LDS Church releases interview with Sister Neill F. Marriott about details of historic women's meeting

Published: Wednesday, March 26 2014 1:30 p.m. MDT

The general presidencies of each of the auxiliaries in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From left to right: Young Women, Relief Society and Primary. The portraits are on display in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Mormon Newsroom

The 2014 General Women’s Meeting for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be a historic event — marking the first time in the history of the church that women, young women and girls have been invited to come together.

“This is an exciting meeting. It’s historic,” said Sister Neill F. Marriott, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency . “I think it’s the first time in the history of the church that women have been invited from 8 years old to 80 or older to come together to share testimony, to feel the uplift of others’ faith and to receive instruction together. The women in the church need to feel each other’s joy and pattern of womanhood and faith, so we are excited about this meeting.”

As Latter-day Saint women across the globe prepared to participate in the meeting, church public affairs released the interview with Sister Marriott, who shared her feelings about the meeting. The interview also linked to a Mormon Channel video: "Join Us for the General Women's Meeting."

During the interview, Sister Marriott said the nine general women officers of the church — the Primary, the Young Women and the Relief Society leaders — counseled together to plan the meeting.

The new combined semiannual meeting, held in the Conference Center on March 29, replaces the annual general Relief Society and Young Women meetings. The live broadcast, beginning at 6 p.m. MDT, will be translated into 55 languages, reaching millions around the world in chapels, on television and radio and over the Internet.

Sister Marriott said after counseling with their priesthood leaders, the women felt that, because it was a historic moment, the three general presidents of the church’s women’s organizations should speak at the meeting. “It just is fitting,” she said. “That felt right to all of us. And there will be a member of the First Presidency speaking as well.”

Sister Marriott said the meeting will have a global feel, but not a specific theme. “I think of these sisters around the world who will suddenly realize 'I may live in Harare, Zimbabwe, and know a hundred other women who feel the way I do, but now because of this meeting, I have seen sisters in Japan, in Peru, in New York City who are living lives filled with challenges too. But they’re applying the same eternal principles that work no matter what continent we live on and they’re like me, and we can feel the sense of love and goodness and just sisterhood connecting us, and it’s wonderful.' ”

A video to be shown at the meeting will feature footage of women from around the world. “It is touching because we felt a sense of ‘I love you. I see you in your native clothing, and I sense that we are still alike. We may not look alike, but we feel alike and we believe alike.’"

Speakers will address how women can work together to strengthen families.

“We can take from this meeting instruction, inspiration, patterns of faith and we can go home to our homes, to our families and our sphere of influence will be great and goodness there,” she said. “There will be a goodness that comes from us as we take of the spirit of this meeting, and it will bless families.”

She said the general women’s leaders of the church have a message for the women in the world: “Be true to the beauty and goodness that’s in you.”

There are many different way of giving, Sister Marriott added. “But the gospel of Jesus Christ is what inspires us to understand what we have to give.”

Sister Marriott said LDS women can share their thoughts and feelings about the meeting through social media.

“Women do like to talk and share and give their feelings to one another,” she said, noting that social media is a great outlet to gather some friends around and say, “Look what was said here” or “Don’t you feel something wonderful when you watch this?”

The meeting will be streamed live on LDS.org, the LDS General Conference YouTube Channel, BYUtv, BYUtv International, the Mormon Channel website, Mormon Channel mobile apps, Mormon Channel on Roku and Facebook.com/LDS.

Email: sarah@desnews.com

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