Elaine L. Jack

General Relief Society President (March 31, 1990 – April 5, 1997)
Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency (April 4, 1987 – March 31, 1990)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 1997 General Conference
    • “A Small Stone”
      • “I find many parallels with building a temple and fulfilling a calling. We begin with bare ground, and we start to work. We survey the situation, pray for inspiration, thoughtfully formulate plans, send them for review, adjust, and plan again. We firm up a foundation and then add walls, a roof, and even gardens. Each administration builds on the solid bedrock of the past.”
      • “Brothers and sisters, the time is past when we can merely believe in this gospel; we must be passionate in our belief and in our commitment to Jesus Christ and His plan. We must know, unequivocally, that He is with us, that He will guide and direct us. In His name we shape our offering. For the past few years I have represented all the women of this Church, a far-reaching responsibility. I believe that the Lord will measure my efforts by my heart and my spirit, as He does yours.”
  • October 1996 General Conference
    • “Partakers of the Glories”
      • “There is order to the work of God. In one of the first meetings of the Relief Society 154 years ago, the prophet Joseph Smith charged the sisters with helping to save souls (see Relief Society minutes, 9 June 1842, LDS Church Archives). Our purpose has not changed. It is significant to me that the women were organized under the authority of the priesthood. We sustain the priesthood and are sustained by its power.”
      • “Spiritual gifts are powerful priesthood blessings. They increase our capacity as we develop them by drawing on the storehouse in heaven. One gift I value is discernment.”
  • April 1994 General Conference
    • “Walk with Me”
      • “Our eternal progression on that straight and narrow path in the company of the Lord Jesus Christ is the focus of my message today. This is a journey made up of many steps. Our progress on this journey is determined by recognizing the straight and narrow path, having an eternal perspective, and acting accordingly.”
      • “Our prophet has spoken for the Lord in our day, and his messages have been explicit: rid your heart of pride; read the Book of Mormon every day. In following that counsel, I discover new insights suddenly appearing in my Book of Mormon which are so pertinent to my immediate needs.”
      • “We know why we are here. When we are on the path, we can feel it. The fruits of eternal progress are manifest in joy, peace, love, hope, increased confidence in the Lord. Though the path is narrow, it is sure. It is on this path that we testify daily of our love for the Lord, His children, His church, His counsel, and the richness of His blessings. By our good works we magnify what is mighty in us all, one step at a time, one day at a time, all the time.”
  • April 1990 General Conference
    • “I Will Go and Do”
      • “I give thanks for my sister, who is my friend. Blessed is she who has one like her and thrice blessed if more than one. Sister Ardeth Kapp is like a sister to me. I pay tribute to her as a great woman of vision, called by the Lord to lead the Young Women around the world at a most critical time. She has tutored me, encouraged me, and allowed me to grow. I have served happily as a counselor in the Young Women organization.”
      • “I love you young women. I know that you are understanding the importance of the Young Women Values—those gospel principles which help prepare you to make and keep sacred covenants.”

