Carole M. Stephens

First Counselor to the General President of the Relief Society (March 31, 2012 – April 1, 2017)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 2016 General Conference
    • The Master Healer
      • “As we increase our understanding of the doctrine of Christ, we soon discover that we are developing a deeper understanding of “the great plan of happiness.” We also recognize that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is at the very heart of the plan.”
      • “May I suggest that we begin, as Nephi says, “with unshaken faith in [Christ], relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.” Our faith in Jesus Christ enables us to meet any challenge.”
      • “When we come to Him with humble and teachable hearts—even if our hearts are heavy with mistakes, sins, and transgressions—He can change us, “for he is mighty to save.” And with hearts changed, we can, like the Samaritan woman, go into our own cities—our homes, schools, and workplaces—to witness of Him.”
      • “Sisters, I testify that— You don’t have to continue to carry the burden of sorrow caused by sin—alone. You don’t have to carry the pain caused by the unrighteous actions of others—alone. You don’t have to experience the painful realities of mortality—alone.”
  • October 2015 General Conference
    • “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments”
      • “We can choose to see commandments as limitations. We may feel at times that God’s laws restrict our personal freedom, take from us our agency, and limit our growth. But as we seek for greater understanding, as we allow our Father to teach us, we will begin to see that His laws are a manifestation of His love for us and obedience to His laws is an expression of our love for Him.”
      • “Even with all of the mistakes, opposition, and learning that accompany our mortal experience, God never loses sight of our eternal potential, even when we do. We can trust Him “because God wants His children back.” And He has provided a way through the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ.”
      • “There is safety in following the word of the Lord through His prophets. God called President Thomas S. Monson, the counselors in the First Presidency, and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators. In this world of increasing fear, distraction, adversity, and anger, we can look to them to see how disciples of Jesus Christ—filled with charity—look, sound, and react to issues that could be divisive. They testify of Jesus Christ and respond with charity, the pure love of Jesus Christ, whose witnesses they are.”
  • April 2015 General Conference
    • The Family Is of God
      • “Our mortal journey to earth did not change those truths. We each belong to and are needed in the family of God. Earthly families all look different. And while we do the best we can to create strong traditional families, membership in the family of God is not contingent upon any kind of status—marital status, parental status, financial status, social status, or even the kind of status we post on social media.”
      • “So right now some of you are thinking, “Well then, Sister Stephens, you just don’t understand!” And I answer that you may be right. I don’t completely understand your challenges. But through my personal tests and trials—the ones that have brought me to my knees—I have become well acquainted with the One who does understand, He who was “acquainted with grief,” who experienced all and understands all. And in addition, I have experienced all of the mortal tests that I just mentioned through the lens of a daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend.”
  • October 2013 General Conference
    • Do We Know What We Have?
      • “We need the opportunity to renew our covenants each week as we partake of the sacrament. Latter-day prophets and apostles have taught that when we worthily partake of the sacrament, we can renew not only our baptismal covenant but “all covenants entered into with the Lord.”
      • “There exists today a great need for men and women to cultivate respect for each other as sons and daughters of God and reverence for our Father in Heaven and His priesthood—His power and authority.”
      • “He has a plan for us, and when we exercise our faith and trust in His plan, our reverence for Him and for His priesthood power and authority will be strengthened.”

Other Talks

  • September 2013 General Relief Society Meeting
    • We Have Great Reason to Rejoice
      • “Sisters, as I have visited you around the world, I have observed that many of you are like Porter. You quietly stand as witnesses of God, mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort without realizing that you are keeping your covenants—the covenants you made in the waters of baptism and in the temple. When you love, watch over, and serve others in small and simple ways, you are actively participating in the work of salvation, God’s work “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
      • “As I shared these experiences with you, did you see yourself in the work of salvation? Take a moment to think of another daughter of God who needs encouragement to get back on the covenant path or who needs a little help to stay on the path. Ask your Father in Heaven about her. She is His daughter. He knows her by name. He also knows you, and He will tell you what she needs. Be patient and continue in faith and prayer on her behalf, and act on the promptings you receive. As you act on these promptings, the Spirit will confirm that your offering is acceptable to the Lord.”
  • September 2012 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Wide Awake to Our Duties
      • “To receive this gift and always have the Spirit with us, we must be worthy and vigilant about checking the condition of our hearts. Is our heart soft? Do we have a humble heart, a teachable heart, a gentle heart? Or have our hearts become gradually hardened as we have allowed too much of the noise of the world to distract us from the gentle promptings that have surely come from the Spirit?”
      • “With hearts changed through faith in the Savior, they relied on the power of His Atonement. They were awakened to act. They knew deep in their hearts that there was one—the Savior—who understood their personal adversity because He suffered it for them in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross.”
      • “It isn’t enough to just be on the journey; we must be awake to our duty and continue with faith as we draw upon the comforting, strengthening, enabling, and healing power of the Atonement.”

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