“One in Charity: Talks From the 2016 BYU Women’s Conference” (reviewed by Kristie Wilkins)


Title: One in Charity: Talks From the 2016 BYU Women’s Conference
Author: Women’s Conference
Publisher: Deseret Book
Genre: Religious Nonfiction
Year Published: 2017
Number of Pages: 170
Binding: Hardbound
ISBN13: 9781629723068
Price: $19.99

Reviewed by Kristie Wilkins for the Association for Mormon Letters

Every year thousands of LDS women and priesthood leaders gather at Brigham Young University for a three day conference. It is a delightful and uplifting time for those who attend the various classes and presentations. Unfortunately many of us only dream of attending due to life’s challenges and responsibilities. Luckily for us, Deseret Book has brought a little of Women’s Conference to your bookshelf with their new book “One in Charity.”

I found “One in Charity” to be a wonderful way to experience many of the best elements of Women’s Conference. The book features talks on many different and timely subjects by some of my favorite speakers: Elder Dale G. and Sister Ruth L. Renlund, Linda K. Burton, Barbara Morgan Gardner, Kathleen Hughes, Kristen M. Oaks, Camille Front Olsen, Virginia H. Pearce, Sandra Rogers, Kevin J. Worthen, and Brad Wilcox. By sharing hard-won wisdom, personal experiences and key insights into gospel principles, each speaker has a unique and personal message that can strengthen and inspire readers. A few of the many quotes that were particularly meaningful to me are below.

From Virginia H. Pearce’s talk “Speak Up and Speak Out”:

“President Boyd K. Packer said: ‘Oh, if I could teach you this one principle. A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it!’ Why so emphatic? What did he mean? Perhaps he was referring to the fact that there is great power in reiterating doctrine out loud so that we can hear ourselves and then experience -again- the confirming witness of the Holy Spirit. Speaking out loud gives the Holy Ghost an opportunity to witness again.” [p. 45]

She continues:

“We can help build this kingdom every time we speak or validate truth and goodness wherever we find it. We help build His kingdom every time we reach out with pure love and listen with patience. We help build it when we work through conflict with His power and clear doctrine. We help build His kingdom when it’s not about us- when it’s all about Him. That is the work of salvation.” [46]

Kristin M. Oaks says in her talk “If Ye Are Not One Ye Are Not Mine”:

“This world is operating under a false assumption about what makes us happy. It is not about being thin or thinner, rich or richer, smart or smarter. As President Boyd K. Packer taught: ‘The choice of life is not between fame and obscurity, nor is the choice between wealth and poverty. The choice is between good and evil.’

Our Savior taught, ‘Behold, The kingdom of God is within you’. We know our identity, and as daughters of God we do not have time to be distracted, diverted, or diminished. We live in a world desperate for our goodness, our purity, and our testimonies.” [124]

In “Living Up to Our Privileges” Barbara Morgan Gardner declares:

“It is the responsibility…of those ordained to priesthood offices as well as Relief Society offices, according to Joseph Smith and many other latter-day prophets, to ‘save souls’ and ‘rescue the refugees’. But we cannot teach that which we do not know! The Lord is hastening His work. We have been asked by our leaders both in the Relief Society and by the leaders of the Church who hold the keys of the priesthood to be a part of the saving of souls, of ‘rescuing the refugees.’ I testify that that is more than a good idea- it fits within the realm of responsibility that we have as sisters endowed with priesthood power. We are part of the work of saving souls to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

As President Russell M. Nelson exclaimed, ‘The kingdom of God is not and cannot be complete without women who make sacred covenants and then keep them, women who can speak with the power and authority of God!.’” [107-108]

Not only is “One in Charity” powerfully inspiring, it is a pretty little book. What initially strikes the eye is the contrast of a bright bouquet of flowers, a nod to the 1970’s, against the navy blue background. This book really stands out on the shelf. The floral theme is watermarked throughout the book, giving it a distinctly feminine and elegant feel.

The book is organized into ten chapters, each a talk given during the 2016 Women’s Conference at Brigham Young University. At the back of the book you will find references, background information on the contributors and an index for easy referencing. I love that you can take this book as a whole or turn to an individual chapter, as they are each a complete talk. By utilizing the index you can study the talks by topic, making “One in Charity” a great tool for lessons on numerous subjects. I was impressed by the extensive reference section. It is organized by talk so readers can easily delve deeper into the subjects referenced by each speaker.

If you need a little comfort, strength or motivation, you will find it in “One in Charity.” Slip it in your purse or snuggle up with a blanket and a little chocolate and enjoy a delightful experience with some of the most inspiring LDS speakers of our time. The book is geared specifically toward women, particularly members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the truths taught are universally applicable.

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