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Top 5 Things About the September 2014 General Women’s Meeting

I was honored to be able to watch the session with all four of my amazing daughters. Plus Wallaby’s BBQ. Much to love in this meeting.

#1 Diversity

I’m not a promoter of diversity for the sake of diversity. If something isn’t supposed to make a difference, making an issue of it forces it to make a difference. Besides, I don’t want true diversity. I don’t want an equal percentage of law-abiding people and criminals in my neighborhood, for one example.

Top 5 Things About the September 2014 General Women's Meeting

Maybe a better words is “variety.” Either way, it was wonderful to hear so many different languages, styles of dress, ages, homes, temples, and accents. It’s so much more interesting. More to the point, it is good to be unified in faith and cause with so many who are in such different circumstances.

#2 Humanity

In the 90s I read a biographical book about Marjorie Hinckley. She told a story of her husband as a boy using a bad word and having his mouth washed out with soap by his momma. Strangely, I rejoiced at the story. Hearing that even the prophet did really dumb, bad stuff was good to hear. It gave me hope.

Last night President Neill F. Marriot (if we call male counselor’s after the title of the office holder, why not female?) told about going to the temple to receive guidance about a problem. The answer was that she was sinful and needed to change. Rather than promoting the leadership idol worship Mormons are wont to engage in, she put herself squarely in the midst of the rest of us: an imperfect human being greatly in need of the Savior’s mercy.

A self-absorbed natural women is an enemy to God.

I can totally relate. 

#3 Voices

Women being quoted with an authoritative voice by other speakers. Women being used for voice over as the meeting began. Women speaking about their various temple experiences. (Particularly the woman who had lost six children in an earthquake!)

#4 Verbiage

President Diether Uchtoforf began by noting the meeting “as we open another General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Past references (as well as Ensign placement) have always treated this week-before-real-conference meeting as a separate entity, even though the Priesthood Session is an official General Conference session.

Women were referred to as:

  • Blessed disciples of Jesus Christ
  • Daughters of heavenly parents

#5 Golden

The lone woman in the golden blouse in the choir. (OK, I do think there was one other woman with a paler yellow. But amidst the fuchsia, red, and purple, we squealed every time she was on camera.)

Dare to be different, sister!

What were your favorite stories, ideas, quotes? Please add them in the comments! 

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Cherish September 28, 2014, 12:29 pm

    I am so glad you posted this. After watching a recording of the European meeting, I didn’t watch! But I watched this morning on your recommendation. There was much inspiration and hope!

    My favorite had to be the Korean children singing. Lots of adorableness to go around!

  • Andrea Urban September 28, 2014, 1:49 pm

    Great points. I am ” that woman” too. The question is do I take that and work on it too….or do I dismiss it as her personal chastisement and seek out my own. Not that I go looking to be chastened.
    Oh and it was 6 children killed in the quake. I remember thinking immediately about my own 6 and how that would have wiped out my family in one fell swoop. 🙁

  • Barklee September 28, 2014, 3:42 pm

    Agreed. Much to love in this meeting. I also loved how stories of the younger girls were included without being patronizing. I was glad for the focus on the temple because I struggle with it. I don’t understand all the ritual and it makes me uncomfortable but the women who spoke about it helped.

  • Jonah September 28, 2014, 3:44 pm

    I listened in with my wife. (Am I in trouble?) Thought it was a good meeting all around. I think they are listening!

  • Niqua September 28, 2014, 6:09 pm

    Thank you for this. It was a good meeting. First black woman to pray in a session. Represent!

  • Angie Gardner September 28, 2014, 7:23 pm

    1. First black woman to pray in a session of conference.
    2. I thought I heard a lot less of the Primary voice this time. Is that just wishful thinking?
    3. The video of the Korean children – so beautiful.
    4. I loved the arrangements of the music.
    5. Sister Marriott’s family picture. Actually, I liked her whole talk. So great to hear from her.

  • Karen September 29, 2014, 12:45 am

    So heard lots of Primary voice from the woman conducting and the women in the black dress. Mostly they seem to todo the stilted, unnatural reading most GAs do just in a higher voice.

    I still thought it was a vast improvement.

  • Oregonian September 29, 2014, 7:26 am

    good meeting. hope gc can meet the same standard.

  • Skigirl September 29, 2014, 7:29 am

    Someone was screaming about the gold shirt. I just know it.

  • ellen patton September 29, 2014, 10:29 am

    The very last thing the last woman on the video said was “Never stop your steps to the Temple.” I grabbed an old envelope in my purse and jotted that down. It was a simply powerful phrase.

  • Marshall September 29, 2014, 10:32 am

    Kind of off topic, but how did you create the image with the woman in the circle lighter than the rest of the image? Inquiring minds…

  • Jonah September 29, 2014, 5:29 pm

    I’m dealing with gender identity issues so I enjoy the ladies’ conference most. Totally agree about the bright blouse, btw.

  • Alison Moore Smith September 29, 2014, 8:50 pm

    Cherish, glad you were encouraged and ended up liking it. 🙂
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  • Alison Moore Smith September 29, 2014, 8:51 pm

    Thanks! I’ve updated the post to correct the error.
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  • Alison Moore Smith September 29, 2014, 8:57 pm

    Marshall, it’s probably not the “expert” way — because I’m no graphic artist — but here are the steps using Adobe Illustrator.

    1. Duplicate image
    2. On one copy, draw oval (or other shape) around area to highlight
    3. Select both image and shape
    4. Create clipping mask
    5. Create a black box the same dimensions as the original image
    6. Place it over the intact image
    7. Set opacity of black box to whatever you choose (I used 40%, I think)
    8. Place the clipping mask over both the image and the transparent box and line up exactly where it is on the intact image

    Hope that makes sense!
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  • Kris September 30, 2014, 2:33 pm

    This is response to Angie’s comment about the first black woman giving the prayer.

    The first non-white prayer gave a prayer in the Women’ Meeting in March of this year. Her name was Ofa Kaufusi.

  • Angie Gardner September 30, 2014, 6:08 pm

    Kris, thanks. 🙂 Yes, after I posted that I was reading on Facebook about that. Funny, I don’t remember a whole lot of talk about it then. Maybe because (I believe) Sister Kaufusi lives in the Salt Lake area?

    At any rate, it was very cool to hear a sister from South Africa!

  • Alison Moore Smith September 30, 2014, 7:56 pm

    I think Kaufusi is Samoan. Maybe Tongan. ???
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