Sister Allred: 'Increase faith, hope'
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Women of the Church must be steadfast and immovable as they face the challenges that try their faith, said Sister Silvia H. Allred, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, during the General Relief Society Meeting broadcast Saturday evening.
“Our faith and steadfastness in Christ will give us the courage and confidence we need to face life’s challenges, which are part of our mortal experience,” she said.
Sister Allred shared a story of a family from Paraguay and their trip to the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple to be sealed.
It was the middle of a very cold winter when the Yegros family traveled with their two young children. After much sacrifice and 27 hours of traveling to the temple in harsh weather conditions, the family was sealed for time and all eternity.
On the return trip home, the young family’s two children got very sick and died, causing the parents to bury their children along the way. They returned from their temple trip empty handed.
Despite the grief and loneliness the young parents felt, they were comforted and felt at peace.
They knew their children were sealed to them in the house of the Lord and that because of that they will have their children for eternity, as they remain worthy and faithful to the covenants that they made in the temple.
“How do we increase our faith and hope to be like these faithful members from Paraguay?” Sister Allred asked. “How do we strengthen our belief in the affirmations that ... you believe in God’s love for you, that you trust you will receive His blessings and that you understand the plan of redemption through the Savior Jesus Christ and your important part in His plan?”
She then gave four suggestions to help the women of the Church during trials and adversity.
“Prayer is the act of communicating with Heavenly Father,” she said. “When we pray, we acknowledge our faith in Him and His power to bless us.”
Second, scripture study.
“A knowledge and understanding of Heavenly Father’s plan helps us know who we are and what we should become,” she said. “There is a great need for each woman to study the scriptures. As we become more familiar with the truths of the scriptures, we will be able to apply them to our lives and have more power to accomplish God’s purposes. Daily personal prayer and scripture study also invite the influence and power of the Holy Ghost into our lives.”
“The Lord says, ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments,’” she said. “Our faithful obedience will help us develop the attributes of godliness and change our hearts.”
An individual’s commitment to live the gospel nurtures faith and hope in Jesus Christ, she said.
“We have multiple opportunities to serve Him,” Sister Allred said. “Each sister is asked to seek out and help the poor and the needy among and around us. The ‘poor and needy’ includes spiritual and emotional needs as well.”
Other ways of service Sister Allred spoke of included family history, temple and missionary work.
“All of these things are ways we can serve the Lord,” she said. “The Lord expects those who are strong to strengthen the weak and your own faith will be strengthened as you strengthen and care for His children.
“I know Heavenly Father loves each of His children perfectly, individually and constantly,” she said. “I know that as women, we have an essential part in the plan of happiness. Our best effort is all He requires from us and each of us is needed in building up the kingdom.”