Sunday, March 14, 2010

Women have a sacred role in the sanctification and purification of men, Elder Glenn L. Pace of the Seventy told students and faculty during the campus devotional in the Marriott Center at BYU on Tuesday, March 9.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
Elder Glen L. Pace of the Seventy speaks at a BYU Devotional.

Reflecting on the love he felt from his mother, sister, wife and daughters, Elder Pace spoke of the positive influence women have had on his life.

Speaking specifically about a time when his daughter fell asleep in his arms, Elder Pace noted the comfort it must have brought his daughter to be held by her father. He realized afterward that even greater was the peace and comfort she brought to him.

Looking to the Savior as an example, Elder Pace spoke of the love and respect He bestowed upon women.

"As we read about these associations, our focus is generally on what He teaches them and the love and understanding He gives them," Elder Pace said. "Have you ever considered the possibility that these women provided immense comfort to His burdened soul? It is my belief that He needed them as He journeyed toward living a perfect life in order that He could provide the ultimate sacrifice."

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
Elder Glen L. Pace of the Seventy sitting by his wife Jolene, smile at members of the audience prior to Elder Pace speaking at a BYU Devotional.

Just as the Savior needed righteous women, so do men today in purifying and sanctification in their lives.

Sharing excerpts from the story of the creation found in the book of Abraham, Elder Pace told of how the earth was created — before Eve — where Adam had been placed in the Garden of Eden. In the garden, Adam was enjoying a utopia in physical surroundings as well as open communication with God. Still, it was not complete without Eve.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
BYU students listen to Elder Glen L. Pace of the Seventy speak at a BYU Devotional.

"I believe the Father's statement 'It is not good that the man should be alone' (Genesis 2:18) had a much more profound meaning than the obvious biological implications," he said. "It also went further than providing Adam with company. Adam's ability to obtain the purification necessary to get back into the presence of God was dependent upon his continuous association with Eve."

In order for men and women to obtain the highest degree of celestial glory, there is need to be married, Elder Pace said.

"There is a limit to our spiritual development as long as we are single. There is a spiritual development which can only be obtained when a man and a woman join their incomplete selves into a complete couple," he said. "Just as conception requires the physical union of male and female, perfection requires the union of the very souls of male and female."

Although single men and women can accomplish great things on their own, they are incomplete until united intellectually, emotionally, physically and most important, spiritually, he said.

"The world we live in has gone awry with its focus on the physical part of the male and female relationship. If there is too much focus on the physical, the vital areas of intellectual, emotional and spiritual union are not being placed in an environment where they can flourish and grow."

Elder Pace spoke of the obsession the current society has on "making love," rather than developing a complete relationship that enables "expressing love." Because melding divine natures is a necessary element in bringing about perfection, Elder Pace said, individuals must guard against any deterioration of those natures.

"If the world keeps chipping away at the divine nature of women, it is probable that our relationships in marriage will not bring about the sanctification necessary for exaltation or, at a minimum, the process will be delayed," he said.

Referring to the phrase, "men have the priesthood and women have been given the blessing of procreation," Elder Pace spoke of the importance of each role in a relationship, and the ability couples have to complement one another in their eternal roles.

"It is the marriage ceremony in the temple where husband and wife receive the power to perfect their relationship and, thereby, obtain their exaltation."

As individuals work together to become a whole, as the Lord has commanded, they work together to become a combination of complementary capacities and characteristics.

"Sisters, I testify that when you stand in front of your heavenly parents in those royal courts on high and you look into Her eyes and behold Her countenance, any question you ever had about the role of women in the kingdom will evaporate into the rich celestial air, because at that moment you will see standing directly in front of you, your divine nature and destiny."

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