By Heather O.
A while ago, I wrote a post about Sister Beck that made a lot of people mad. Really mad. Like, shockingly mad, to the point where I actually got some hate mail. Yessiree, nothing says, “I’m a disciple of Christ” like a steaming pile of vitriolic rhetoric telling somebody she is wicked and headed straight to hell.
(Thanks for that, by the way.)
I loved, loved, loved her General Conference talk. I was especially struck with her strong words about seeking validation in the wrong places, and how a mother can measure success. We are successful when we feel the Spirit. The end. The simplicity of that was actually kind of a relief.
I also loved her quote from Eliza R. Snow, which basically said, “Yo, quit being a baby and start being a woman.”
Harsh stuff, especially if you are listening to it from a hard place. But it’s hard to imagine trials bigger than the ones Eliza R. Snow faced, so the context and perspective help make it less harsh and kinda inspiring. Or at least that’s how I felt.
Tonight, I had to excellent opportunity to hear her speak at a Tri-stake event. I’m not sure what to call it–fireside? Meeting? Whatever. It was hard to get to and I didn’t want to go, not because I didn’t want to hear her but because I knew it would mean getting a sitter to stay late with my kids on a school night. That’s the kind of thing that is hard for everybody all the way around.
But I’m very glad I went. There is something enormously powerful about sitting in a stake center with only woman about, and this forum was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Sister Beck simply opened it up to questions. Obviously there is some limitations in a setting that big, but questions were asked, and Sister Beck answered them. Mostly. Some she kind of skirted a tiny bit, and some she combined into one answer, because really, well, when it comes down to it, the Atonement of Christ sort of covers most things, and she made sure we felt that.
But by and large, she did her best to meet our needs, and make sure we felt we were heard and understood.
But my favorite part is that she called us lionesses. Lionesses at the gate. The mother is the lioness at the gate of her home and family. Mothers are the ones who protect our families from evil influences. Mothers are the ones who make sure our homes are safe and harmonious. Mothers are on the front lines in the battle the evil one is waging against our families, and from what she has seen from the women of this church, we are up to the task.
It made me want to stand up and roar with my sisters. And don’t you think roaring is MUCH cooler than singing “As Sisters in Zion”? (Although it IS a nice little tune, I suppose. Kinda catchy.)
So pile on the “I toldja so!”s. Go ahead, tell me how you knew she was awesome all along, and how you’ve been her fan forever, and how much she has inspired you, and how I’m a dork for not being her fan sooner. C’mon, I can take my lumps.
I am a lioness, after all. Sister Beck said so.
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