This past Thursday night, we gathered together as Relief Society sisters to celebrate this wonderful organization and our "Royal Birth" as daughters of God.
What a beautiful and special night this was for all the sisters in attendance. We were enriched by the beautiful messages we heard and had the opportunity to come together as Sisters to enjoy each other's company.
A very special thank-you and BIG hugs go out to Sister Erbstoesser and Sister Palmer for putting this special celebration together. They have been planning and working on this event for quite some time and we are so very thankful for these dear sisters and all that they did to make this such a special evening.
Rest assured...no open lit flamed candles were used for our dinner. We found these cute "fake" battery-operated candles to use so we could have the same effect. :-)
Again...no open flame lit candles were used. You can tell in the picture below they are fake. Only battery operated candles so as to adhere to church policy. :-)
After dinner, we all got together for some silly picture taking moments... :-)
As part of the program, a spiritual message was given on the topic of Royal Birth :
Each Sunday, our Young Women stand and declare “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him”. For many of us, as we mature and take on more demanding responsibilities as women and find our lives so very busy and hectic--we often times tend to forget the love that our Father in Heaven has for us. We forget how precious we each are to our Heavenly Father and the knowledge that we are His daughters. We are of a royal birth.
Alma teaches us that in the premortal realms you exhibited “exceeding faith and good works.” You fought with your faith and testimony to defend the plan that was presented by God. You knew the plan was good, and you knew that the Savior would do what He said He would do—because you knew Him! You stood with Him, and you were eager for your opportunity to come to earth. You knew what was going to be required of you. You knew it would be difficult, and yet you were confident not only that you could accomplish your divine mission but that you could make a difference. You are “choice spirits who were reserved to come forth in the fulness of times to take part in laying the foundations of the great latter-day work, including the building of the temples and the performance of ordinances therein.”
"We have a royal birthright, and that can’t be changed. Apathy has no place in our royal relationships with our Heavenly Father. It’s entirely up to us to accept the royal gifts and blessings our Father in Heaven offers to us. The Lord has crowned every one of us with eternal importance." -Jeannette Waite Bennett
Sisters, as the storms of life rage around us, it is important for us to remember :
“it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that [we] must build [our] foundation … , a foundation whereon if [we] build [we] cannot fall.”
Elder James E. Talmage (1862–1933) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated that “the world’s greatest champion of woman and womanhood is Jesus the Christ” (Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. , 475). There is no question that as daughters of a royal birthright, we are valued and cherished dearly--this is confirmed for us in countless scripture accounts:
…In John 4:26, we read how the first time the Lord acknowledged Himself to be the Christ, it was to a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.
…In John 11:25-26, it was Martha to whom He proclaimed: “I am the resurrection, and the life. … And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die”.
…And in John 19:26-27, we read how during His greatest agony as He hung on the cross, the Savior reached out to one person—His mother—when in that terrible but glorious moment He asked John the Beloved to care for her as though she were his own.
I think it is no coincidence that at some of the most crucial moments in the Savior’s ministry, he felt it important to show how valued and appreciated women are. How comforting it is to know that we can turn to our Savior in our time of need and to be reminded of our great worth as women and daughters of God.
Elaine Dalton(President of the General Young Women Presidency) story:
When I was attending Brigham Young University, I learned what it truly means to be a queen. I was given a unique opportunity, along with a small group of other students, to meet the prophet, President David O. McKay. I was told to wear my best dress and to be ready to travel early the next morning to Huntsville, Utah, to the home of the prophet. I will never forget the experience I had. As soon as we entered the home, I felt the spirit which filled that home. We were seated in the prophet’s living room, surrounding him. President McKay had on a white suit, and seated next to him was his wife. He asked for each of us to come forward and tell him about ourselves. As I went forward, he held out his hand and held mine, and as I told him about my life and my family, he looked deeply into my eyes.
After we had finished, he leaned back in his chair and reached for his wife’s hand and said, “Now, young women, I would like you to meet my queen.” There seated next to him was his wife, Emma Ray McKay. Although she did not wear a crown of sparkling diamonds, nor was she seated on a throne, I knew she was a true queen. Her white hair was her crown, and her pure eyes sparkled like jewels. As President and Sister McKay spoke of their family and their life together, their intertwined hands spoke volumes about their love. Joy radiated from their faces. Hers was a beauty that cannot be purchased. It came from years of seeking the best gifts, becoming well educated, seeking knowledge by study and also by faith. It came from years of hard work, of faithfully enduring trials with optimism, trust, strength, and courage. It came from her unwavering devotion and fidelity to her husband, her family, and the Lord.
This account touched my heart when I read it. While in the world’s eyes, Sister McKay most likely would have not been considered royalty, but in her husband’s and her Father in Heaven’s—she most definitely was and is in the eternities now.
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord” (Zech. 2:10).
May we always remember our divine heritage as women and daughters of God. May we remember that we are never alone in our journey in this life. Our Father in Heaven and Savior love us and they know each of us by name. They know of our struggles and pains and will always be there to succor us is in our time of need. They know all too well of our talents and abilities (for they gave carefully crafted each of us) and have confidence in us that we will use our special talents and gifts to do good in this world. God placed within women divine qualities of “strength, virtue, love, and the willingness to sacrifice to raise future generations of His spirit children”.
What a great blessing this knowledge brings into our lives and our homes. May we never forget our "royal birthright" as we strive to live our lives as daughters of God.