We see faithful women who understand the power inherent in their callings and in their endowment and other temple ordinances. These women know how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen their husbands, their children, and others they love. These are spiritually strong women who lead, teach, and minister fearlessly in their callings with the power and authority of God!1 How thankful I am for them!

                   ~President Russell M. Nelson

 

As I listened to our prophet speak these words during this past General Conference, I was struck by the word ‘fearlessly’. Within the walls of my home, I am outspoken and confident in my role as mother and wife. My husband and I counsel together often and pray for guidance for our children. I study my scriptures and trust the impressions of the Spirit in regards to my stewardships here at home.

 

However, over many years of church service, I have learned to be cautiously careful in speaking out in meetings. I have learned to phrase my counsel carefully, diplomatically, so as not to offend priesthood leaders and others I serve with. Experience has taught me, painfully, that speaking too forthrightly in a church setting offends.

 

Why I Am Afraid to Be Fearless

 

One example: I was sitting in a ward council meeting, in a stake calling capacity. During this meeting, the Elder’s Quorum President discussed a less active member and recommended that if his girlfriend would just commit to marrying him, he would come to church more regularly. The Elder’s Quorum President wanted the bishop to meet with the girlfriend. The Spirit prompted me to speak out, so I did. I suggested that we focus on developing this young man’s relationship with our Savior and leave the girlfriend out of the equation.

 

As a side note, I was good friends with the girlfriend in question and knew a lot about the behind-the-scenes behavior of this young man, which were causing my friend good reason for concern! Not wanting to share this confidential knowledge, yet knowing that this young man desperately needed outreach and love, I shared my thoughts about changing the approach used for this young man.

 

I was invited to leave the meeting.

 

Startled, I stood up and walked out, no expression on my face, but horribly embarrassed and shocked. I was there in my capacity of my calling! The stake presidency had asked me to attend this particular meeting. Perhaps the Lord had even wanted me at this particular discussion so that I could share my insights about this particular situation. Yet, the bishop asked me to leave.

 

Later, another member of this ward council meeting, a former stake president, found me and apologized profusely, saying that I should never have been asked to leave. However, I had been asked. I later asked my husband if he had ever witnessed that kind of treatment of any priesthood holder, representing the stake, in a ward council. He had not.

 

This experience taught me to hold my tongue in church meetings. To be very, very careful of when I spoke up.

 

This is not an isolated experience. I have often watched women in church meetings share their thoughts, usually couched in inoffensive apologetic terms:

 

“Um, I thought maybe this might be a good idea.”

 

“Well, Elder so-and-so said …” Rather than simply state their own thoughts about a particular subject, almost as though their own inspiration needed bolstering by an ‘official’ citing of a general authority in order to have any merit.

 

There have been meetings without number where the priesthood comes in and outlines how an activity will be run and then asks the Relief Society to do the work or provide the food. As though the sisters present are simply there to be delegated assignments, not to provide equal inspiration and insights in their own, divinely appointed callings.

 

I am a very forthright and outspoken person. In my different volunteer activities within the community, this outspokenness is an asset. I have little patience for diddlying about—I like to cut through to the heart of an issue and resolve it and move on. I will listen to others’ thoughts and then fearlessly add my own. Yet, at church, I do not always act in this fearless way.

 

My son is wrapping up the final months of his mission. He has learned to fearlessly say what the Lord needs him to say in a variety situations. My daughter is planning on serving a mission in a couple of years. Do I want her to be any less fearless in her declaration that Christ is our Savior? Do I want her to apologize before she bears her testimony? Do I want her to be ashamed to speak her mind because she is a woman?

 

No. I want her fearless and strong. And if I, an imperfectly loving mother, want this for my own daughter, how much more does my Father in Heaven want this for me, His daughter?

 

Moving Forward

 

I am going to move forward, trusting in the prophet’s words:

 

We see faithful women who understand the power inherent in their callings and in their endowment and other temple ordinances. These women know how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen their husbands, their children, and others they love. These are spiritually strong women who lead, teach, and minister fearlessly in their callings with the power and authority of God!1 How thankful I am for them!

 

To read more of Emlee Taylor’s Missionary Mom moments, click here.

The Lord, through His prophet, is calling upon each of His daughters to step up to the challenge and be courageous as we minister in our various callings!

 

This does not mean to pick fights or to, in any way, invite contention, division, or dissension. It simply means that when the Spirit moves us to act—we act without fear. We speak without fear. We are His daughters and we need to act with the “power and authority of God” so that our daughters, our sisters, and our friends can build upon our united strength as we move the Lord’s kingdom forward.

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About Emlee Taylor
Growing up all over the world gave Emlee Taylor an opportunity to see the incredible differences the Lord created in humanity; and even better, the passions we all share as members of the human race: love for family, faith, & a desire to make a difference. Emlee lives life with passion—focusing her time now on raising four children and teaching them to recognize truth and to live true to that truth, regardless of others’ expectations. Emlee is passionately in love with her bestest friend and husband of almost 20 years. 

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