By Staci Swinton Brooks
The month of May is a time to honor not only our own mothers, but all righteous women of God. He loves and honors women. They need to know they are special and loved; and they need to be encouraged to become all that they are destined to be.
Righteous Women of God are Special
Women carry out many important roles in this life. However, the greatest role of all women is to nurture our Heavenly Father’s children physically and spiritually, as they work to reach their eternal goals. For this great role and work in the Lord’s kingdom, women were foreordained. And “God planted within women something divine” to help them (Hinckley, Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 1997)—an inner strength, faith and spirituality that defines women and helps them fulfill their missions on earth.
The Lord sees women as equals to men and considers their role in His kingdom as vital. In fact, Heber J. Grant said, “without the wonderful work of the women, I realize that the Church would have been a failure” (Gospel Standards, Improvement Era, 1942). This is because women are special and unique by divine design. “Women are born with an inherent right, an inherent authority, to be the saviors of human souls…and the regenerating force in the lives of God’s children” (Matthew Cowley Speaks, 1954).
“Surely the secret citadel of women’s inner strength is their spirituality. In this they equal and even surpass men, as they do in faith, morality, and commitment when truly converted to the gospel” (James E. Faust, Ensign, May 1988).
The impact righteous women make in the Lord’s kingdom is immeasurable. What President Hinckley has said about women is true, “Know that you are daughters of God, children with a divine birthright. Walk in the sun with your heads high, knowing that you are loved and honored, that you are a part of his kingdom, and that there is for you a great work to be done which cannot be left to others” (Ensign, Nov. 1983).
Righteous Women of God are Loved
There is no question of the great love Heavenly Father and Jesus have for women. President Hinckley has said regarding women, “…you do not hold a second place in our Father’s plan for the eternal happiness and well-being of His children. You are an absolutely essential part of that plan. Without you the plan could not function. Without you the entire program would be frustrated” (Ensign, Nov. 96).
There are numerous examples of the great love Heavenly Father and Jesus have for women in the scriptures. I am touched to realize that the crowning work of the creation was the creation of woman (see Moses 3). It was, of course, Mary who was chosen to bring Jesus Christ into this world, and as His mother, would teach, nurture and care for him as he grew (see Luke 2).
I marvel to think that of all the individuals Christ knew and loved, He chose to appear first as a resurrected being to a woman, Mary Magdalene (see John 20). And finally, to women, is given that work which is closest to God’s own – that of helping to create and nurture His precious children.
Becoming Righteous Women of God
In D&C 25, the Lord gave to Emma Smith (through Joseph Smith) “a revelation… “concerning (His) will” to her as a loved daughter of God (v.2). However, in the final verse the Lord says, “this is my voice unto all” (v.16). Thus showing that the counsel in this section applies to all women who are striving to become righteous women of God. This section promises women that if the guidance given is followed, they can be exalted to Lord’s kingdom forever as queens with “crowns of righteousness” (v.15).
As I studied this section, I have discovered eleven things in particular that the Lord wants women to do:
1. “Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God”
2. Be “faithful and walk in the paths of virtue be-
fore me” (v. 2).
3. “Murmur not” (v. 3).
4. Comfort and nurture others with “consoling
words, in the spirit of meekness” (v. 5).
5. Serve in callings, “to exhort the church, accord-
ing as it shall be given thee by my Spirit” (v.7).
6. Give “thy time…to learning much,” especially
the scriptures (vs. 7,8).
7. “Lay aside the things of this world, and seek for
the things of a better” (v. 10).
8. “Lift up thy heart and rejoice” (v.13).
9. “Continue in the spirit of meekness, and beware
of pride” (v. 14).
10. Pray, for the “song of the heart…is a prayer
unto me” (v.12).
11. “Cleave unto the covenants which thou hast
made… (and) keep my commandments con-
tinually” (vs.13, 15).
This month as we honor and encourage women in their quest to become what God would have them be, let us remember that they are special, unique and loved. For as Proverbs 31:10 states, “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies…”