Thursday, May 10, 2018

President Gordon B. Hinckley on the divine potential of women

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1961. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency from 1981-1995, then as Church President until his death in 2008.
"To you women, I wish to issue a challenge tonight. That challenge is to rise to the stature of the divine within you. As you have been reminded, yours is a godly inheritance. 'I am a child of God' is not an idle or meaningless statement....
"Is there anything more beautiful, anything that speaks more of divinity than a lovely little girl? I have little granddaughters, bright-eyed and beautiful, who sing and smile and touch my heart with thoughts of heaven....
"I see young women, radiant in the beauty of youth, whose virtue is more precious than rubies—young women who are bright and who study with enthusiasm and diligence to learn the word of the Lord and also to equip themselves to take their places with honor and ability in the world in which they will live. I see young women who know the word of God and can quote it; who know the standards of the Church and live by them; who have a sense of worth and a wondrous sensitivity to the beauties of life and nature, music and art; who treasure truth and seek to enlarge their understanding of it; who have determined that worthiness to enter the house of the Lord for a divine endowment and an eternal sealing is the most desirable of all goals. Can anyone doubt that there is something divine within such?
"I see young mothers. I have three daughters and two daughters-in-law who love and honor their husbands, who nurture and treasure and train their children, who teach and direct in the organizations of the Church, who go to the house of the Lord with unselfishness in their hearts, who love life and face its challenges and adversities as well as drink deeply of its enriching experiences and beauties....
"I observe older women, mature from the living of many years. In their hearts is a solid, unshakable residual of faith. In their souls is a great residual of love to be widely spread for the blessing of others. In their minds is an appreciation for goodness and truth and beauty. In their hearts is an understanding for and a love of God our Eternal Father and His Beloved Son, our Redeemer.
"These are among those who rise to the stature of the divine inheritance they carry."
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "Rise to the Stature of the Divine within You," General Conference Women's Meeting October 1989
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

President Hinckley shared these remarks with a General Women's Meeting in the October 1989 conference. He was trying to convey his sense of the role of women in mortality through the different phases of their lives, their divine potential now and eternally, and the opportunities they have to do good.

The challenge to "rise to the stature of the divine within you" is a profound one. It conveys a sense of the faith we have in our divine heritage, as children of God, bearing His nature and potential. It invites us to become more like him as we progress through the stages of life, learning through faith and study, through service and experience. What a profound invitation it is for each of us to ponder!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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