“Sisters Smith, Cannon Address Conference for Women in Germany,” Ensign, Nov. 1981, 112
More than 600 sisters from the Kaiserslautern, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt Servicemen’s stakes were joined by American sisters living in France, Holland, Turkey, Italy, Spain, and Belgium, together with German sisters of the Saarbrücken District, at a special conference held in Wiesbaden,West Germany, on September 4 and 5.
The conference was coordinated under the direction of Elder Robert D. Hales and the area council, and conducted by J. Paul Jensen, Regional Representative, and hosted by the Kaiserslautern Servicemen’s Stake. Two days of glorious sunshine welcomed the sisters—a rare treat in an area known for its rainy weather.
The conference theme, “Let Me Soar/Lass Mich Streben,” was the focus of addresses by Sister Barbara B. Smith, general president of the Relief Society, and Sister Elaine Cannon, Young Women general president.
Reading from Doctrine and Covenants 88:67, [D&C 88:67] the scriptural theme for the conference (“And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things”), Sister Cannon reminded the sisters that they could have this light, but that they must “prepare to soar” by understanding why they were born and “make things happen in a very real sense.”
Sister Smith pointed out that “because we are women we soar at different speeds. It will take effort, but we can soar to our full potential. Relief Society can be our greatest strength. You are not here by chance,” she reminded the sisters. “The Lord has put you here with other women, to learn from them and to give to them.”
At the Saturday morning session, Sister Cannon spoke about life’s perspectives. Existence, she said, “depends on how you look at it. Find out what your perspectives are, from where they spring, and where they can take you. Know who you are. Understand you are a daughter of God, and that the Lord is always there if we seek him.”
Later in the morning, sisters chose from a variety of seminars: Learning to Love the Scriptures; Keeping Romance in Marriage; You and Your Confidence; Making Sunday the Best Day of the Week; Developing a Personal Relationship with the Savior; and many others.
Sister Smith conducted two question-and-answer sessions. Questions dealt with many of the same concerns, from making the scriptures part of everyday life to catching the vision of visiting teaching to the challenges of multiple church responsibilities. Addressing the problem of choosing between a profession and homemaking, Sister Smith advised women to “work for the right reasons,” to counsel with their husbands and the Lord. She reminded mothers that “No one loves your children like you do. You know what you want them to learn; don’t give up the great privilege of being mothers for any other profession.”
In her closing remarks, Sister Smith reminded the sisters “No matter what the adversity, we will be able to stand if we know who we are. May you soar this day and from this day on because you are daughters of God.”