We're learning the same things from the Spirit. And I think that there is so much power in recognizing – like you said, Sister Aburto, we are more the same than we are different. And I love that you went on the record about the pants, we will, we'll put that on the record. I think one thing that I have wondered as I've looked at your Presidency – and I just want to compliment you, because I think that you, the three of you have done incredible things in the three and a half years that you've served the Church in this capacity – and I have often wondered how your presidency came to be. President Bingham, I would love to go back to the beginning of your presidency. How did you feel the Lord guiding you to these particular counselors? And in retrospect, how can you see that Sister Aburto and Sister Eubank have been uniquely qualified to serve the women of this Church?
Sister Bingham 14:16
Well, I'll tell you. The night before I was called, I lay there in bed, and I had an appointment with President Monson the next morning, and I thought, "What could he possibly want to talk to me about?" Of course I knew it was time for a new General Relief Society President to be called, but that couldn't possibly be me. However, as my mind was turned over and over the thought came to me, "Well, if that is the topic for the interview, who would I want for counselors? And immediately the names came to me, Sharon Eubank and Reyna Aburto." Now I did not know Sharon personally, but I knew of her excellent work and her – just stellar character and it felt right. And Reyna I had worked with on the Primary General Board, and I was impressed with the way that she always came back to the simple basics of faith and doing the work in the Lord's way. But more important maybe is that each of them have perspectives that are very different from mine. Sister Eubank is not married, was successful in her career, had done a great deal of international work. Sister Aburto was a Spanish speaking convert to the church, who had experienced divorce and single parenthood among other experiences. And each of these women have proved invaluable in understanding and reaching more of our sisters because of their unique perspectives. I absolutely know that Sister Eubank and Sister Aburto were chosen by the Lord.
Morgan Jones 15:43
So I want to come back to some of those things that make Sister Eubank and Sister Aburto so unique – and they offer unique perspectives to sisters in the Church who are also in those particular life situations. But before I get to that, Sister Eubank and Sister Aburto, how have you seen that Sister Bingham was the right woman for this calling?
President Bingham is mouthing that, “That's not true," but it is true. We all know it.
Sister Eubank 16:14
It's so true. I could talk about this for such a long time, because I have such strong experiences with, with President Bingham. The first week that our presidency was called right after General Conference, she got the assignment – was it your first assignment? To go to the United Nations. So she's bundled up onto a plane and shows up at the United Nations. And I sat in the audience as her companion. And I watched her articulate, compassionate, strong social skills, full of faith in Jesus Christ, completely unafraid. And I thought, “That's my Relief Society.” I was so proud. And she had the ability to do that the first week she was called. She has a really strong relationship with President Nelson and a lot of the talks, her talk and his talk, particularly, that came out of the women's session last October, were a result of their conversation. And I really, really appreciate that the – there's prophetic interaction with the General Relief Society President. But don't get mad if I tell you this – but Sister Bingham was raised in New Jersey. And every once in a while, you'll get a little New Jersey edginess that goes on. She is not afraid to tell it like it is and push for some results if we're not getting results. And I adore that about her. And it makes her a really effective leader.
Morgan Jones 17:28
That's amazing. President Bingham. I didn't know that you lived in New Jersey.
Sister Bingham 17:34
Oh yeah, I can walk the dog and play basketball with the best of 'em.
Morgan Jones 17:40
Amazing. Sister Aburto what would you say about that?
Sister Aburto 17:44
I would like to say that from the first day, I could feel the mantle of President Bingham. I could feel the mantle of her calling. And I had been able to see that continuously. She's real, she's classy. She's truly an elect lady. And she's a faithful daughter of Mother Eve. She has a strong testimony of the gospel. She is steadfast and immovable, like Sister Eubank said, and she feels the most – the utmost respect for the Brethren. She's a true believer of the interdependence between men and women. That – and that in order to bring to pass the purposes of God, we need to labor together. And she's a believer that we should not compete, not compare, not look down on anybody, but to uplift and inspire others so we can bring them to Christ. But I also would like to say that I do think that this is not about us. This is about the Lord's work, because this is His work, and we are His servants.
