“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”1 From Paul’s words to Galatians, we learn that we need to bear one another's burdens, which is what we do as Sisters in Zion. The Stake Relief Presidency, under the direction of the Stake President, held Hyderabad Stake Women’s Conference on 22 April 2023; 80 sisters gathered to hear and learn from the speakers who were assigned topics that focused on spiritual, social, physical, and intellectual growth, and to learn how to bear one another’s burdens.
Remembering Captain Moroni fortifying the walls of the Nephi cities to protect themselves from the attacks of the Lamanites, Sister Tamara Chesnut helped the sisters learn to focus on the walls of faith that needed to be built to protect our home from the adversary. She taught that Taking upon the name of Christ means faithfully seeing as God sees, becoming holy and ministering to others, and trusting in the Lord. She mentioned a formula to gain spiritual strength; CHOOSING CHRIST = HAPPINESS, RELIEF, & PEACE.
Sister Judy Samson shared from her life experiences seven principles that she learned, which will help the sisters to gain emotional strength. They are ;
- Remember that as women, we are royal daughters of Heavenly Father;
- We always need to follow the counsel given by the leaders;
- Pray, fast, and seek priesthood blessing;
- Always look at the people around us who can strengthen us;
- Don’t give up on the holy habits;
- To live life the way God would want us to live;
- To listen to uplifting music.
Above all, she mentioned that the ultimate emotional strength we will receive is from the Atonement of the Savior.
A topic that we do not focus on much; however, something that the Lord condemns is Abuse. The sisters were taught never to ignore abuse of any type. Sister Bharti Sumarajan with inspiration, mentioned the need to treat everyone with RESPECT AND LOVE. She concluded with a quote from Elder Richard G. Scott, “You may be left scarred by abuse, but those scars need not be permanent. In the eternal plan, in the Lord's timetable, those injuries can be made right as you do your part.” 2 This helped the sisters to learn that because of the Atonement of Christ, the scars of abuse can be healed, and we can forgive and be forgiven.
Sister Barbara B. Smith, the Tenth General president of Relief Society, states, “The state of our health affects every facet of our life—our feeling of personal well-being, our approach to work, our social interactions—even our service to the Lord.”3 Sister Sudha Gutty helped the sisters understand the major diseases among women and the need to get a regular medical check-up. She advised the sisters to take care of themselves. She encourages all the sisters to take time out of their busy lives to care for their health. Counsel was given to the sisters to avoid stress, multi-tasking, get proper sleep, and have a proper grooming routine. We must take medical insurance to avoid debt in medical emergencies.
The conference also had a workshop that focused on the following;
- Woman Empowerment: Sister Janusha Pulla taught that women empowerment is all about being strong and confident; all the sisters as part of the class were asked to navigate “Life Help” in Gospel Library that will help everyone when they are faced with challenges and when someone comes to them for help.
- Media Safety: Sister Annapurna Gutty helped the sisters understand all kinds of fraud that happens in a fraction of a second; sisters were counselled to be aware of fraud calls seeking One Time Password(OTP) and change of passwords, sister were encouraged to keep a six digits password for the mobile phones that can avoid hacking, very importantly a need to have anti-virus installed in the phone so that it is safe from hacking and very importantly to track the usage of phone by children and be safe from unauthorised websites.
- Finances: Sister Sai Kumari counselled the sisters about the need to be self-reliant, a budget that will help us to understand our income and analyse our expenditure, taught sisters how to eliminate debt(s), and the sisters were taught to be disciplined with the usage of money.
The Women’s Conference ended with testimonies from sisters who expressed gratitude for the taught principles. The need to be updated with media and safety. Sisters mentioned that the gospel is about learning spiritual things and things needed to live on this earth to make the right choices. The Stake Relief Society presidency challenged all the sisters to set goals focusing on spiritual, social, physical, and intellectual growth. The Relief Society President, Sister Sudha Pydimalla, ended with the quote from Elder Jeffery R. Holland, “Keep trying, keep trusting, keep believing, keep growing, heaven will be cheering you on today, tomorrow, forever.” 4
- Galatians 6:2
- Elder Richard. G . Scott, “Healing the tragic scars of Abuse,” General Conference April 1992
- Sister. Barbara B. Smith, “ Good Health—A Key to Joyous Living,” General Conference October 1978
- Elder Jeffrey. R. Holland “Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You,” General Conference April 2016