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LDS Church News

Elder Cook talks about spiritual rewards at women's conference

By Sarah Jane Weaver

LDS Church News

Published: Friday, May 2 2014 8:31 p.m. MDT

The scriptures are clear that living the commandments "allows us to prosper in the land," he said.

“Prospering and being wealthy are not necessarily synonymous. A much better gospel definition of prospering in the land is having sufficient for our needs while having the abundant blessing of the Spirit in our lives. When we provide for our families and love and serve the Savior, we will enjoy the reward of having the Spirit and prospering in the land.”

The reward of peace. Thirty-five years ago, President Spencer W. Kimball taught that major growth would occur in the Church because many good women will be drawn to the Church in large numbers, Elder Cook said. “He declared, ‘This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and … are seen as distinct and different – in happy ways – from the women of the world.’ This has truly happened and will continue to do so in the future."

Sister Cook said with their gospel knowledge, Latter-day Saints should be the happiest people in the world. “We can’t let the sorrows and tribulations of mortality deflect us from the promise of a better, glorious, and magnificent eternal life,” she said.

Sister Cook grew up in the Church, attended Primary and other Church meetings, read the scriptures, prayed and sang songs of the gospel. She knew the Church was true and never doubted.

However, “shortly after I was baptized, my parents filed for divorce. Part of it involved disputes over Church commitment and conduct incompatible with the gospel,” she said. “My mother, sister, brother and I went to live with our grandmother — our mother’s mother. She was a widow, and I can’t imagine how she dealt with three lively children for two years.”

Sister Cook attended third and fourth grades while living with her grandmother. “When I think back toward those years, I was feeling a little insecure about my family situation, and I remember an experience I had as I was walking home from mid-week Primary one day.”

She said suddenly she felt the most overpowering feeling of love. “It just enveloped me. I felt that the Lord knew me, and that I was important to Him. It was the first time I recognized the power of the Holy Ghost in my life.

“I realized that we make our own happiness no matter what trials, tribulations, or sorrows we face in this life. We choose based on our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to be of good cheer.”

Sister Cook said from this experience she learned three basic things:

“First, the blessing of having the Holy Ghost as a constant companion and the comfort provided when we are especially in need.

“Second, living the commandments brings happiness and joy.

“Third, I knew I wanted to have a happy family life.”

Her parents resolved most of their differences after two years of separation, and her family reunited. “Things weren’t always great, but years later when I was a wife and mother myself, my parents were sealed in the temple, and I was able to be sealed to them.”

Sister Cook said having a happy heart and desiring to be happy, can turn a trying day into a tolerable one.

“More than once I have told myself, ‘This, too, shall pass.’ And it does,” she said.

She closed by telling the women that they can be of good cheer.

“As we suffer the sorrows and joys of mortality, let us keep our eyes focused on the prize,” she said. “Be of good cheer, for we know the outcome, we know the truth; we know the Savior and His infinite Atonement made in our behalf. We know the Father’s plan of happiness.”

sarah@desnews.com