Bonnie L. Oscarson

General President of the Young Women (April 6, 2013 – Present)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 2017 General Conference
    • The Needs before Us
      • “We live in a culture where more and more we are focused on the small, little screen in our hands than we are on the people around us. We have substituted texting and tweeting for actually looking someone in the eye and smiling or, even rarer, having a face-to-face conversation. We are often more concerned with how many followers and likes we have than with putting an arm around a friend and showing love, concern, and tangible interest. As amazing as modern technology can be for spreading the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and helping us stay connected to family and friends, if we are not vigilant in how we use our personal devices, we too can begin to turn inward and forget that the essence of living the gospel is service.”
      • “What good does it do to save the world if we neglect the needs of those closest to us and those whom we love the most? How much value is there in fixing the world if the people around us are falling apart and we don’t notice? Heavenly Father may have placed those who need us closest to us, knowing that we are best suited to meet their needs.”
      • “My young friends, I can guarantee that there will always be someone at every Church meeting you attend who is lonely, who is going through challenges and needs a friend, or who feels like he or she doesn’t belong. You have something important to contribute to every meeting or activity, and the Lord desires for you to look around at your peers and then minister as He would.”
      • “Ask your Heavenly Father to show you those around you who need your help and to inspire you on how to best serve them. Remember that the Savior most often ministered to one person at a time.”
      • “Begin your service in your own homes and within your own families. These are the relationships that can be eternal. Even if—and maybe especially if—your family situation is less than perfect, you can find ways to serve, lift, and strengthen. Begin where you are, love them as they are, and prepare for the family you want to have in the future.”
  • October 2016 General Conference
    • Rise Up in Strength, Sisters in Zion
      • “Sisters, I don’t believe that conditions are going to improve going forward. If current trends are an indication, we need to be prepared for the storms that lie ahead. It would be easy to throw our hands up in despair, but as covenant people we need never despair.”
      • “This message reassures me that despite the conditions of our day, we have many reasons to rejoice and be optimistic. I believe with all of my heart that we sisters do have the innate strength and faith that will allow us to meet the challenges of living in the last days.”
      • “It will take concerted effort to be converted and to keep our covenants. To do so, we need to be girls and women who study the essential doctrines of the gospel and have an unshakable testimony of their truthfulness.”
      • “First, we need to acknowledge the centrality of God our Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, to our faith and salvation.”
      • “Second, we need to understand the need for the restoration of the doctrine, organization, and keys of authority in these latter days.”
      • “And third, we need to study and understand temple ordinances and covenants.”
      • “I worry that we live in such an atmosphere of avoiding offense that we sometimes altogether avoid teaching correct principles. We fail to teach our young women that preparing to be a mother is of utmost importance because we don’t want to offend those who aren’t married or those who can’t have children, or to be seen as stifling future choices. On the other hand, we may also fail to emphasize the importance of education because we don’t want to send the message that it is more important than marriage. We avoid declaring that our Heavenly Father defines marriage as being between a man and woman because we don’t want to offend those who experience same-sex attraction. And we may find it uncomfortable to discuss gender issues or healthy sexuality.”
      • “If we don’t teach our children and youth true doctrine—and teach it clearly—the world will teach them Satan’s lies.”
  • April 2016 General Conference
    • Do I Believe?
      • “Do we sometimes become so accustomed to the blessings we have been given as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that we fail to fully comprehend the miracle and majesty of discipleship in the Lord’s true Church? Are we ever guilty of being complacent about the greatest gift we can be offered in this life?”
      • “We believe that this Church is more than just a good place to go on Sundays and learn how to be a good person. It is more than just a lovely Christian social club where we can associate with people of good moral standing. It is not just a great set of ideas that parents can teach their children at home so they will be responsible, nice people. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is infinitely more than all of these things.”
      • “Think for just a minute about the profound claims we make as a religion. We believe that the same Church Jesus Christ established while on the earth has been restored once again by a prophet called of God in our time and that our leaders hold the same power and authority to act in God’s name that ancient Apostles held. It is called the priesthood of God. We claim that through this restored authority, we can receive saving ordinances, such as baptism, and enjoy the purifying and refining gift of the Holy Ghost to be with us at all times. We have apostles and prophets leading and directing this Church through priesthood keys, and we believe that God speaks to His children through these prophets.”
