Monday, March 30, 2009

President Thomas S. Monson Counsels Women To Show Courage And Virtue At LDS General Young Women's Conference In Salt Lake City

On Saturday March 28th, 2009, over 20,000 young women filled the Conference Center in Salt Lake City as President Thomas S. Monson and Young Women leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke to them about courage and virtue during their annual meeting. Media stories by KSL Channel 5, the Salt Lake Tribune, and the Mormon Times.

Click HERE for a video or audio archive.

The gathering was restricted to young women between the ages of 12-18, their mothers, and their leaders. President Thomas S. Monson headlined the event, counselling women to have courage not to judge, courage to be chaste and courage to stand for truth. President Monson said, "There is little thought that young men and young women will remain morally clean and pure before marriage. Does this make immoral behavior acceptable? Absolutely not. The commandments of our Heavenly Father are not negotiable".

But the Young Women General Presidency showed up cocked and loaded as well. Sister Ann M. Dibb, second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, said, "Young women, ‘believers' must pray, speak kindly and be sincere". She also mentioned four old-fashioned but important areas from an old "Beehive Girl's Handbook" that are worth repeating today: (1) Be courteous and responsive in class; (2) be honest in all that you do; (3) do not gossip or listen to any gossip; and (4) notice nice things about family and friends and sincerely tell them of those things -- without flattery.

Elaine S. Dalton Mary N. Cook, first counselor in the Young Women General Presidency said, "We should avoid inappropriate material on the Internet and on cell phones, as well as offensive music and suggestive dancing".

And Young Women General President Elaine S. Dalton capped the event by saying, "My question to each of you is, ‘If we don't stand for virtue, who will? I have received pictures from so many of you from California to Costa Rica who have made a commitment to remain virtuous and who are leading the world in a return to virtue".

Music was provided by a combined Young Women choir from the Olympus, Cottonwood and East Millcreek areas of Salt Lake County. Information about the upcoming 179th Annual Conference HERE. KSL news video embedded below:

Video Courtesy of

Commentary: This is exactly the type of counsel our young women need. In particular, Sister Cook was exactly on point with her remarks about offensive music and suggestive dancing. In Muslim countries, women dress modestly in order to avoid "tempting men beyond their ability to bear it". This statement, of course, is not intended to excuse sexual misbehavior towards women by men. But it merely cites a triggering mechanism. A woman will never capture the heart of a respectable man by dressing and behaving like a whore.

My only criticism of this event is that it is held a full week before the General Conference. It should be re-scheduled for the Friday before the Conference to make it a more integral part of the main event, otherwise, it makes it appear as if it's only a sideshow. Just because women don't hold the Priesthood doesn't mean they are "fifth wheels" within the Church; after all, every Priesthood holder was originally born of a woman. Our actions as a Church must convey the notion that we unimpeachably value women.

Integrating the Young Women's Meeting directly with General Conference would simplify the logistics. The Beginnings New blog observed that there were a lot of empty seats. Well, of course there were. How many people from out of town want to come in for a Women's Meeting, then hang around for a week waiting for the General Conference? Integrating the Young Women's Meeting with the General Conference would increase attendance at the former event.

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