marriage or family, no ward or stake is likely to reach its full
potential until husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, men and women
work together in unity of purpose.
nearly five years, I have had the blessing of serving with Relief
Society sisters and priesthood leaders from Africa to the Amazon. These
experiences with you have reinforced for me the importance of a
fundamental gospel principle. I wish to direct my remarks about this
principle especially to the young adult men and women of the Church, who
are embarking upon a most demanding phase of their lives.
summer I injured a shoulder and lost the use of an arm for weeks. I
hadn’t realized how much one arm depends upon the other for balance, or
how much less I could lift with one arm than two, or that there were
some things I couldn’t do at all. This disability not only renewed my
respect for those who deal so well with a physical limitation, but
helped me realize how much more two arms working together can do.
Two are usually better than one,1 as our Father confirmed when He declared that “it was not good that the man should be alone”2 and made a help meet for Adam—someone with distinct gifts who
would give him balance, help him shoulder the burdens of mortality, and
enable him to do things he couldn’t do alone. For “neither is the man
without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”3
understands the power of men and women united in righteousness. He is
still stinging from his banishment into eternal exile after Michael led
the hosts of heaven, comprised of valiant men and women united in the
cause of Christ, against him. In the chilling words of Peter, “The
devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”4 Lucifer is determined to devour marriages and families, because
their demise threatens the salvation of all involved and the vitality of
the Lord’s kingdom itself. Thus, Satan seeks to confuse us about our
stewardships and distinctive natures as men and women. He bombards us
with bizarre messages about gender, marriage, family, and all
male-female relationships. He would have us believe men and women are so
alike that our unique gifts are not necessary, or so different we can
never hope to understand each other. Neither is true.
Father knew exactly what He was doing when He created us. He made us
enough alike to love each other, but enough different that we would need
to unite our strengths and stewardships to create a whole. Neither man
nor woman is perfect or complete without the other. Thus, no marriage or
family, no ward or stake is likely to reach its full potential until
husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, men and women work together in
unity of purpose, respecting and relying upon each other’s strengths.
truths about the divinely appointed stewardships of men and women are
largely lost on the world today. You will not find them on a TV sitcom
or even, sadly, in some homes and wards. But they are not lost to the
Lord, who has given us “a pattern in all things, that [we] may not be
deceived.”5 The Lord’s pattern for couples and in large measure men and
women serving together in His kingdom was established by our first
parents. Together Adam and Eve labored,6 mourned,7 were obedient, had children,8 taught their posterity the gospel,9 called upon the name of the Lord, “heard the voice of the Lord,”10 blessed the name of God,11 and dedicated themselves to God. Repeatedly the scriptures about Adam and Eve refer to the pronoun they.
Adam with his priesthood nor Eve with her motherhood could bring about
the Fall alone. Their unique roles were interconnected. They counseled
with one another, lifted burdens neither could have lifted alone, and
then faced the wilderness, with all of its uncertainty, together. This
is the Lord’s pattern for righteous men and women.
some of us encounter life circumstances that are less than ideal. I
understand this. I personally deal with this. And yet, my dear young
friends, in whose hands rests the future of the Church and its families,
I must tell you that your understanding of this divine pattern will
affect your marriage, your family, your ability to help build the
kingdom, and your eternal life.
young sisters, some will try to persuade you that because you are not
ordained to the priesthood you have been shortchanged. They are simply
wrong, and they do not understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. The
blessings of the priesthood are available to every righteous man and
woman. We may all receive the Holy Ghost, obtain personal revelation,
and be endowed in the temple, from which we emerge “armed” with power.12 The power of the priesthood heals, protects, and inoculates all
of the righteous against the powers of darkness. Most significantly, the
fulness of the priesthood contained in the highest ordinances of the
house of the Lord can only be received by a man and woman together.13 Said President Harold B. Lee: “Pure womanhood plus priesthood
means exaltation. But womanhood without priesthood, or priesthood
without pure womanhood doesn’t spell exaltation.”14
we as women are not diminished by priesthood power, we are magnified by
it. I know this is true, for I have experienced it again and again.
future husbands and the men with whom you serve will need the support
only you can give. You have an inner spiritual strength that President
James E. Faust said equals and even surpasses that of men.15 Do not abdicate your spiritual responsibility. Your faith will
preach compelling sermons. No amount of time in front of the mirror will
make you as attractive as having the Holy Ghost with you. Bless your
family and the Church as only a woman of God can—with virtue, faith,
integrity, and constant compassion.
men, your ordination to the priesthood is a grand privilege and
responsibility, and not a license to dominate. Be unfailingly worthy to
exercise this godly power, which is given you to be of service. A man is
never more magnificent than when he is guided by the Spirit to honor
the priesthood he holds.
you will marry a virtuous woman who can hear the voice of the Lord, she
will bless your life every day of your life. Consider Eve. She was the
first to see that the fruit of the tree was good, and after partaking,
she “gave unto her husband … , and he did eat.”16 Were it not for Eve, our progression would have ceased. Elder
Dallin H. Oaks stated that her act was “a glorious necessity [that
opened] the doorway toward eternal life. Adam showed his wisdom by doing
men, you will preside at home and in the Church. But be humble enough
to listen to and learn from the women in your life. They will provide
insight, balance, and unique wisdom. And when challenges come, you will
see how resilient a woman committed to God the Father and Jesus Christ
divine pattern for men and women that strengthens marriages and
families also fortifies the Church. For the Church cannot achieve the
full measure of its creation unless both faithful men who bear the
priesthood and righteous women who rejoice in serving under the
direction of the priesthood work together. Time and again I have
experienced this joy.
think of a meeting in Brazil where I had a translator who was unsure of
her ability to convert my English into Portuguese. But as it turned
out, she and I communicated with ease. After the meeting I found out
why. I learned that not only had the General Authority who presided been
literally on the edge of his seat behind us the entire meeting,
prompting the translator when necessary, but he had also assigned
another priesthood leader to pray for both of us throughout the meeting.
General Authority created a safety net of support so that I could
fulfill the assignment he had given me. Such a circle of support has no
end, because there is no end to the good works of righteous men and
women who respect each other and who thrust in their sickles and reap,
side by side, in the Lord’s vineyard. If we are going to build the
kingdom of God, we as men and women of God must build each other. There
is no challenge—with activation, retention, families, or anything—that
we can’t solve when we counsel together in councils and help each other
lift the load.
dear young friends, learn the Lord’s pattern for men and women now.
Ponder the scriptural accounts of Adam and Eve and see what the Lord
will teach you that will strengthen your marriage, your family, and your
Church service. Recent devastating events in the United States seem to
indicate difficult days ahead. But they are days that will be filled
with confidence and courage if the men and women of your generation
unite in righteousness as never before. There is no limit to what you
can accomplish if you will work together, equally yoked, under the
guidance of the priesthood.
Father’s patterns help us avoid deception. Look to the Lord and not to
the world for your ideas and ideals about men and women. For, my young
friends, you are the mothers, fathers, and leaders who were reserved for
this unprecedented time because our Father knows you, and He knows you
have what it takes to face the world and to be fearless in building the
kingdom. Do it together, for it is not good for man or woman to be
alone. Lift each other, and together you will be able to lift the
beautiful burdens of mortality and have glory added upon your heads
forever.18 The Lord must have righteous men and righteous women to build
His kingdom. I know that this is so. God is our Father. His Only
Begotten Son is the Christ. This is Their work and Their glory. In the
name of Jesus Christ, amen.