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Sister Neill F. Marriott, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, speaks during the General Women's Session on March 26.

“The Lord’s Church and kingdom need Spirit-directed women who use their unique gifts to nurture, to speak up and to defend gospel truth,” Sister Neill F. Marriott, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, taught during the General Women’s Session of the 186th Annual General Conference held in the Conference Center on March 26.

“Our inspiration and intuition are necessary parts of building the kingdom of God, which really means doing our part to bring salvation to God’s children,” she said.

Building the kingdom through nurturing

“Sisters, we build the kingdom when we nurture others,” she said. “However, the first child of God we must build up in the restored gospel is ourselves. ... We must develop bedrock faith in the Savior’s gospel and move forward, empowered by temple covenants, toward exaltation.”

Sister Marriott told of when she, a convert to the Church of only a year, traveled from Louisiana to Utah to receive her own temple endowment and be sealed to her fiance, David, in the Salt Lake Temple. Upon arriving, she went to stay at the home of her fiance’s step-grandmother, who was known as “Aunt Carol.”

“As I stood at the front door of Aunt Carol’s house, I wanted to shrink away,” Sister Marriott said. “The door opened — I stood there like a scared rabbit — and Aunt Carol, without a word, reached out and took me into her arms. She, who had no children of her own, knew — her nurturing heart knew — I needed a place to belong.”

Sister Marriott said her fear melted and she felt she was being anchored to a spiritually safe place.

“Love is making space in your life for someone else, as Aunt Carol did for me.”

Whether it is giving emotional life to the hopeless or spiritual life to the doubter, all — with the help of the Holy Ghost — can create an emotionally healing place for the discriminated against, the rejected and the stranger, she taught.

“In these tender yet powerful ways, we build the kingdom of God,” she said.

Building the kingdom through speaking and testifying

“We also build the kingdom when we speak up and testify of truth,” she said. “We follow the Lord’s pattern. He speaks and teaches with the power and authority of God. Sisters, we can too. ... As we work by the delegated priesthood authority given to us, our talking and gathering grows into gospel teaching and leading.”

Personal revelation from the Holy Ghost will prompt a person to learn, speak and act on eternal truth — the Savior’s truth, she taught.

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“The more we follow Christ, the more we will feel His love and direction; the more we feel His love and direction, the more we will want to speak and teach truth as He did, even when we face opposition.”

Although being distinct and different from the world will draw some criticism, Sister Marriott said all must anchor themselves to eternal principles and testify of them, no matter the world’s response.

“Our high responsibility is to become women who follow the Savior, nurture with inspiration and live truth fearlessly,” she said.

mholman@desnews.com @marianne_holman

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