Hugh Carey, Deseret News
As Latter-day Saint women faithfully follow Jesus Christ, they will “reap the rewards of righteousness" — the reward of spirituality, the reward of righteous families, the reward of happiness, the reward of prospering in the land and the reward of peace, said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“The Lord God is indeed a sun and shield and will give grace and glory," he said, offering concluding remarks at BYU Women’s Conference and making reference to the conference theme found in Psalm 84:11. “No good thing will be withheld from them that walk uprightly.”
More than 11,000 women from across the globe attended the two-day conference, held May 1-2, and sponsored by BYU and the Relief Society.
Elder Cook was accompanied by his wife, Sister Mary G. Cook, who also offered remarks.
“I feel a great responsibility in speaking to you wonderful women,” said Elder Cook. “You have my love and admiration for who you are, and what you accomplish in this difficult world.”
He asked the women to not “underestimate the power and impact of your capable, loving, and sensitive influence” on others.
“It seems to be part of your special nature to feel that no matter how hard you work and what you do; it is never enough,” he said. "Sometimes, despite the fact that everyone else feels you have been spectacular, you may feel inadequate and ineffective. Yet the excellent work you do, the kindness you show, and the love you exhibit are blessings beyond measure to those who have the privilege of associating with you. And it is enough.”
Elder Cook explained that the women’s conference theme includes the scriptural promise “no good thing will be withheld from them that walk uprightly. My purpose today is to identify some of the rewards of righteousness and point out ways in which we can be and are now blessed in these turbulent times,” he explained.
First, however, he spoke of a world “literally in commotion.”
“Many of the challenges are in the spiritual realm," he said. "They are societal issues we as individuals cannot necessarily resolve but nevertheless concern us.”
Despite these troubling issues, he said, there are practical rewards individuals can achieve — even at a time when righteousness across the world is in decline.
“It isn’t that the battle between good and evil is new,” he said. “But today a much higher percentage of people are willing to mistakenly conclude that there is not a moral, righteous standard to which all people should adhere.”
That said, the Church has never had more faithful members, Elder Cook explained. “Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, together with others who have similar moral values, represent an island of faith in a sea of doubt and disbelief.”
Elder Cook chronicled ideas to help individuals and families better understand and achieve the rewards of righteousness.
The reward of spirituality. “We are so much a part of this world,” Elder Cook explained. “The material aspects of day-to-day living are a specific challenge. Society tends to look at everything through the lens of worldly rewards.”
Quoting President Spencer W. Kimball, Elder Cook taught that idols can include credentials, degrees, property, homes, furnishings and many other material objects.
“Sometimes the lens of the world causes us to focus on issues not quite as dramatic as aspiring to great wealth, but nonetheless, takes us away from deep spiritual commitment,” he said.