Monday, February 9, 2009

LDS Church News story by Barbara Likovich and BYU Story by Brittanie Morris Stott

To see the article you may click on this link or read below. 'Be On The Top Of Your Game'
'Be at the top of your game,' Sister Beck urges
By Barbara Murphy Likovich Church News contributor

Published: Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009

In the first visit by a general Relief Society president to California's central coast in at least 50 years, Sister Julie B. Beck counseled sisters on how best to serve their families and help less-active loved ones return to the Church.
Sister Beck made her comments during a two-day visit Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 to Camarillo and Santa Barbara, Calif., where she trained Relief Society leaders and addressed women from eight stakes that hug the coastline from central California to just north of Los Angeles.
In comments prompted by questions from the audience, she spoke to nearly 2,000 sisters and priesthood leaders in a series of meetings, including a message she delivered in Spanish to members of two wards in the Camarillo California Stake.
Sister Beck said she learned how to prioritize her time as a wife and mother while observing her father-in-law, a steel worker who at various times in his career worked the day, evening or night shift. She said she realized she was working all three shifts simultaneously, and she had to prioritize the demands on her so she could provide the service her family most needed.
The most valuable time of the day for a family, Sister Beck said, is the afternoon/evening shift.
"Be at the top of your game on swing shift," she said. "People are hungry, people are teachable. You feed them; that's when you serve them the most. Plan for swing shift, and then work the rest of your day around that."
On the topic of reactivation, Sister Beck counseled the sisters to remember they are missionaries and to consider their loved ones as investigators. A study of the Church's Preach My Gospel manual contains many ideas on how to share the gospel with the Spirit, she said, and it doesn't have to be in a formal lesson.
Many times, those who have left the Church have lost hope they can return, Sister Beck said.
"They see you and they see your example, but they don't see themselves going where you are," she said. "They need to have hope that they can change, that mistakes are forgivable. … They need to have hope they can start where they are and make their way back."
Speaking to the Spanish wards in Oxnard, which is part of the Camarillo Stake, Sister Beck told those attending a joint Relief Society-priesthood meeting that she has confidence in their ability to let the Holy Ghost show them how to protect their families.
Sister Beck based her counsel on Alma 48:7-9 in the Book of Mormon, which describes how Captain Moroni strengthened the Nephites to defend themselves against their enemies. In those verses, Moroni prepared the Nephites' minds to be faithful to the Lord, helped them build a fort for protection and fortified their weak areas first. Those same techniques will help anyone defend themselves against those who would destroy their families, she said.
"If we can establish in our homes a culture of the gospel, we will little by little prepare our children, and that will be a defense," she said.
In a special meeting with young-adult sisters and Laurels, Sister Beck said Relief Society is exactly what those sisters need right now or will need by the time they turn 18. After several young adults told Sister Beck what they must know to succeed in school — skills such as time management and setting priorities — the general president smiled and told the sisters Relief Society is designed to help them with just such subjects.
"This is what we do in Relief Society," she said. "We help you do what you need to do better."
She also called the single sisters "the Lord's secret weapon" and encouraged them to step forward and get involved in His work.
"The Lord can't do what He needs to do if His daughters are sitting on the sidelines cheering," Sister Beck said. "He wants you in the game, building His Church."

New Relief Society General Presidency Announced
By Brittanie Morris - 2 Apr 2007

A new General Relief Society Presidency was announced in the Saturday morning session of the LDS general conference, March 31, 2007.
Sister Julie B. Beck was called as the new Relief Society general president, succeeding Sister Elaine S. Dalton, with Sister Silvia H. Allred as first counselor and Sister Barbara Thompson as second counselor.
Sister Beck was the former first counselor in the Young Women General Presidency prior to her call to direct the Relief Society, one of the largest women's organizations in the world.
Sister Beck learned Portuguese while living in Brazil as a child with her family, where her father served as mission president.
In the church, Sister Beck has served on the Young Women General Board, as ward Young Women and Primary president, as counselor in a stake Relief Society presidency and at the Missionary Training Center in Provo.
As Relief Society general president, Sister Beck said she looks forward to working on a united front with the Young Women general presidency to remedy problems women face in the world today.
"I see a great attack on the family and the self worth of women," Sister Beck said. "Many women have lost their sense of identity."
Sister Beck said she looks forward to the unique experience, vision and perspective in her new calling and said the motto of the Relief Society, "charity never faileth," still applies to women everywhere in the world.
Sister Allred is from El Salvador and speaks Spanish as her native language. She has traveled all over the world and established relationships with women in the Relief Society in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Spain.
Sister Allred joined the church at age 15 and was the first convert in her family. At age 16 she served as secretary in the Relief Society of her branch.
"I have seen the transformation the church can make in women," Sister Allred said. "It helps them establish leaderships skills, become better wives and mothers and provide better community service."
Sister Thompson, a Salt Lake City native, has served on the Relief Society General Board, as a Gospel Doctrine teacher, ward Young Women president, Laurel adviser, ward Relief Society counselor, Beehive adviser and camp director.
Sister Thompson said the Relief Society means a lot to her as a single woman in the church. She said she really looks forward to meeting the many fabulous women throughout the world.
"When we get a grasp of who we are, we naturally want to be members of the Relief Society in addition to church members," Sister Thompson said.
Copyright Brigham Young University 2 Apr 2007

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