Mormon women urged to focus on 'why' of gospel

Published: Saturday, Sept. 24 2011 11:00 p.m. MDT

Choir at the General Relief Society women's conference Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

The forget-me-not flower can be a symbol of little things that sweeten the lives of women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf during church's General Relief Society Meeting on Sept. 24.

"There is something inspiring and sublime about the little forget-me-not flower," he said.

Speaking to a capacity congregation in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City, President Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, used the forget-me-not flower — which has five petals — as a metaphor to illustrate five things he would like the women in the church to remember.

"Never forget that you must be patient and compassionate with yourselves, that some sacrifices are better than others, that you need not wait for a golden ticket to be happy. Please never forget that the 'why' of the gospel of Jesus Christ will inspire and uplift you. And never forget that your Heavenly Father knows, loves and cherishes you."

In addition to President Uchtdorf, Sister Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president, and her counselors, Sister Silvia H. Allred and Sister Barbara Thompson, spoke. President Thomas S. Monson and President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, also attended the meeting, which was broadcast to LDS meetinghouses across the globe.

During his remarks, President Uchtdorf asked Latter-day Saint women worldwide to not forget five things:

First, forget not to be patient with yourself. "I want to tell you something and I hope you will take it the right way. God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect," he said. "Let me add: God is fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not."

Second, forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice. "An acceptable sacrifice is when we give up something good for something of far greater worth," said President Uchrtdorf.

Third, forget not to be happy now. Recalling the children's story "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," President Uchtdorf said people were looking for a golden ticket in a candy bar. Unfortunately, the candy bar itself became an utter disappointment if it did not contain a gold ticket, he explained.

"So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket — the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about."

The problem, he added, comes when a person puts their happiness on hold as they wait for some future event — or gold ticket — to appear.

Fourth, forget not the 'why' of the gospel. Sometimes, he said, LDS church members focus on what the Lord wants them to do and how to do it, but forget the why.

"While understanding the 'what' and the 'how' of the gospel is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel springs from the 'why,' " he said. "When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living, when we remember why we committed to making it a foundational part of our lives, the gospel ceases to become a burden and, instead, becomes a joy and a delight. It becomes precious and sweet."

Fifth, forget not that the Lord loves you. President Uchtdorf said as a child, when he looked at little forget-me-nots, he sometimes felt like that flower — small and insignificant. "I wondered if I would be forgotten by my family or by my Heavenly Father."

To the worldwide audience of women, President Uchtdorf added, "You are not forgotten, sisters, wherever you are and whatever the circumstances."

In closing, he promised the women that they are destined for more than they can possibly imagine.

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