Bonnie D. Parkin

General President of the Relief Society (April 6, 2002 – March 31, 2007)

Second Counselor of the General Presidency of the Young Women (October 1, 1994 – October 4, 1997)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 2007 General Conference
    • Gratitude: A Path to Happiness
      • “Gratitude requires awareness and effort, not only to feel it but to express it.”
      • “Gratitude is a Spirit-filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the richness of a living God. Through it, we become spiritually aware of the wonder of the smallest things, which gladden our hearts with their messages of God’s love. This grateful awareness heightens our sensitivity to divine direction. When we communicate gratitude, we can be filled with the Spirit and connected to those around us and the Lord. Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence.”
      • “Gratitude is our sweet acknowledgment of the Lord’s hand in our lives; it is an expression of our faith.”
  • October 2004 General Conference
    • How Has Relief Society Blessed Your Life?
      • “I have my own sweet memories of playing under my grandmother’s quilting frames as she and her Relief Society sisters stitched. I was young, but I knew that this was part of Relief Society—blessing the lives of others. I was mentored with love for Relief Society by my mother and my grandmother. I love Relief Society—I think I always have. Relief Society has helped me know the Savior and has strengthened my love for Him and my Heavenly Father. My belonging to Relief Society has provided me with many opportunities to learn, love, serve, and be filled with the love of the Lord in my life as I strive to keep my covenants, exercise charity, and strengthen my family.”
      • “My belonging to Relief Society has renewed, strengthened, and committed me to be a better wife and mother and daughter of God. My heart has been enlarged with gospel understanding and with love of the Savior and what He’s done for me. So to you, dear sisters, I say: Come to Relief Society! It will fill your homes with love and charity; it will nurture and strengthen you and your families. Your home needs your righteous heart.”
      • “I pray that mothers and daughters will participate with more vigor, that husbands will support their wives, and that both mothers and fathers will prepare their daughters for Relief Society. I encourage priesthood leaders to shepherd God’s daughters, young and old, into Relief Society—one of the many miracles of the Restoration. As we take these steps, we will be overwhelmed with gratitude for this sacred organization.”
  • April 2002 General Conference
    • Feel the Love of the Lord
      • “As Wallace Stegner wrote of the Mormons, “Their women were incredible.” And they are today! I know that the Lord loves the women of the Church. If I could have one thing happen for every woman in this Church, it would be that they would feel the love of the Lord in their lives daily. I have felt the love of the Lord in my life, and I am so thankful for that. I’m thankful for the peace that I have felt.”
  • April 1995 General Conference
    • Celebrating Covenants
      • “Father in Heaven knows us as individuals. The covenants we make with Him are performed one on one.”
      • “We hear of Saints who hold on to their covenants even against great odds and in so doing find renewal and peace—not just in the life to come, but in this life. Because, just like covenant breaking, covenant keeping becomes habit forming.”
      • “If you have slipped in your covenants, take heart! The Savior so wants us to fulfill our promises that He has provided an everlasting atonement. If your heart is not singing the song of redeeming love, return to your covenants. Celebrate them. Like our new granddaughter, you too can be pure. The renewal of your covenants will awaken you like cold glacial waters on a hot day. Then remember, millions of Church members all around the globe are daily keeping covenants against all odds. You can too.”

