Saturday, March 27, 2010

LDS Young Women Urged To Have The Courage To Stand Out At The March 27th, 2010 LDS General Young Women Meeting In Salt Lake City

Male and female leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enthralled a capacity congregation of 20,000 teenage girls and their mothers at the Conference Center with a host of motivational stories at the Church's semi-annual General Young Women Meeting. Although it takes place a week before General Conference, it is an appropriate lead-in, and can be considered the female equivalent of the Priesthood Session of General Conference in many respects. Media stories published by the Deseret News, the Salt Lake Tribune, the LDS Church News, and KSL Channel 5. Audio archives will be available later HERE.

Visit my static Conference page for more information on the upcoming 180th Annual General Conference, to include all pertinent links.

KSL video embedded below:

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One of the most important pieces of advice was delivered by Sister Elaine Dalton, General Young Women President. Sister Dalton urged the teens to remember who they are. She reminded them that they are the elect, the daughters of God. As such, they cannot be content to merely fit in, but must have the courage to stand out.

The world, Sister Dalton said, will have the young women believe that they are not significant — that they are out of fashion and out of touch. "The world places so much emphasis on our physical attractiveness and would have you believe that you are to look like the elusive model on the cover of a magazine," she said. "The Lord would tell you that you are each uniquely beautiful. When you are virtuous, chaste and morally clean, your inner beauty glows in your eyes and in your face."

"...You were born to be a queen."

Another member of the Young Women Presidency, Sister Mary N. Cook, also spoke up. Sister Cook said many people have felt afraid and discouraged as they have faced challenges far beyond their ability. They must take great courage and not give up, she explained. "What will help you follow the plan and be a valiant and virtuous daughter of God? First, gain a strong testimony, step-by-step. Second, seek the help of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, your family and others who will support you in your decision to follow the plan. And finally, live to be worthy of the companionship of the Holy ghost," Sister Cook said.

Sister Ann M. Dibb asked the young women to follow four guides: prayer, obedience to God's commandments, daily scripture study and a commitment to follow the living prophet. "When applied in our everyday lives, these four small and simple guides from the Book of Joshua will combine to provide the most powerful source of courage and strength there is: faith in our Heavenly Father and in his son, Jesus Christ."

The First Presidency, Thomas S. Monson, Henry B. Eyring, and Dieter F. Uchtdorf, were also in attendance. Only President Uchtdorf gave an address, but he made up for the other two. He spoke at length about adversity, explaining why it exists and how it can become one of our most valued teachers. "Why must all experience sadness and tragedy? Why could we not simply live in bliss and peace, each day filled with wonder, joy and love?" President Uchtdorf asked. "In stories, as in life, adversity teaches us things we cannot learn otherwise. Adversity helps to develop a depth of character that comes in no other way."

President Uchtdorf reminded the young women that when it comes to adversity, none are exempt. Everyone will suffer, be tempted and make mistakes. "You will learn for yourself what every heroine has learned: through overcoming challenges comes growth and strength", said President Uchtdorf.

"It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself that determines how your life's story will develop."

Sampled reaction from attendees was favorable. Natalie Walker of Eden, 13, said she especially liked Uchtdorf's funny stories, because he told of his hapless and long attempt to woo his future wife, Harriet, when they were teenagers in Germany. Amanda Romrell, 15, of Centerville, liked being reminded that she and the other girls are destined to be queens. "It's true," she said. And Carly Hutchings, 18, of Centerville, thought Uchtdorf's use of fairy tales to talk about each young woman's destiny was an awesome analogy. But Dalton's point that beauty does not come from cosmetics hit home, she said. "Young women today, that's what they get hit with," said Hutchings.

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