      • “We also believe that this priesthood power makes it possible to make covenants and receive ordinances in holy temples that will someday enable us to return to the presence of God and live with Him forever. We also claim that, through this power, families can be bound together for eternity when couples enter the new and everlasting covenant of marriage in sacred buildings that we believe are literally the houses of God. We believe that we can receive these saving ordinances not only for ourselves but also for our ancestors who lived on the earth without having the chance to participate in these essential saving ordinances. We believe we can perform ordinances for our ancestors by proxy in these same holy temples.”
      • “We believe that these distinguishing features can be found in no other place or organization on this earth. As good and sincere as other religions and churches are, none of them have the authority to provide the ordinances of salvation that are available in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
      • “We all need to seek to have our hearts and very natures changed so that we no longer have a desire to follow the ways of the world but to please God. True conversion is a process that takes place over a period of time and involves a willingness to exercise faith. It comes when we search the scriptures instead of the Internet. It comes when we are obedient to the commandments of God. Conversion comes when we serve those around us. It comes from earnest prayer, regular temple attendance, and faithful fulfillment of our God-given responsibilities. It takes consistency and daily effort.”
      • “As members of the Lord’s true Church, we are already in the boat. We don’t have to go searching through the philosophies of the world for truth that will give us comfort, help, and direction to get us safely through the trials of life—we already have it!”
  • April 2015 General Conference
    • Defenders of the Family Proclamation
      • “Sisters, few of us will ever have to face an angry mob, but there is a war going on in this world in which our most cherished and basic doctrines are under attack. I am speaking specifically of the doctrine of the family. The sanctity of the home and the essential purposes of the family are being questioned, criticized, and assaulted on every front.”
      • “During this 20th anniversary year of the family proclamation, I would like to issue a challenge for all of us as women of the Church to be defenders of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” Just as Marie Madeline Cardon courageously defended the missionaries and her newly found beliefs, we need to boldly defend the Lord’s revealed doctrines describing marriage, families, the divine roles of men and women, and the importance of homes as sacred places—even when the world is shouting in our ears that these principles are outdated, limiting, or no longer relevant. Everyone, no matter what their marital circumstance or number of children, can be defenders of the Lord’s plan described in the family proclamation. If it is the Lord’s plan, it should also be our plan!”
      • “Do we also teach our sons and daughters there is no greater honor, no more elevated title, and no more important role in this life than that of mother or father? I would hope that as we encourage our children to reach for the very best in this life that we also teach them to honor and exalt the roles that mothers and fathers play in Heavenly Father’s plan.”
      • “The last principle we need to stand and defend is the sanctity of the home. We need to take a term which is sometimes spoken of with derision and elevate it. It is the term homemaker. All of us—women, men, youth, and children, single or married—can work at being homemakers. We should “make our homes” places of order, refuge, holiness, and safety. Our homes should be places where the Spirit of the Lord is felt in rich abundance and where the scriptures and the gospel are studied, taught, and lived. What a difference it would make in the world if all people would see themselves as makers of righteous homes. Let us defend the home as a place which is second only to the temple in holiness.”
  • October 2013 General Conference
    • Be Ye Converted
      • “Young friends, we live in perilous times, and the decisions which you are called upon to make on a daily, or even hourly, basis have eternal consequences. The decisions you make in your daily life will determine what happens to you later. If you do not yet have a firmly rooted testimony and conviction that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth, now is the time to do what it takes to gain that conviction. To delay making the effort required to earn that kind of conviction can be dangerous to your soul.”
      • “True conversion occurs as you continue to act upon the doctrines you know are true and keep the commandments, day after day, month after month.”
      • “A person who has experienced true conversion draws upon the power of the Atonement and receives salvation for his or her own soul, then reaches out to exert a powerful influence upon all those who know him or her.”

Other Talks

  • March 2014 General Women’s Meeting
    • Sisterhood: Oh, How We Need Each Other
      • “Tonight we rejoice in our many different roles as women in the Church. Though in many ways we are different and unique, we also acknowledge that we are all daughters of the same Heavenly Father, which makes us sisters. We are unified in building the kingdom of God and in the covenants which we have made, no matter what our circumstances. This combined assembly is, without a doubt, the most glorious sisterhood upon the face of the earth!”
      • “We as women can be particularly hard on ourselves. When we compare ourselves to one another, we will always feel inadequate or resentful of others.”
      • “If there are barriers, it is because we ourselves have created them. We must stop concentrating on our differences and look for what we have in common; then we can begin to realize our greatest potential and achieve the greatest good in this world.”

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