Resources to help you accomplish President Nelson’s challenges from the women’s session of general conference

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President Russell M. Nelson laughs at the pulpit after relaying a story about when he called himself “mother” instead of “father”  while speaking to a congregation in Africa. During the women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Nelson gave the women of the Church four challenges. (Screenshot)

During the women’s session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church President Russell M. Nelson challenged the women of the Church to shape the future and help gather scattered Israel.

“My dear sisters, we need you! We ‘need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices,'” President Nelson said. “We simply cannot gather Israel without you.”

The four challenges included a 10-day social media fast, reading the Book of Mormon before the end of the year, attending the temple regularly and fully participating in Relief Society.

“My dear sisters, you have spiritual gifts and propensities,” President Nelson said. … “I urge you, with all the hope of my heart, to pray to understand your spiritual gifts — to cultivate, use and expand them, even more than you ever have. You will change the world as you do.”

Here is a summary of all four of President Nelson’s challenges as well as a few suggestions, including resources to help women accomplish these challenges.

1. Participate in a 10-fast from social media and from any other negative or impure media

The challenge: President Nelson invited women to sign out of their social media accounts for 10 days. While they are fasting, President Nelson recommended that women record and act on spiritual impressions they receive as well as evaluate how the fast affects their priorities. “The effect of your 10-day fast may surprise you.”

Resources: Sign out of all your social media accounts. Prayerfully consider what other media sources you listen to, watch or participate in that may have a negative impact on your life and commit to abstaining from them for 10 days. Plan on writing a couple of sentences on your experience each night in your journal. The LDS Library App also has a place for you to write notes.

(Click on image to download.)

2. Read the Book of Mormon between now and the end of the year

The challenge: Read the Book of Mormon between general conference and Jan. 1, 2019. As women read, President Nelson suggested that they mark each verse that refers to the Savior. Then, in preparation for the new “home-centered church” and learning, women should share their learnings with friends and family.

Resources: The Book of Mormon has 531 pages and 239 chapters total, and President Nelson’s challenge invites women to read the canon of scripture in less than three months. This chart breaks down a reading schedule into 12 weeks with no more than 20 chapters of reading per week. It even leaves two days at the end of December in case you fall behind.

3. Establish a pattern of regular temple attendance

The challenge: Make a plan to attend the temple. President Nelson promised that time spent in the temple will lead to a deeper understanding of how to draw upon God’s priesthood power.

Resources: Prayerfully plan a schedule for attending the temple. Find the nearest temple near you on lds.org/temples.

4. Participate fully in Relief Society

The challenge: In order to partake fully of the Relief Society experience, President Nelson encouraged women to study the Relief Society purpose statement and the Relief Society declaration. By studying these documents, women will come to better understand who they are and who the Lord needs them to be.

Resources: Use the links to the Relief Society purpose statement and the Relief Society declaration for studying. Make sure you know the lesson for the following Relief Society meeting so that you can study the lesson during the week. Complete your ministering assignments and quarterly interviews.

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Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

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