I was so struck today by the Visiting Teaching message for this month. Yes, it was on the role of Jesus Christ as our Savior, but I was most impressed with this statement:
"In the New Testament we read of women, named and unnamed, who exercised faith in Jesus Christ, learned and lived His teachings, and testified of His ministry, miracles and majesty. These women became exemplary disciples and important witnesses in the work of salvation."
"Exemplary disciples" and "important witnesses." My first thought when I read that quote was, "These women are still needed." My companion also pointed out that she appreciated the unnamed women...those who tirelessly served and followed the Savior without worldly recognition.
In each sphere of influence there is great power when women stand strong against the wiles and temptations of the adversary. With so many wonderful opportunities vying for our attention, it's easy to downplay our important role as LDS women. No matter how hard we try not to be, our very presence in the world is different than others. Not better, just different as we are endowed with power and a positive influence in the world.
I had a friend once tell me, "I met a girl at the park the other day and I could just tell she was Mormon before I even met her." We have an influence unlike any other and we can to rise to that privilege and responsibility.
Elder Christofferson also reminds us of our most important role, that of being mothers in the home. He says, "...a mother can exert an influence unequaled by any other person in any other relationship. By the power of her example and teaching, her sons learn to respect womanhood and to incorporate discipline and high moral standards in their own lives. Her daughters learn to cultivate their own virtue and to stand up for what is right...A mother's love and high expectations lead her children to act responsibly...be serious about education and personal growth, and to make ongoing contributions to the well-being of all those around them (CR Oct. 2013, italics added)."
There is so much joy in womanhood if we but embrace our God-given abilities, characteristics and gifts! I am so grateful for the reminder this Christmas season to strive to become an "exemplary disciple" and "important witness" of our Savior and His life. This will be at the top of my New Year's list!
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"My plea to women and girls today is to protect and cultivate the moral force that is within you. Preserve that innate virtue and the unique gifts you bring with you into the world. Your intuition is to do good and to be good, and as you follow the Holy Spirit, your moral authority and influence will grow."
- - Elder D. Todd Christofferson - -