I know I'm weeks behind on jotting down my thoughts on Women's Conference, but what do you expect? :) There were 3 points that I particularly wanted to remember from Julie Beck's talk. (Let me clarify, I did not go to Women's Conference, and I've only listened to Sis. Beck's talk, so I really shouldn't say my thoughts on Women's Conference; I should say my thoughts on Julie Beck's talk from Women's Conference. As the transcripts are not yet out, I took my quotes from Melissa Merrill's writeup from the Church News. Also, my husband says by enlarging the text, it makes me look like a conspiracy theorist or that I'm yelling; sorry, not my intent. I thought it just might make it easy to skim through!)
1. On female identity and role:
“The [female] identity we have from Heavenly Father can be fully understood only through spiritual confirmation,” she said. “An intellectual study can be made, but a spiritual confirmation teaches us who we are and what we are to do."
“They are given this powerful and influential leadership role,” she said. “The female responsibility of being a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend … is all about nurturing, teaching, and influencing. These are non-negotiable responsibilities. We can’t delegate them. We can accept them and live them. These are things we understood before we were born, and we can’t negotiate with the Lord whether they’re part of His plan. These are our responsibilities.”
2. On working outside the home:
Sister Beck also said that women often ask her questions about whether to work outside the home. In many places, she pointed out, if women don’t work, they don’t eat. So that question may be the wrong one. A more appropriate question, she said, is this: “Am I aligned with the Lord’s vision of me and what He needs me to become?” [My addition:] She also added something along the lines of -- or am I trying to escape my responsibilities to nurture, teach, and influence?
So, to me it seems like it's more about where our hearts are -- Am I fulfilling my duties to care for my family in my culture and in my economic situation? The last thing (ok maybe not the last) the Church wants to do is create some terrible rift in women's minds about working to feed their families or to sacrifice everything to stay home and raise children.
3. On the priesthood:
“The priesthood is God’s power,” she said. “It is His power to create, to bless, to lead, to serve as He does.” The priesthood duty of every righteous man is to qualify to hold the priesthood so he can bless his family, while the priesthood duty of sisters is to create life, nurture God’s children, and prepare them to make covenants with the Lord.
“Don’t confuse the power of the priesthood with the keys and offices of the priesthood,” Sister Beck said. “The power is limitless and is shared with those who make and keep covenants. Too much is said and misunderstood about what brothers have and sisters don’t. This is Satan’s way of confusing men and women so that neither understands what they really have.”