Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Latter-day Saint Women Assemble!

The New General Relief Society Presidency
Recently, I've read several articles published in major newspapers about my LDS faith, and have been increasingly.upset by uninformed journalists who assume (wrongfully!) that because LDS women do not hold the priesthood, that they are somehow second class citizens in the Church.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The Lord's Kingdom has an orderly system of government, which includes lots of outstanding women!  While we are not ordained to the priesthood, we serve in leadership positions of all kinds and as missionaries and teachers.  Women also routinely preach from the pulpit and lead congregational prayers in worship services.

Let me tell you, the women of the church are a mighty wonderful - and formidable - group of strong, good women!

This coming Saturday, September 29th, at 6:00 p.m. mountain daylight time (or 5 p.m. here in California), Relief Society sisters worldwide will be gathered together to view the satellite broadcast of the general Relief Society meeting.

This is a large group.  The Relief Society, founded in 1842 is the world's oldest and largest women's organization.  Today it includes more than 5.5 million women ages 18 and older in over 170 countries!

The meeting on Saturday will be our first real opportunity to hear from our new General Relief Society Presidency, consisting of General President Linda S. Burton, and her counselors Carole M. Stephens and Linda S. Reeves.  The general Relief Society presidency was reorganized in the spring of 2012.

While I will miss the old presidency, particularly Barbara Thompson (my favorite!) I'm looking forward to hearing from the new presidency.

Here they are so you can recognize them in the broadcast:
President Linda K. Burton
Sister Burton studied elementary education at the University of Utah.  She and her husband Craig have six children and 19 grandchildren.  She was already serving as a member of the Relief Society general board when she received the call to serve as the organization's president at the April, 2012 general conference of the Church.  She has served in many capacities in the church, including various callings in the Young Women, Primary and Sunday School organizations, and as a Seminary Teacher. She has also served on the Primary general board. Recently, she and her husband served for over three years in Korea, where he presided as president of the Korea Seoul West Mission.  They returned from Korea in 2010.
Sister Carole M. Stephens, First Counselor
Sister Stephens was also serving on the Relief Society general board when she accepted the call to serve as the first counselor in the general presidency at April conference.  She attended Weber State University and is currently a member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, where she serves as the Far West camp captain.  She and her husband Martin have six children and 15 grandchildren.  She has served as as stake and ward Relief Society president, ward Relief Society counselor, teacher and homemaking leader, ward Young Women President, member of a ward Primary Primary presidency, Primary teacher, Cub Scout leader, Church-service missionary, and a seminary teacher.
Sister Linda S. Reeves, Second Counselor
Sister Reeves has a B.A degree. in special education.  She was serving as the first counselor in her ward Relief Society when she was called to serve in the general presidency at April conference.  She served with her husband when he was the president of the California Riverside Mission.  She has also served as a stake Relief Society president, ward Young Women president, ward young single adult adviser, Sunday School teacher and Primary chorister.  She and her husband Melvyn have 13 children.

I think I'm tired just writing down all these women's accomplishments!

Live streaming of this broadcast will be available at in 16 languages (ASL, Cantonese, Cebuano, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Spanish Tagalog, and Tongan.

Archives of the broadcast will also be available in those same languages at the same site within 24 hours.  Live video and audio will also be available in English and Spanish at

In the Whittier area, the live broadcast will be shown this coming Saturday in the Whittier Stake Center Chapel starting at 5:00 p.m.  A Spanish translation will be available.  Following the broadcast, a free dinner will be served in the cultural hall.  (This has historically been something yummy!)

This is always a worthwhile and uplifting meeting for those who attend, and a precursor to October General Conference, which is being held the following weekend.

I can't wait.  I'll be there!

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