Mary Ellen W. Smoot

General Relief Society President (April 5, 1997 – April 6, 2002)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 2002 General Conference
    • Developing Inner Strength
      • “How do you and I become so converted to the truth, so full of faith, so dependent on God that we are able to meet trials and even be strengthened by them?”
      • “It does not take much living to find out that life almost never turns out the way you planned it. Adversity and affliction come to everyone. Do you know anyone who would not like to change something about themselves or their circumstances? And yet I am sure you know many who go forward with faith. You are drawn to those people, inspired by them, and even strengthened by their examples.”
      • “Unity of purpose, thought, and feeling are exalting qualities. When we can put aside our differences and value each others’ strengths, great things happen.”
  • April 2000 General Conference
    • We Are Creators
      • “I believe that we carve souls—our own and others—every day. Let’s determine now to make those souls pure and chaste. Create homes filled with love and serenity. Relieve suffering. Create enduring testimonies of eternal truths in ourselves and others.”
      • “The time for procrastination is over. Begin! Don’t be afraid. Do the best you can. Of course you will make mistakes. Everyone does. Learn from them and move forward.”
      • “Creation isn’t drudgery. Creation flows from love. When we do what we love, we rejoice along the way.”
  • October 1997 General Conference
    • Pioneer Shoes through the Ages
      • “I’m not here to give marching orders—you can find those on your knees. But with the enthusiasm I felt in her voice, she could tackle and solve any problem in her family, ward, or neighborhood. In every auxiliary we need to circle our wagons and prepare for increased numbers.”
      • “By strengthening each other spiritually, building faith and fellowship, we wear the shoes of pioneers.”
      • “Brothers and sisters, whether on the plains of Nebraska, in Argentina, the highways of Maryland, or within the walls of our own homes, the simple faith of a true pioneer is powerful and eternal.”

Other Talks

  • September 2001 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Steadfast and Immovable
      • “We choose to be steadfast and immovable in our faith because of the promises of eternal glory, eternal increase, and continued family relationships in the celestial kingdom. We love our families and know that our greatest joy and peace come to us as we watch each family member face the tests of life and make righteous choices to overcome the world.”
      • “We go to Relief Society each week not only to be fed, nurtured, and loved, but also to report for duty. Sometimes the most important duty is right within the walls of our own homes.”
      • “Discouragement, sorrow, pain, and grief may beset us and try us. But my beloved sisters in the gospel, while it is too late to turn back, we can stand firm and steadfast and leave footprints on the hearts of those whose lives we touch. We can smile at the rage of the tempest and ride triumphantly across the boisterous ocean of circumstance. We can have the testimony of Jesus Christ light up a lamp that will guide us through the portals of immortality.”
  • September 2000 General Relief Society Meeting
    • We Are Instruments in the Hands of God
      • “In more than 165 countries of the world, our sisters are being instruments in the hands of God. I think of a ward in Brazil that has an influx of new members every week. The sisters in that Relief Society decided to set a goal to not let even one week pass without each newly baptized sister receiving a visit in her home and a copy of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” and the Relief Society Declaration. So far they haven’t lost any sisters to inactivity.”
      • “Sisters, we are needed here—by the Lord, by our priesthood leaders, by our families, and by each other. The Lord needs us to embrace our eternal callings and fill the measure of our creation. He needs us to come home to Relief Society and look for ways to serve others in the name of His organization for women and to work together as sisters in helping the gospel kingdom move forward. Truly, Relief Society will help each of us serve our families and each other in ways that no other club or organization can.”
      • “Service softens and opens hearts, for it is truly the gospel in action.”
      • “We don’t need a new program to spur us on—we need only incorporate the desire to share the gospel and reach out to new members and those who are less active in our existing programs.”
  • September 1999 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Rejoice, Daughters of Zion
      • “We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction. As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar. We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who: Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study. Seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and homes. Find nobility in motherhood and joy in womanhood. Delight in service and good works. Love life and learning. Stand for truth and righteousness. Sustain the priesthood as the authority of God on earth. Rejoice in the blessings of the temple, understand our divine destiny, and strive for exaltation.”
      • “We speak out to stop the flowing tide of filth and corruption that is a plague in our society. Sisters who know right from wrong stand firm on the Lord’s side, making choices that set them apart from the rest of the world as they carefully monitor the family’s use of television programs, dress modestly, and refrain from watching any films that glorify violence and immoral behavior.”
  • September 1998 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Come, Let Us Walk in the Light of the Lord
      • “This evening, the Relief Society general presidency would like to extend an invitation to each of you: “Come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isa. 2:5). Please choose to RSVP, which is a French term indicating “answer if you please.””
      • “So if we desire to walk in the light of the Lord, we put one spiritual foot in front of the other. We follow the path of spiritual preparedness as it is set forth in scripture and by our living prophets. We take full fellowship in the Relief Society organization. This society, established and directed by our prophets through divine inspiration, is not just a Sunday meeting. It is an organization to bring sisters and their families unto Christ.”
      • “I fully believe that our talents are developed as we are called upon to serve. If we will faithfully accept the call, hidden talents will be discovered, such as love; compassion; discernment; being a good friend, peacemaker, teacher, leader, homemaker, writer, researcher—these are all talents.”
  • September 1997 General Relief Society Meeting
    • “For Such a Time as This”
      • “Our highest priority as the Relief Society general presidency is to strengthen our sisters spiritually, both individually and collectively.”

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