Morgan Jones 18:46
So well said. So like I said, I want to talk a little bit about some of these unique qualifications – you could say – about your background and your experiences and how those have allowed you to uniquely minister to the sisters of the Church around the world. Sister Eubank, I can relate to your experience being single in the church. And I can personally say that myself and a lot of other women that I love dearly and care about, are so grateful to you, for your example. And you wrote an article that I really love. That was "A Letter to a Single Sister in the Church," which is fantastic, we'll link it in our show notes. But I wondered, in this moment, what would you say to other single sisters in the Church? And why are you grateful for your experience as a single sister in the Church?
Sister Eubank 19:40
Well, I would say that I hope being single isn't the most interesting thing about us. I think it's just, you know, I can remember sitting in an early meeting when we were first called as a presidency and the data was given that two thirds of the Relief Society at any given time is single, and I just remember being blown away, because I always felt like a minority. And I believe from my own experience, there's tremendous untapped strength in the single members of the Church. And every circumstance is going to have advantages and, and disadvantages too. But I want to leverage the advantages of my single period. And I don't think there's a lot of benefit in labeling us or segregating us by the current circumstance that we're in. And so I really appreciate the movement of the Church right now to say, "Life circumstance comes and goes, but, but our devotion to Jesus Christ, our devotion to each other, that's the most important thing about us." And maybe you'll just let me say one other thing. This is personal to me. And I don't know if other people feel this way. But I believe because God can see everything, He sees the future, He sees the past. He looks at my life, He knows who my husband is, He knows who my kids are, and He sees the line where we intersect. And I think to Him, it's an accomplished fact. So when He looks at me, He sees the whole me. And it doesn't – it's not that important to Him where I am on that line right now, as long as I'm heading toward His vision and the blessings that I hope I'll have. So I need to think of myself more holistically. I don't want to wait around. My advice would be, take control. Take spiritual and physical control of your life. If you want something to happen, then make it happen by your faith. That's President Nelson, you know, in "A Plea to My Sisters." And if you need a better emotional support network, then build one. We are people who can act and not be acted upon. And I love that gospel doctrine.
Morgan Jones 21:39
I could not agree more. And I think one thing that I love that you said is, is you hope that that's not the most interesting thing about us and I, I think that our identity – right? – The most important piece of our identity is that we are disciples of Jesus Christ, and everything else just trickles down from there. And so the same is true of Sister Aburto. But we're going to touch really quickly on the fact that Sister Aburto went through a divorce, which undoubtedly connects her to a large number of women and men throughout the Church. If there's someone listening to this Sister Aburto, who's currently going through that, what would your advice be to them? And how has that experience of having gone through a divorce allowed you to connect with women throughout the church? Or men, for that matter?
Sister Aburto 22:31
Well, I would like to say that, regardless of what we are going through, we all have a story. And some of us do not tell our whole story, because maybe it's too personal or too painful. But we need to realize that because we are in a mortal state, we do not have control over many things. For example, we cannot control other people's agency, because that will be contrary to that plan. So I – my advice would be to look around and try to have eyes to see the miracles around us. And also to have tried to have ears to hear what the Lord is trying to tell us and to teach us. Because we are never alone. You know, we always have that divine help at our reach. And I think that we need to count our blessings and feel joy in the present. Because everything, everything that we are going through will give us experience and it will be for our good. Another thing is that our story is not over yet. Like Sister Eubank said, we need to look at ourselves in a more holistic way and with a perspective that is more eternal. And we need to realize that great things are happening around us and that great things will happen also in the future. And the fact that we are going through this hard time right now will give us the sensitivity and the compassion to help other people that may be going through similar situations. And that we can also ask ourselves, "How can we become better instruments in God's hands to bless others? And to truly see the miracles that are happening around us?"
Morgan Jones 24:21
Yeah, Sister Aburto, I was – I already told you this, but I spent some time yesterday, watching videos about your life. And you said that Sister Eubank is the reason that those videos happened. I want to recommend that everybody that listens to this podcast, watch those. But I also watched a video that you recently did for LDS Living and you said, "My story does not belong to me, it belongs to God." And I think that that's such a powerful sentiment. I think that right when we recognize that our story belongs to God and we love Him, we put it over to Him, then we're able to do things beyond our capacity and things that we could never even imagine.
