In honor of International Women’s Day, each of the female leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took to social media to honor important, impressive, and inspirational women in their lives.
President Jean B. Bingham of the general Relief Society Presidency shared the story of Julia Mavimbela, a South African schoolteacher who was unjustly treated and discriminated against during the apartheid and went on to cofound an organization for women of all races to work together toward democracy in South Africa.
“[Julia] is an example of turning away from hatred and towards love and forgiveness through reaching out to others. … To me, Julia is an incredible example of a Christlike woman.”
President Bonnie H. Cordon of the Young Women General Presidency told the story of Valynn Price on her Facebook page. When Sister Cordon was a busy young mother, Valynn invited her to attend the temple with her. When Sister Cordon declined, Valynn commented that the invitation was always open and that she attended weekly. Sister Cordon was never able to attend the temple with Valynn, but the invitation left a lasting impression.
”My friend Valynn simply extended an invitation to do something she loved with someone she loved—me! No, I couldn’t go, but the thought kept piercing my mind. Maybe I could make it more of a priority. A holy invitation was a catalyst for change. … We always find a way to make time for things that are important for us. Soon I found myself attending the temple more regularly, even when it took juggling not just schedules but children too!”
First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, Sister Michelle D. Craig, expressed her thoughts and gratitude for early Latter-day Saint leader and Relief Society President Eliza R. Snow.
“‘She walked not in the borrowed light of others but faced the morning unafraid.’ These words attributed to Joseph F. Smith, speaking of Eliza R. Snow, inspire me. I want to be like Eliza. I want to be like so many modern-day Elizas that I have met as I have traveled in far countries. Women that I meet in lines at local grocery stores. Women who are brave and good. Women who make and keep covenants. Women who trust God and trust His timing.”
Sister Becky Craven, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, shared the story of her great-grandmother Margaret “Maggie” Schagle Wills, who passed away when Sister Craven was just nine years old.
“Maggie wasn’t a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but she was a great woman of faith. … I am grateful for strong, God-fearing, and God-loving women like great-grandma Maggie. I want to be more like her. If I could have the same heritage that she wished for, I would be extremely blessed.”
Sister Amy A. Wright, Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, shared a more modern-day example of Solvej, a woman in Denmark who consistently fed the missionaries for many years, despite not being a member of our faith. Solvej regularly fed Sister Wright’s son while he was serving in her area.
“I was able to wrap my arms around her and thank her for the many acts of kindness she had shown towards our family. As we shared a meal together, she indicated that her philosophy is that since she has enough for her basic needs, she feels a responsibility to share her excess with others. She told me that she tries to ‘build a longer table and not a higher fence.’ Solvej inspires me to be more like Jesus Christ by loving and serving all people.”
You can see the other Facebook posts honoring women for International Women’s Day below.