Cheryl Esplin
·      When families are filled with love and truth, we can withstand outside pressures (objection lesson of empty pop can versus full pop can)
·      When we have the Holy Ghost, we must seek truth, live it, and share it.
·      Families are the Lord’s workshop on earth.
·      Spirit-filled families do not just happen on their own; it takes work.
·      God speaks to those who sincerely seek Him.
·      Story about a girl who heard many say Joseph Smith was a fraud, she worried about it, then later was shown in a dream the scene of Joseph Smith receiving the plates from Moroni.

Work I will do to contribute to a Spirit-filled family
-       personal prayers
-       give my attention
-       help
-       share more things I’ve learned

Carol M. Stephens
·      There is doctrine in the song “The Family is of God.”
·      We are God’s family and children; He sent us here to families.
·      She may not have personally experienced certain challenges, but she had seen them through her relationships roles and had her own challenges that brought her to her knees.
·      Our influence isn’t limited to our family.
·      We don’t need to limit love to family.  (I can be a mother to other children.  Yay for being a den leader!)
·      Families help perfect us.

Bonnie L. Oscarson
·      Story of the 17-year-old girl who stood up to a mob, saying the missionaries were under her protection.  (Awesome!!)
·      The family is under attack today.
·      The Proclamation on the Family helps us judge the philosophies blown about.
·      It is still important to teach the divine pattern, even if we are prevented from living it all.
·      Have faith in the Lord’s timing, have an alternative plan in mind.
Be defenders of the family.
1)   Marriage between a man and a woman needs defense. Model righteous marriages.
2)   Elevate divine roles of mother and father.  Push for achievement and for parenthood.  Story of mother who presented about motherhood on elementary school career day.
3)   Underline the sacredness of the home and homemaking.  Make home a place of the Spirit and love.  Homemaker = maker of a righteous home

President Eyring
·      The Savior’s compassion
·      Be part of giving comfort to those who need comfort.
·      The burden of sin can be taken away, but trials can still be heavy.
·      Feeling compassion is a divine response and comes from the covenants we made at baptism.

One thing I noticed about this women’s general session was the theme of family.  Bonnie L. Oscarson noted that we need to defend the family to others.  I’ve already seen blog posts elsewhere in which people have questioned this counsel and just what that should look like.   I acknowledge that “Defend the family” is a pretty general statement, just like “Strengthen the family” was about ten years ago.   One of the challenges is to figure out how to bring this down to the everyday level.  But I trust that as we discover how we can incorporate defenses of the family institution and parenthood into our everyday conversations, then we will become shining lights.  People need to see and understand how family can be a blessing.

My husband is my best friend.  I remember when we were first married, it was lovely to discover that we could stay together at night and not have to go home.  (Sleepovers!  Yaaaay!)  Our friendship is the main consideration that moderates my responses to him if something he does bothers me.  I can’t yell at him; how can I yell at my best friend?  When I find out I’ve done something that has bothered him, I feel bad and I want to fix it.   I think it will probably take a long time to realize all the ways that I am a better person for having married him.

I don’t have children, but I teach piano lessons to children and I am an assistant den leader to 5 cub scouts.  I get to practice patience and correcting with positivity and kindness and encouragement with them.   I get to celebrate their successes with them.  I get a lot of joy from that and every time I do those things I catch a glimpse of the great joy of parenthood can be. 

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