President Bingham, I really loved your most recent General Conference talk. And in it you spoke about the worldview and treatment of women prior to the Restoration of the gospel and you said, "Females in many societies became subservient to males rather than side by side partners. Their activities limited to a narrow scope, spiritual progress flowed to a trickle during those dark times. Indeed, little spiritual light could penetrate minds and hearts steeped in traditions of dominance." But then you talked about how the Restoration happened. And you said, "As the restoration continued to unfold, men and women began to realize anew the importance and potential of working as partners authorized and directed in this sacred labor by Him." President Bingham, what do you wish that women of the Church knew about God's love for them, and His desire for them to recognize and embrace their incredible worth? And I'll just say Sister Eubank and Sister Aburto, if you have thoughts on this, I'd love to hear those as well. So President Bingham we will have you answer first.
Sister Bingham 26:14
You know, as I thought about it, it's easy to look on the negative and only see the ways that women have been marginalized by society and then place blame for that. However, recognizing that Satan has been successful doesn't mean we need to stay in that negative space. Like the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, women are learning the truth about themselves and their place in God's love. We truly are of divine worth and have infinite potential. And knowing that is powerful. But I think when we learn to lift and support one another, despite our differences, we'll all progress. When we learn to value and work with our eternal brothers, will be much more effective. We have to appreciate each one's contributions and then work together – rather than competing – and that lifts everyone to new heights. You know, it's an interesting paradox. Paradoxically, we must be one in order to become our individual best selves, we have to work together. The Lord said, "If we are not, if ye are not one, ye are not mine." And that's truly how the best things happen. When we learn to work together. And that's when you really feel God's love.
Sister Eubank 27:28
I love hearing Sister Bingham talk about this because it's been a – it's been a hallmark of her teaching throughout her whole presidency, and the Church's essay on Joseph Smith's teaching about Priesthood, temple and women, it closes with this sentence that says, I might not say it exactly right, but it's something like, "The interdependence of men and women in accomplishing God's work is central to the gospel of Jesus Christ, as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith." And I think we're in the middle of, of the restoration about the roles and work of women. And thanks to President Nelson, he's talked much more openly in the last two or three years about the priesthood power that women function with and the authority they use in their callings and, and the roles that they have in interdependence with their husbands, as they are leaders of their family, or the leaders of their family when they don't have a husband present. And that – I think, is opening the door for us to learn a lot more about this, and you'll have the world really pound on us now, you know, "You, you don't have full parity." But I think the way that the Church is going about this brings about all cultures, all, you know, we have to make this work for Benin, and Togo, and France and Switzerland, and everybody has to come to a – to a understanding of this doctrine, and we have to move all at the same time. And I think the prophets have been really open and encouraging about this in the last five years.
Sister Aburto 29:01
I feel that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we need to look up to Him as our – the greatest example that we have. You know, He was all about uplifting and enlightening and empowering people. And that's – that's what we need to do with each other. And I also feel that we have a responsibility with the rising generation. We need to teach our boys and our girls to understand that we are all children of God. And that through our covenants with Him, and through our righteousness, we can receive power from Heavenly Father, and from, from the Lord Jesus Christ, to do the things that we need to do and to work in building the kingdom of God on this earth. And we need each other for that. So I feel that we also need to look at the rising generation and ask ourselves what we need to do in order to help them see themselves as having the potential to do whatever God asks them to do.
Morgan Jones 30:12
Thank you so much. I wondered – so you're, you all are three and a half years into your presidency. And I've wondered what you feel the biggest lessons that you've learned have been. So I know that that's probably hard – I know that it's hard to pick just one lesson – but if you had to choose just one takeaway from this time, what would it be?
Sister Bingham 30:37
I want to hear what Reyna is going to say.
Sister Aburto 30:42
It's hard to pick one but I will say that I've been amazed to see how much God loves all of His children, everywhere. Everywhere. In all corners of the world, and how His goodness is manifested in us, as His children, you know, and if I could add one more thing it's that He calls ordinary people to bring about His purposes. And, and I have also been amazed to learn even more about the power of councils. That when we put our hearts and minds, our, our hands together, then the Lord can bring about His miracles. So those are the greatest things that I have learned.
