Sister Susan L. Gong and Elder Gerrit W. Gong spoke in Friday afternoon’s closing session of BYU’s Women’s Conference. They each discussed how participants in Women’s Conference can take what they learned during the conference to minister to those around them.
Watch the session on demand here.
Our Savior’s Love
In her address, Sister Gong outlined three ways that we can love as Jesus loves.
First, we must know the hearts of those we serve. Jesus knows the heart of each child of God. That helps Him to love and serve us. “This is healing, there is hope in being known, in just being understood,” said Sister Gong. We can know the hearts of God’s children, too, if we listen intently when they speak and let the Holy Ghost prompt us to ask inspired questions that will lead to greater understanding.
Second, we must feel compassion. Compassion always accompanies Christ’s understanding and it must accompany ours. While we minister to others, we should imagine what it feels like to be in their situations and love them accordingly. “When we have compassion...we begin to know how to help,” said Sister Gong.
Third, we must take action to bless to lives of others. Christ knows how to succor each of us. When we know the hearts and needs of others, we should serve them the best we can.
Sister Gong concluded her message by saying, “Because he loves us, we can learn to love and minister to one another. The Holy Ghost will help us know how.”
Strengthen One Another in the Lord
In his address, Elder Gong spoke about how we can use our relationships with the Lord to strengthen our relationships as a community of saints.
Our relationships with the Lord are strengthened by our covenants and the atonement. Ordinances connect us by our name to the name of Jesus Christ. This makes them both universal and particular, allowing us to connect with the Lord and the community of saints around us.
“In the revelation of our true, divine selves through our covenants with God, we learn to recognize and love our brothers and sisters as He does. This deepening love and knowledge invites, empowers, and sanctifies us to know and, in our own way, to become more like Him,” said Elder Gong.
Loving those around us leads to what Elder Gong calls “covenant belonging.” By coming to know the Lord, we can serve our neighbors and minister to our ward members in the way that He loves and serves each of us.
Elder Gong illustrated covenant belonging with stories from his time as a bishop. Two families in the ward—the Ritters and the O’Connors—were among those especially willing to minister to other ward members. When a broken heater and termites led to damage in the Ritter home, the O’Connors and the rest of the ward stepped up to help them. Shortly after, when a fire damaged the O’Connor home, the Ritters were among those to help the family.
“A community of Saints can rally in magnificent selfless unity to address a dramatic need....Simultaneously, a fellowship of Saints can be knit together in love, through daily, loving ministering in many quiet circumstances,” said Elder Gong.