Other Talks

  • September 1996 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Strengthened in Charity
      • “The greatest acts of charity come from giving of yourself and receiving expressions of charity with humility as well.”
      • “So it is with kindness. Nothing will bring the Spirit of the Lord into your meetings, your homes, and your personal associations more quickly than showing kindness.”
      • “Sisters, we are poised to stride across that threshold into a new era of spirituality and light. Can we, in our daily lives, draw others to Jesus Christ? Can our faith, hope, and charity be the critical forces of significant influence? Yes, a resounding yes.”
  • September 1995 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Relief Society: A Balm in Gilead
      • “That divine direction continues today as priesthood leaders counsel with us, give us guidance, encouragement, and inspiration. I am grateful for our prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, and for the General Authorities of this church who reverence the work of Relief Society.”
      • “The very name “Relief Society” describes our purpose: to provide relief. While we often have the desire and the natural tendency as women to fix what’s broken, we are not the “solution society.” We are the Relief Society. We understand the power and strength of the fruits of the Spirit described in Galatians: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith (Gal. 5:22; emphasis added). We can soothe a suffering heart when we can’t eliminate the trouble. We can bring reassurance and support, kindness, and calm.”
      • “Homes can be sacred havens from the world. Homes offer not only physical shelter but a feeling of security, a sense of belonging, a closeness with other family members. Families live in homes. Families are made up of mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers. They also have grandfathers, uncles, brothers, sons, and fathers.”
      • “The purpose of the Relief Society organization of the Church, stated in our handbook, is to help women and their families come unto Christ. This means bringing the influence of Jesus Christ into our homes. It means we focus on his gospel and we find joy in living his commandments. It means we reexamine our time commitments, and give emphasis to becoming a family that is united and at peace.”
  • September 1994 General Relief Society Meeting
    • “Seek, and Ye Shall Find”
      • “Sisters, this is a complicated era in which we live. Technology has simplified some tasks and opened up ways to learn that our grandmothers never imagined. But with a computerized society have come increased pressures, causing us to weigh carefully how we use our time, to evaluate thoughtfully what we can do that will make the greatest difference.”
      • “The Lord has counseled us directly in this dispensation to seek the Spirit—to learn much—that we might “lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better” (D&C 25:10). I feel strongly that this is a clarion call for the women of this church at this time. For us to stand firm and faithful, we must be clearly focused on seeking the Lord.”
      • “Seeking Jesus feeds our spiritual soul and at the same time prompts us to feed others. We do it in small ways, and these efforts make a big difference. Seeking Jesus helps us to prioritize, to find time to read the scriptures every day so we can feel the Spirit of the Lord all day long. Seeking Jesus is learning to balance what we feel in our hearts with what we know to be true in our minds, and show through our actions that we understand that balance.”
  • September 1993 General Relief Society Meeting
    • “Ponder the Path of Thy Feet”
      • “Our covenant to follow Christ is in sharp contrast to many whose voices fill the newspapers, whose new morality blankets the screens, and whose values, while being updated, have become uprooted.”
      • “Sisters, the time is past when we can merely believe. We must be passionate in our beliefs. Women hunger for things of the Spirit. One of the primary reasons women attend Relief Society is to be spiritually nourished, to learn more of God’s teachings. Our personal testimonies, growing as all of them are, champion our cause to “Come unto Christ.””
      • “Our spirituality is also recharged by each other. Show charity for each other. Show understanding, not judgment; kindness, not blame; joy, not envy. Love as the Lord loves.”
      • “I want you to know that I, as the general president of the Relief Society, embrace the blessings that come from serving under the direction of leaders who hold the priesthood. We must stand united as a people for the Lord to call us one.”
      • “Women and men have available every priesthood blessing essential for salvation—the blessings of being baptized, receiving the Holy Ghost, renewing our covenants through taking the sacrament, and making and keeping temple covenants.”
  • Relief Society Sesquicentennial Satellite Broadcast, March 1992
    • “Charity Never Faileth”
      • “The experiences of women in Nauvoo and in every Relief Society throughout the Church prove that women individually can be a great force. Alma described the value of our contribution, stating, “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” (Alma 37:6.) Women’s lives are full of small and simple things—discussions about how the day was, visits to schools, laughter at a homemade joke, work in its many forms, playing with children, trips to the doctor, tending the garden, cooking meals, teaching a lesson in church, helping a neighbor, serving a community group, sharing a lesson learned with a sister. Small and simple things that define relationships and build testimonies. Small and simple things that grow strong men and women.”
    • Look Up and Press On
      • “Today I ask you to undertake with me a spiritual journey worthy of our best efforts. I ask you to press forward with me in the quest for unparalleled levels of personal spirituality. Let us seek keener vision and stronger hearts. Let us make “Charity Never Faileth” a motto of such personal significance that the whole world will be blessed by us, the daughters of God who are the sisters of Relief Society.”
      • “Ours is a quest to change ourselves, to become even truer disciples of our Lord and Savior. We will lift our eyes to the mountains and move ceaselessly towards exaltation.”
      • “For many of us, the most rugged mountains we tackle are within the walls of our homes. Since we strive to become eternal family units, we should prize our families. Dear sisters, stay close to your husband, your children, your parents, your brothers and sisters, and those who feel like family because your lives have joined. Consider them your fellow voyagers.”
  • September 1990 General Women’s Meeting
    • “These Things Are Manifested unto Us Plainly”
      • “Sisters, how are these things manifest unto us? Plainly, through the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, through the example of our Savior’s life. Only by living His gospel can we find what is real. We can never accurately take the measure of our lives based on social, economic, ethnic, age, marital, or physical conditions. Ask yourself, are the comparisons you may make of yourself and others based on the model of the Savior’s life, or do they come from trying to fit your life into the pattern of others’ lives?”
      • “Build, bless, develop and exercise, strengthen, and enjoy—these are propelling, motivating action words that invite our personal best.”
  • September 1989 General Women’s Meeting
    • Identity of a Young Woman
      • “When I listen to you say it, I recall my feelings at your age. Sometimes I still feel that way. Even though I’m a grandmother, I need assurance that I am somebody. We all need to be reminded that we are daughters of a Heavenly Father. That eternal truth is so important.”
      • “I’ve heard some of you say, “I don’t know if I have a testimony or not. I’ve never felt the Spirit.” You may not have recognized it, but you probably have. Maybe you’re feeling it right now. Very often it’s the influence of the Spirit that gives you a warm feeling about an experience; it makes a message sound right and true, and sometimes it makes you feel as if you want to cry. Always it brings peace.”
      • “When you have that witness, then you know that you are part of God’s family, that Jesus Christ is your elder brother, and that you’ve inherited the characteristics of love, forgiveness, patience, service, tolerance, obedience. Christ is our example.”
      • “The spiritual characteristics we inherit from our heavenly parents have to be developed. You have been born with all the godlike gifts that Christ has. They are within you, but you have to choose to cultivate and develop them. Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen without our best efforts.”
      • “In this life, we do make mistakes, but through the process of repentance and the blessings of the Atonement, they can be resolved.”
      • “Repentance means turning the heart and the will to God. It denotes a change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world.”

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