Kathleen H. Hughes

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

General Conference Addresses

  • April 2005 General Conference
    •  What Greater Goodness Can We Know: Christlike Friends
      • “I have been blessed throughout my life with Christlike friends—from friends of my youth to the many people who have blessed our family in all the wards we have lived in. Their faith and commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ, their service, their wise and gentle instruction have enriched our lives. Some of my friends are very different from me. We disagree about things, and we can even irritate each other. But friendship allows for differences—in fact, it embraces them. I love to visit stakes made up of people from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and ethnic origins.”
      • “God knows the needs of His children, and He often works through us, prompting us to help one another. When we act on such promptings, we tread on holy ground, for we are allowed the opportunity to serve as an agent of God in answering a prayer.”
  • April 2003 General Conference
    • Blessed by Living Water
      • “As I have met with many women this last year—and their priesthood leaders—I have heard numerous accounts of Christ’s healing power. There is so much suffering in mortality, so many causes for pain. I know people who have sent loved ones into harm’s way and who daily pray for their safety in battle. I talk to parents who are frightened for their children, aware of the temptations they face. I have dear friends who are suffering from the ravaging effects of chemotherapy. I know single parents, abandoned by spouses, who are rearing children alone. I have dealt myself with the debilitating effects of depression. But I have learned from my own experience, and I learn from those I meet, that we are never left to our own resources. We are never abandoned. A wellspring of goodness, of strength and confidence is within us, and when we listen with a feeling of trust, we are raised up. We are healed. We not only survive, but we love life. We laugh; we enjoy; we go forward with faith.”
      • “It may take a lifetime—and longer—to refine our spirits fully, but the living water is available to all, including the young. I’m inspired when I watch young women of the Church, after receiving spiritual training from childhood, enter the Relief Society and immediately bring added strength to more experienced women. I’m overjoyed when I watch those same young women realize how much they can learn from women older than themselves. Peace comes to us from the Lord, but we can help each other feel that peace as we share our burdens and our happiness.”

Other Talks

  • September 2006 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Remembering the Lord’s Love
      • “I’m certain that each of you has felt, at one time or another, encircled in Christ’s arms. But if you are like me, there are times when you are fearful, when the stress and busyness of life seem to overwhelm you, when you feel adrift from the Spirit. Perhaps you even feel as though you have been abandoned. When I encounter those feelings, the best antidote is my memory of the moments when Christ’s peace has come to strengthen me. So tonight I invite you to remember with me what it is to feel the Lord’s love in your life and to feel encircled in His arms.”
      • “But every day, when I seek it, I experience the Lord’s love in my life and feel His arms encircle me. I see evidences of the Lord’s love in my morning walks when the air is clear and the first hint of light is in the east. I feel His love when a verse of scripture springs to mind and speaks to me in a new way. I recognize His love when I am taught by good women in Relief Society or by visiting teachers who care for me. I sense His presence when my heart responds to beautiful music or a memorable talk. Sisters, the Lord is everywhere when we open our eyes and hearts to His love.”
      • “Our families need the peace of God in their lives, and if we can’t or won’t invite the Lord into our lives, then our families become a reflection of our own turmoil. Women are asked to be nurturers to their families, but we must also be firm; we must be the hard rock footings on which our homes can stand. Our families need us to speak peace to them, just as the Lord speaks peace to us. Our homes need to be places where our families and friends want to be, where all who enter our homes can draw strength and courage to face the challenges of living in an increasingly wicked world.”
  • September 2005 General Relief Society Meeting
    • That We May All Sit Down in Heaven Together
      • “All of us long to possess Christ’s pure love, called charity, but our humanness—the “natural woman” in us—gets in our way. We get angry, we become frustrated, we berate ourselves and others—and when we do, we cannot be the conduit of love we need to be if we are to become an instrument in Heavenly Father’s hands. Being willing to forgive ourselves and others becomes an integral part of our ability to have the love of the Lord in our lives and to do His work.”
      • “The greatest manifestation of charity is the Atonement of Jesus Christ, granted to us as a gift. Our diligent seeking for this gift requires that we not only are willing to receive it but are willing to share it as well. As we share this love with others, we emerge as “instruments in the hands of God to do this great work.” We will be prepared to sit down with our sisters in heaven—together.”
  • September 2004 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Out of Small Things
      • “It’s glorious to think of that promised time when the Lord will return, but it’s also sobering to contemplate the changes that may be necessary for us each to be prepared. Still, dear sisters, as I have met you and seen your commitment, I believe we are not, as a people, as wanting as we often feel. We have reason for confidence and hope as we prepare.”
      • “Scripture study and prayer will bring change—but not automatically. If we read with one eye and pray with half a heart, we are engaging in a ritual, and while that time is not worthless, it isn’t fully productive either.”
      • “I hear women say that their callings are wearing them out or that they don’t have time to serve. But magnifying our callings does not mean staying up all night preparing handouts and elaborate table decorations. It does not mean that each time we do our visiting teaching we have to take something to our sisters. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Let’s simplify. The message of a good lesson comes through spiritual preparation. Let’s put our focus on the principles of the gospel and on the material in our study guides. Let’s prepare to create an interesting exchange of ideas through discussion, not through extra, invented work that makes us so weary we come to resent the time we spend in fulfilling our callings.”
  • September 2003 General Relief Society Meeting
    • In Covenant with Him
      • “Relief Society was established by God, through a prophet, by the power of priesthood authority; its existence is a necessary part of the organization of the Church. Men and women stand together in priesthood and Relief Society as we strive to bring families to Christ. As women, we should never think that our role in the Church is a lesser role than that played by men. Just as we as righteous women honor the priesthood, we need to hold sacred our calling as women as well.”
      • “Sisters, we’re not a social club, though deep friendships form from our sisterhood. We are not, as I heard a young woman say, “the old women who meet on Sunday.” We have power when we use it: power given to us through God to accomplish His purposes. We are the world’s largest women’s organization. As we reach into our communities with the knowledge and inspiration the Lord has granted us, we can help lead a world that needs our guidance. It’s what the Prophet Joseph expected; it’s what President Hinckley expects of us today.”
      • “We all know the scriptural teaching that where much is given much is required. Remember, though, that where much is required, much is also given.”
  • September 2002 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Blessing Our Families through Our Covenants
      • “The standard for all of us is clear, but what we know is that the world’s ways are too often becoming our ways and our children’s ways.”
      • “Sisters, that promise gives me so much hope. Let’s make our trek with confidence, our bright bags clutched firmly in our arms, but let’s empty those bags of things we do not need. Extra weight will only slow us down. Let’s rid ourselves of the “what ifs” and the “if onlys” and “cast [our] burden upon the Lord.” I need to do this with you. Let’s just do the best we can every day and allow the Lord to make up the difference for us. That is one of the promises He has made to us.”

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