Morgan Jones 31:23
Sister Eubank 31:25
I would add to what Sister Aburto said, that, you know, we have the privilege of sitting in counsel with, with Apostles, sometimes with the First Presidency, we have regular meetings, and then sometimes we're just called together to talk about an issue. And so I've had the chance – that in a way I never had before – to watch a prophet, seer and revelator work – kind of up close. And one thing I've learned is they're not – they are worried about today – but their view is 20 or 30 years down the road. And their counsel is going to be extremely practical, but it's geared for the next two generations. And so we look at that sometimes, and I've read things online of, "Wow, maybe the Prophet overhyped conference, you know, because there wasn't anything really that interesting or that new." And my mind explodes, because, in his last – forget the whole rest of the conference – his very last closing remarks, he gave an Apostolic blessing on everybody there, blessed them with the desires of their heart, with health, with spiritual, and I thought other ages would weep to, to have that happen to them. And we just toss it off as one little part of our General Conference. I think it's happening in front of our eyes, and we don't see it. So what I have learned over the last three and a half years is the Lord is working magnificently through his prophets, seers and revelators, and I want to lift my eyes to what they're doing.
Sister Bingham 32:50
I think if I had to choose one takeaway, it would be similar, honestly, that, that God is in charge. If we will let Him. You know, He is so patient with us as we stumble along, we're learning together. The Lord Jesus Christ, who truly is the head of this Church. And as I look back at the changes and the, the adjustments that have happened these past few years, the pattern now becomes obvious. All the changes in programs have been developed, really step by step, to lead us where we are today. To give us the tools we need to be happier individuals and families, even in this challenging world. And when we want what He wants, we find joy, even in times of difficulty. Maybe I could add one more thing. I think one of the messages that we would love to share with our sisters is that every woman belongs to Relief Society, that there's no situation or background or experience that separates us. But instead, those circumstances, we understand the circumstances and the heartaches and the joys that unite us as women. And if each woman would understand that, what a powerful, what a powerful body we could truly become.
Morgan Jones 34:06
Yeah. I think I've – as you all have been talking, I've been thinking about what an incredible time it is to be a woman in the Church, and to have the opportunity to serve in your capacity. I think there's been so much excitement, and so much to kind of put our shoulders to the wheel, if you will. And I think just – I'm grateful for the chance myself to be, to be a woman in the Church right now. And I'm grateful to you all for all that you've done. Before we get to the last question, I just wondered, is there anything else that you all want to touch on? Because we still have a good amount of time.
Sister Aburto 34:47
I would like to say, Morgan, something that I usually tell the sisters, that Relief Society is the greatest organization of women in the world. Not only because of the numbers – because we are millions of sisters – but also because of the purpose. We are here to, to labor together with the Lord in His vineyard. Together with each other. And Relief Society is not a room in a building it's not an hour every two weeks it's not an activity, it is the women of the Church. It is covenant women, who, who have faith and who have received power from the Lord, to go and do the things that we need to do in order to be prepared for the Second Coming. So I hope that every sister will just ask that. "Why do we have Relief Society? Why do I belong to the Relief Society? What can I do to truly understand what the purpose is, and to truly be an active participant in it as our prophet has asked us to be?"
Morgan Jones 35:59
Thank you so much for sharing that. Anything else?
Sister Bingham 36:03
I'd say Morgan, because I work in humanitarian emergency response, we're used to disasters, we see disasters all the time, but 2020 has been – there's nothing moderate about this year in any way. I was writing in my journal the other night, earthquakes, pandemics, protests, violence, harbor explosions, hurricanes, hundred mile an hour winds, deadly fires, I mean, I just, I just dread what's next week gonna be like. And I feel some anxiety about that. And if I feel it, you know, and I've sort of been used to that in my work, I know that we all feel that. But I have become convinced, I was praying the other night, and I said, "What are you doing in this, show me what you're doing, because I can't see it. There's just so much going on." And I am convinced the Lord can turn any situation for the good of those who love Him. He's not causing these calamities, but He's very good at saying, "Oh, I can use this," you know, to create something and, and I think He's calling on us to repent, to help each other and to learn to do things in a different way. And there's no better way to do that then in our membership in the Church. It's perfectly organized and designed to help us repent, to help us help each other and to do things in a different way. There's a lot of innovation that goes through the Church. So I felt a lot of comfort in this very difficult year full of anxiety, for all of us, that the Lord is with us and He's doing something. And that was, that was comforting to me.
