From the Church

‘Heavenly Father cares about every word’: Sister Craig on receiving the inspiration to write her October 2020 general conference talk

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Sister Michelle D. Craig, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, gave a general conference address in October 2020 called “Eyes to See.” In it, she spoke about listening to the Spirit and “seeing deeply”—or in other words, looking at others the way the Savior would.

Recently in a Latter-day Saint Women podcast episode, Sister Craig spoke about the inspiration she received to write the talk she delivered last fall. During the episode, she shared how she began keeping a file of scriptures and collecting sources for her talk well before she was even assigned in June of 2020 to speak in the upcoming conference.

“Heavenly Father was helping me and giving me so much, it was not hard for me to decide what to talk about in this case because He kept prompting me,” she said. “So when I had the assignment, I already had much of my talk written. And of course, I worked on it for months after, because Heavenly Father cares about every word, and just refining, and taking things out, and adding things . . . and as things started unfolding even over the summer, and the events in our country, and the division—it just became impressed upon my mind that this really was an important message for our time.”

On the podcast, Sister Craig elaborated on the concept of “seeing deeply,” stating that just as the temple and the home are holy places, it can also be a holy place to simply be with another person by seeing them and being seen in return.

“It’s a cycle, you know, to see ourselves as God sees us, to let others see us, and then to see others deeply. It’s something I think that we’re all working on all the time,” she says. “I can never check that off.”

 You may also like: What Sister Craig reminded me about why kindness shouldn’t always be random

Sister Craig added that we can bless other people’s lives when we eliminate distractions, reflecting on a story she shared during her conference address where she was prompted by the Spirit to stop looking at her phone while waiting in long lines. Sharing this memory on the podcast also brought to mind a meeting she attended where a senior Church leader said to always ask the question, “Who can I bless right now?”

“I’ve really tried to do that, and whether it’s just being with my grandchildren, or with my husband, or in any interaction just thinking, ‘What can I do right now that perhaps could be a blessing to somebody else?’ And that helps me be more mindful, and that’s usually not being on my phone,” she says, while acknowledging that phones aren’t inherently bad and that sometimes she may receive a prompting to text to someone.

After sharing an experience where she missed an opportunity to serve someone who seemed in need, Sister Craig also expressed her gratitude for second chances to act on impressions.

“I think we can’t be too worried about saying just the right thing, because if love is our only motive then we don’t have to say it perfectly. And I’m so grateful for a Heavenly Father who is patient, who sees me deeply and gives me another chance. And sometimes these hard experiences are just what we need to help us. And again, we need to be kind to ourselves and just assume that everybody around us is doing [their] best, that we’re doing [our] best, and some days maybe that’s just getting out of bed—honestly.”

Sister Craig also discusses mentoring to young women during the pandemic, insecurities she experienced as a teenager, and focusing on blessing and lifting others with every interaction.

Listen to the entire Latter-day Saint Women podcast episode at ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Featured image from ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
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