Other Talks

  • September 2006 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Eternally Encircled in His Love
      • “Our Heavenly Father loved us before we came to this earth. I know that He loves us, sisters, as does His Son, Jesus Christ. That love will never change—it is constant. You can rely on it. We can trust it.”
      • “Do we frequently reject the Lord’s love that He pours out upon us in much more abundance than we are willing to receive? Do we think we have to be perfect in order to deserve His love? When we allow ourselves to feel “encircled about eternally in the arms of his love,” we feel safe, and we realize that we don’t need to be immediately perfect. We must acknowledge that perfection is a process. This is a gospel of eternal progress, and we must remember to appreciate the journey.”
      • “The greatest evidence of our Savior’s love for us is His Atonement. His love overflows with grace, patience, long-suffering, mercy, and forgiveness.”
      • “Do you feel the Lord’s love in your life? How I feel His love may be different from how you experience it. The key is to come to understand how you feel that love. And once you’ve felt it, be willing to share it.”
  • September 2005 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Sweet Moments
      • “The sisters of the early Relief Society were stirred to action by the Prophet Joseph. Today, we too have opportunities to serve as “instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.””
      • “Be there for your children. Sit on the bed and enjoy the late-night talks—try to stay awake! Pray for the Lord to inspire you. Forgive often. Choose your battles. Testify frequently of Jesus Christ and His goodness and of the Restoration. And most of all, let them know of your trust in the Lord.”
  • September 2004 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Belonging Is Our Sacred Birthright
      • “In these perilous times, I find comfort in the promise that “if [we] are prepared [we] shall not fear.” Relief Society helps us be prepared—not just temporally, but spiritually. But Relief Society cannot help in our preparation without our participation! I worry that some of you feel you don’t fit in Relief Society, that you don’t belong! Whether you feel too young or too old, too rich or too poor, too intelligent or too undereducated, none of us is too different to belong! If I could have my heart’s desire, it would be that every one of you feel like you fit, like you belong. I testify that you do fit, that you do belong to Relief Society—the Good Shepherd’s fold for women.”
      • “It’s the variety in a garden that contributes to its beauty—we need daisies and lilies and buttercups; we need gardeners who water, nurture, and care. Unfortunately, Satan knows that sharing unites our sisterhood through the everyday and the eternities. He knows that selfishness will begin to destroy sharing, which destroys unity, which destroys Zion. Sisters, we cannot let the adversary divide us. You see, “A perfect oneness,” said Brigham Young, “will save a people.” And I would add that a perfect oneness will save our society.”
      • “Belonging is being needed, loved, and missed when you’re away; belonging is needing, loving, and missing those who are away. That is the difference between attending and belonging. Relief Society is not just a Sunday class: it is a divine gift to us as women.”
  • September 2003 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Choosing Charity: That Good Part
      • “In exercising charity, we come to know a sister’s heart. When we know a sister’s heart, we are different. We won’t judge her. We will simply love her. I invite you to not only love each other more but love each other better. As we do this we will come to know with a surety that “charity never faileth.””
      • “I’ve learned that the best way to reclaim charity is to uncumber myself and simply love and serve the Lord. How do we do that? We start each day kneeling in prayer to our Father in Heaven, we hear His words through daily scripture study, and we follow the guidance we receive. We put Christ first, restoring charity’s circular love.”
  • September 2002 General Relief Society Meeting
    • With Holiness of Heart
      • “Of course, the doing is where we prove who we really are. Thus, every time we reach out with love, patience, kindness, generosity, we honor our covenants by saying, “Here am I; send me.” Usually we speak these words softly, unaccompanied by brass bands.”
      • “Covenants can keep us and those we love spiritually safe and spiritually prepared by putting first things first. For instance, when it comes to families, we cannot afford indifference and distraction. Childhood is a vanishing wonder; so few have had the sunny days I knew growing up on a farm.”
  • March 1996 General Young Womens Meeting
    • An Anchor for Eternity—and Today
      • “As a young woman, I came to downtown Salt Lake one wintery day. I had parked in front of the Church Administration Building and was just putting a nickel in the meter when I noticed a man leaving the building. He wore a dark overcoat and a wool hat. But he had something more: a spirit that stirred my soul. I could not take my eyes off him, and as he descended the steps, I suddenly realized he was President David O. McKay. He said nothing as he passed me; he merely smiled gently and tipped his hat. The Spirit literally filled my being. I knew I had seen a prophet of God.”
      • “Do you see how Sister Lacey’s testimony was strengthened by following the prophet? She used the four steps Sister Virginia H. Pearce talked about: she listened to and read the words of President Hinckley, she identified a personal message, she put the message into action, and she noticed the changes in her life and feelings.”
      • “But think, what would a testimony of a living prophet do for you? How would it help you in your daily struggles? How would it change and bless your life?”
  • March 1995 General Young Womens Meeting
    • Fat-Free Feasting
      • “Look closely: Feast on his word. When was the last time you feasted on the word? Did you know that feasting could be so guilt-free?”
      • “It’s not always easy, and there are things I still don’t understand. But when I look past all that, craving the Lord’s companionship, the scriptures infuse my spirit with the Spirit. They will do the same for you. They will enlighten you, lift you, comfort you, strengthen you. They will envelop you in a warm blanket of heavenly love. How do I know? Because they do that for me. It is Heavenly Father’s promise to us. It is eating at the Lord’s table.”

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