President Spencer W. Kimball once said,
“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.”
Sister Julie B. Beck, former Relief Society General President has referred to this quote multiple times. I would say that of all the women of the Church today, she is by far the most articulate. I commented on another blog the other day that Sister Beck was as close to a prophetess as we have probably come in this day. She testifies of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and the divine role of women with such power and conviction as we hear mostly in the testimonies of the apostles. I have always wanted to be like her, since I was a 16 year old Young Woman when she was called to the Young Women’s presidency.
It is so important for us to become righteous and articulate women. It is the call of the Relief Society sisters to be students of the gospel, strong public speakers, and most important, unflinchingly dedicated to the strengthening of home and family, seeking out and helping those in need, and increasing our own faith and personal righteousness.
I the book Daughters in My Kingdom on page 49 there is a section titled “Articulating Beliefs”. This passage contains this description of Sister Eliza R. Snow,
“She was knowledgeable, organized, faithful, untiring, unflinching, wise, and articulate, and she followed the promptings of the Spirit as she helped build the Lord’s kingdom. She frequently shared her knowledge and her testimony, and she encouraged Latter-day Saint women to do the same in Relief Society meetings – not to depend on others to always teach them.” (emphasis added)
I added the emphasis to the words “unflinching” and “articulate” because I think these qualities are often overlooked in our Relief Societies as we strive to develop ourselves into the women God wants us to become. However, these are qualities which are needed now more than ever in this worldwide Church. We must be unwavering and unflinching, especially as Satan and his followers increase their efforts to thwart the work of God (an effort in which they will never succeed). We cannot afford to be unsure about the gospel and doctrines of Christ. We need to study them – the basic doctrines of the gospel – and we need to understand them. How do we understand the gospel doctrines? We do not need a PhD in religion. We do not even need a high school education. The Holy Ghost can enlighten our understanding. (see here)
Once we have an adequate understanding of the gospel principles and doctrines in our own lives we have a solemn obligation to share those truths. This obligation does not begin and end with full time missionary services. Women with children are not alone in their responsibility. All women of the Relief Society, and therefore of the Church, regardless of their individual circumstance are equally obligated to share the gospel. As disciples of Christ we are all called to be gospel teachers – to our families, to our children, to our neighbors, to all who do not have the fullness of the gospel.
In the same section in Daughters in My Kingdom, the following story is shared:
Emily S. Richards said the Sister Snow helped her learn to speak in public: “The first time [she] asked me to speak in meeting, I could not, and she said, ‘Never mind, but when you are asked to speak again, try and have something to say,’ and I did.” Sister Richards continued to improve in her ability as a public speaker, and in 1889 she spoke at the National Woman Suffrage Association convention in Washington, D.C.
I think that some LDS women who have taken to blogging are doing a great job of being articulate in their beliefs. Sister Beck addressed the opportunity blogging gives us to share the gospel in a recent Mormon Channel interview and stressed the importance of women being articulate in the gospel (she actually shared the quote from President Kimball. I think she likes that quote.)
I would like to become more articulate in my beliefs – mostly more articulate in speech. I may just be flattering myself, but I think that I am pretty articulate when it comes to writing, but my speech is, well, lacking (which is probably why I write out my sacrament meeting talks word for word… and they usually sound better than my Relief Society lessons in which I stumble over my words and can’t figure out what to say next).
This year I would like to learn to be more articulate in my speech – especially when speaking about the most important things in my life – Jesus Christ, the gospel, and family.
How do you become more articulate? How have you learned to be articulate? Are you unflinching in your testimony of the gospel? Do you share it boldly?