We just came off an inspiring General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – hours and hours of words of counsel, caution and inspiration from living prophets and apostles and general leaders of the Church. Last October President Nelson invited the women and youth to participate in a 10-day fast from social media and re-evaluate it’s role in their lives.
Many Church members anticipated a similar invitation for men this week. That didn’t happen. Something much more powerful did. President Nelson encouraged the men and young men to repent and improve. His message was hard-hitting and pertinent. And – – I think the women needed to hear the same message. But, my observation is that women don’t take correction well. And his message could/would be interpreted by many as “insensitive”, “judgmental” or “shaming”.
So when several women (looking to be offended) responded online by claiming the men got off easier than the women, I edited President Nelson’s talk to read how it’d sound had it been given specifically to the sisters.
Read it for yourself below. Then you decide who got held to a higher standard and how you think women would have received this message.
I hope many Relief Society leaders will have the courage to direct this message to their sisters, even though they’ll likely get negative backlash from it. Regardless, if you’re an LDS woman like I am, I invite you to have the courage to read and apply this inspired counsel to yourself. I did. And I acknowledge I need to repent and do better. Chances are you do too. Especially since the overarching message this past week, directly and indirectly was “Time is running out!”
“Does everyone need to repent? The answer is Yes!…(God) is inviting us to change our mind, our knowledge, our spirit, even the way we breathe. He’s asking us to change the way we love, think, serve, spend our time, treat our [husbands], teach our children and even care for our bodies…(Repentance) is the key to happiness and peace of mind…I plead with you to repent…When we choose to repent we choose to change. We allow the Savior to transform us into our best selves…
[Sisters] we need to do better & be better…the battle with sin is real…Repentance is the key to avoiding misery…[Sisters] prayerfully seek to understand what stands in the way of your repentance. Identify what stops you from repenting and then change. Repent. All of us can do better and be better than ever before…many if not most of the temptations (Satan) puts in our path cause us to abuse our bodies or the bodies of others. Because Satan is miserable without a body he wants us to be miserable because of ours. Your body is your personal temple…your care of that temple is important. Now I ask you [sisters] are you more interested in dressing and grooming your body to appeal to the world than you are to please God? Your answer to this question sends a direct message to Him about your feelings regarding His transcendent gift to you. In this reverence for our bodies [sisters] I think we can do better and be better. …
Another way we can also do better and be better is how we honor the [men] in our lives, beginning with our [husbands] and [sons] and [brothers]…Weeks ago I received a heart-breaking letter from a dear [brother]. [He] wrote: “My [children] & I feel we are in a fierce competition for our [wives’] and [daughters’] undivided attention with 24/7 [Instagram] updates, and endless analyzing & [updating] of every conceivable [social media post]. It feels like we’re losing our front-row seats with our [wives] & [daughters] because of their permanent front-row seats with [social media] and [selfies]” [Sisters] your first and foremost duty is to care for your [husband]. Become one with [him], be [his] partner, make it easy for [him] to want to be yours. No others interest in life should take priority over building an eternal relationship with [him]. Nothing on TV, a mobile device or computer is more important than [his] well-being. Take an inventory of where you spend your time and devote your energy. That will tell you where your heart is.
Pray to have your heart attuned to your [husband’s] heart. Seek to bring [him] joy. Seek [his] counsel and listen. [His] input will improve your output. If you have a need to repent because of the way you have treated the [men] closest to you, begin now. And remember that it is your responsibility to help the [men] in your life receive the blessings that derive from living the Lord’s law of chastity. Never be the reason that a [man] is unable to receive [his] temple blessings.
[Sisters] we all need to repent. We need to get up off the couch, put down the remote and wake up from our spiritual slumber. It’s time to put on the full armor of God so we can engage in the most important work on earth…Your family needs your leadership…and all who know and meet you need to know what a true disciple of Christ looks like and acts like. My dear [sisters] you were chosen by our Father to come to earth at this crucial time because of your pre-mortal spiritual valor. You are among the finest most valiant [women] who have ever come to the earth. Satan knows who you are and who you were pre-mortally…The Adversary is experienced and incorrigible…I plead with you to be the [women] and [young women] the Lord needs you to be….
The Lord needs selfless [women] who put the welfare of others ahead of their own. He needs, [women] who intentionally work to hear the voice of the spirit with clarity. He needs [women] of the covenant who keep their covenants with integrity. He needs [women] who are determined to keep themselves sexually pure…worthy [women] who can be called upon at a moments notice…with pure hearts, clean minds, and willing hands. The Lord needs [women] eager to repent. [Women] with a zeal to serve…I bless you to become those [women]. I bless you with the courage to repent daily…I bless you to communicate the love of the Savior to your [husband] and children and to all who know you. I bless you to do better and to be better, and I bless you that as you make these efforts you will experience miracles in your life.”