Morgan Jones 37:32
Yeah, that he can kind of make things work in our favor, even when it feels like it's not. Sister Bingham, anything else from you?
Sister Bingham 37:42
Maybe this has to – goes back to talking about that video. You know, sometimes people think that someone who has a leadership calling is perfect, or they have no problems. Somehow they've been spared the heart wrenching experiences of mortality. And I can say that is absolutely not true. And we know that theoretically, but privately, I think people tend to think that. And no one is immune to . . . opportunities, as Sister Eubank just enumerated a whole handful – double handful of challenges. Even though a person has faith, difficulties are part of life. And truly, the best answer always is turning to the Savior, Jesus Christ. He has felt every little bit of pain and anguish and worry and concern and every negative expression that we have felt, He has felt that. He understands how to support us and comfort us and strengthen us. Doesn't mean we won't feel those things, but He can help us get over those hurdles. I'm just thinking that this year has been an opportunity for many of us to feel that we have a lot of worries. And yet, He truly is the answer.
Morgan Jones 39:01
Well, that is a perfect segue into our last question. And this is the question that we ask at the end of every episode of this podcast. And I personally have been so grateful for every person that answered this question because I realized how different it is for all of us. But for each of you, what does it mean to you, to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Sister Aburto 39:24
If I can start, I think that to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to truly believe that each of us is a child of Heavenly Parents. And that to truly believe that we are loved your mission. To truly believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and that He has the power to heal us and to redeem us. And also to truly believe that we are all brothers and sisters and that we need each other and that we do not have to walk through the mortal journey alone. And we have been blessed with all the things that we need, to help each other and to reach out to the Savior, so He can truly show us the way.
Morgan Jones 40:12
Thank you so much.
Sister Eubank 40:15
You can see why we're such good friends.
I think about a 14-year-old boy who went into a grove because he had a question. And he emerged with this absolute confidence that Jesus Christ knew who he was and had a work for him to do. And we live in a world where Satan's had millennia to structure it in such a way that it distracts us so that we're half in or mostly out or all out. And for me, being all in means that I'll take my questions to Jesus Christ, He's the most important source for my questions, and that I have the confidence that He absolutely knows who I am, that He has a work for me to do. Jesus Christ is the biggest, most powerful thing that's ever happened to me. It's His mercy and His love and His patience with me. I just love His gospel, and I love His ways, and I want to tell everyone about this joy. He knows my name. He answers my questions, He forgives my mistakes. He wants my help. And that's what keeps me all in.
Morgan Jones 41:24
Thank you, President Bingham?
Sister Bingham 41:27
Oh, I love those thoughts. And I'm very similar to those, for me to be all in means that I give my whole heart to the Lord, and He will sustain me in whatever trials are mine. When I don't know all the answers, I have confidence that at some point, God will show me the whole picture and it will all fit together. To be all in means that I keep the covenant I've made with God. I've committed to consecrate my efforts to His cause, and I will follow through on that commitment. And I think to be all in, to me, means that I hearken, in other words, I listen to and I follow the counsel of our Prophet and Apostles. It means that I'm willing to sacrifice some personal wishes and time to fulfill whatever I'm asked to do. And I can bear testimony that I have been blessed time and time again, to see the Lord's hand in those situations.
Morgan Jones 42:29
Thank you all so much. It has been such a treat to have you on the show. And I think I – again, I speak for every person in the Church who is grateful for your service and your devotion to the gospel, and, and we're so grateful for you. So thank you very much. We are so grateful to the Relief Society General Presidency for making this such a special episode. A huge thank you to each of you for helping us make it to 100 episodes. There are so many people who have worked to make this podcast possible but I don't want to even attempt to name them at the risk of leaving someone out. But if you have had any part in this podcast over the past – nearly two years – thank you. Thank you. Thank you. As always, thank you to our sound guy Derek Campbell from Mix at Six studios. We will look forward to being with you again next week for an episode that will be everything you have come to love about this show. Until then, thanks so much for being with us.