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SALT LAKE CITY -- Millions of Latter-day Saint women around the world gathered for their annual meeting Saturday.
The General Relief Society Conference originated from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Messages came from the women leaders of the organization and Church President Thomas S. Monson.
Carried by satellite in 82 languages to 175 countries, nations and territories, the General Relief Society meeting for more than 6 million women focused on its history and purpose. Relief Society General President Julie B. Beck said society holds onto misperceptions about Latter-day Saint women.
In this day of mistaken identities, confusion and distraction, Relief Society is a compass and guide to teach the truth to faithful women.
–Julie B. Beck
"Prevailing myths imply that we are of lower importance than men, that we are generally sweet but uninformed, and that no matter what we do, we will never be enough to be accepted by our Heavenly Father," she said. "In this day of mistaken identities, confusion and distraction, Relief Society is a compass and guide to teach the truth to faithful women."
Other leaders encouraged women to serve in whatever stage of life they may be living.
"You don't have to be married to keep the commandments and to nurture families, friends and neighbors," said Silvia H. Allred, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency. "Your gifts, talents, skills and spiritual strengths are greatly needed in building up the kingdom."
In their worldwide sisterhood, the women were reminded to care for one another.
"We have taught one another the gospel, we have cried together, laughed together, solved problems together, and I have been lifted and blessed," said Barbara Thompson, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency.
Using the Relief Society motto, "Charity Never Faileth," President Thomas S. Monson spoke of not judging others.
"Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth: 'If you judge people, you have no time to love them.' The Savior has admonished, 'This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.' I ask, can we love one another as the Savior has commanded if we judge each other?" he said. "I answer with Mother Teresa, no, we cannot."
President Monson asked that they be guided with the timeless truth that charity is the love of Christ.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' General Conference meetings will take place next weekend. Sessions will begin at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The General Priesthood Session will take place on Saturday at 6 p.m.