Monday, June 18, 2012

Child of God


Belle and Cash wanted to share this video with you!!! They watch it over and over and.... OVER!!! So pretend you are watching it with them today!!! Or we can for real in like 2 months!!! Love you both!
Mamie

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!!




What Is A Dad?

A dad is someone who
wants to catch you before you fall
but instead picks you up,
brushes you off,
and lets you try again. 

A dad is someone who
wants to keep you from making mistakes
but instead lets you find your own way,
even though his heart breaks in silence
when you get hurt. 

A dad is someone who
holds you when you cry,
scolds you when you break the rules,
shines with pride when you succeed,
and has faith in you even when you fail...


video

I Love you so much Dad!!!!

Mamie

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Father indeed


This made me sooo excited for tomorrow and what we celebrate... I can personally say this Father reminds me so much of my Father!!! I love you both!!!
Mamie

Friday, June 15, 2012

Watch Your Step


" A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step...so... watch your step." In life we all have the choice to do something... One step is all it takes in the wrong way or the right way! I hope we all choose to step in the right direction. Watching this showed how someone even when faced with or in a hard time situation can by CHOOSING be soooo extremely happy by taking that step in the right direction.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Your list

So today if you have time or sometime this week (which I will do as well) and if you even want to I read this talk by Sister Wixom and I loved the idea of making a list of our top 10 priorities. I feel like we should do this to. Sister Wixom said, "When you know you are walking a path, in spite of whatever detours may occur, you will be OK. When your path is focused on the ultimate goal—that of exaltation and returning to Heavenly Father, you will get there." I thought through any problem, difficulty, stressful time, etc. if we have written down where we want in life and work for it I know what Sister Wixom said is true... We will get there. I hope this isn't too cheesy and you both would want to do this, because I really feel like it's important! I love you both!!

Mamie


Taking Time to Talk and Listen

From a Salt Lake City stake conference satellite broadcast address given on October 24, 2010.

Prioritizing Our Eternal Purpose


Last spring, while I was visiting a class of young women, the teacher asked the class to write our 10 priorities. I quickly began to write. I have to admit, my first thought began with “Number 1: clean the pencil drawer in the kitchen.” When our lists were complete, the Young Women leader asked us to share what we had written. Abby, who had recently turned 12, was sitting next to me. This was Abby’s list:
  1. 1. 
    Go to college.
  2. 2. 
    Become an interior designer.
  3. 3. 
    Go on a mission to India.
  4. 4. 
    Get married in the temple to a returned missionary.
  5. 5. 
    Have five kids and a home.
  6. 6. 
    Send my kids on missions and to college.
  7. 7. 
    Become a “cookie-giving” grandma.
  8. 8. 
    Spoil the grandchildren.
  9. 9. 
    Learn more about the gospel and enjoy life.
  10. 10. 
    Return to live with Father in Heaven.
I say, “Thank you, Abby. You have taught me about having a vision of the plan Heavenly Father has for all of us. When you know you are walking a path, in spite of whatever detours may occur, you will be OK. When your path is focused on the ultimate goal—that of exaltation and returning to Heavenly Father, you will get there.”
Where did Abby get this sense of eternal purpose? It begins in our homes. It begins in our families. I asked her, “What do you do in your family to create such priorities?”
This was her answer: “Besides reading the scriptures, we are studyingPreach My Gospel.” Then she added, “We talk a lot—at family home evening, at dinner together, and in the car while we drive.”
Nephi wrote: “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ.” Why? “That our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26).
Talking, listening, encouraging each other, and doing things together as a family will bring us closer to our Savior, who loves us. Our intentional effort to communicate better today—this very day—will bless our families eternally. I testify that when we talk of Christ, we also rejoice in Christ and in the gift of the Atonement. Our children will come to know “to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just Music

Here are some songs I love that you can listen to while getting ready to go and serve!





                                         
I love you both!
Mamie


Monday, June 11, 2012

Mountains to climb

I really loved this talk. I feel like I really have been surrounded by messages of endure to the end and lessons of how trials are for our good! My favorite quote in this talk is, "If the foundation of faith is not embedded in our hearts, the power to endure will crumble!" I love you both!
Mamie



Mountains to Climb

First Counselor in the First Presidency


By President Henry B. Eyring
If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing.
I heard President Spencer W. Kimball, in a session of conference, ask that God would give him mountains to climb. He said: “There are great challenges ahead of us, giant opportunities to be met. I welcome that exciting prospect and feel to say to the Lord, humbly, ‘Give me this mountain,’ give me these challenges.”1
My heart was stirred, knowing, as I did, some of the challenges and adversity he had already faced. I felt a desire to be more like him, a valiant servant of God. So one night I prayed for a test to prove my courage. I can remember it vividly. In the evening I knelt in my bedroom with a faith that seemed almost to fill my heart to bursting.
Within a day or two my prayer was answered. The hardest trial of my life surprised and humbled me. It provided me a twofold lesson. First, I had clear proof that God heard and answered my prayer of faith. But second, I began a tutorial that still goes on to learn about why I felt with such confidence that night that a great blessing could come from adversity to more than compensate for any cost.
The adversity that hit me in that faraway day now seems tiny compared to what has come since—to me and to those I love. Many of you are now passing through physical, mental, and emotional trials that could cause you to cry out as did one great and faithful servant of God I knew well. His nurse heard him exclaim from his bed of pain, “When I have tried all my life to be good, why has this happened to me?”
You know how the Lord answered that question for the Prophet Joseph Smith in his prison cell:
“And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
“The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
“Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.”2
There seems to me no better answer to the question of why trials come and what we are to do than the words of the Lord Himself, who passed through trials for us more terrible than we can imagine.
You remember His words when He counseled that we should, out of faith in Him, repent:
“Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
“For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
“But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
“Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.”3
You and I have faith that the way to rise through and above trials is to believe that there is a “balm in Gilead”4 and that the Lord has promised, “I will not … forsake thee.”5 That is what President Thomas S. Monson has taught us to help us and those we serve in what seem lonely and overwhelming trials.6
But President Monson has also wisely taught that a foundation of faith in the reality of those promises takes time to build. You may have seen the need for that foundation, as I have, at the bedside of someone ready to give up the fight to endure to the end. If the foundation of faith is not embedded in our hearts, the power to endure will crumble.
My purpose today is to describe what I know of how we can lay that unshakable foundation. I do it with great humility for two reasons. First, what I say could discourage some who are struggling in the midst of great adversity and feel their foundation of faith is crumbling. And second, I know that ever-greater tests lie before me before the end of life. Therefore, the prescription I offer you has yet to be proven in my own life through enduring to the end.
As a young man I worked with a contractor building footings and foundations for new houses. In the summer heat it was hard work to prepare the ground for the form into which we poured the cement for the footing. There were no machines. We used a pick and a shovel. Building lasting foundations for buildings was hard work in those days.
It also required patience. After we poured the footing, we waited for it to cure. Much as we wanted to keep the jobs moving, we also waited after the pour of the foundation before we took away the forms.
And even more impressive to a novice builder was what seemed to be a tedious and time-consuming process to put metal bars carefully inside the forms to give the finished foundation strength.
In a similar way, the ground must be carefully prepared for our foundation of faith to withstand the storms that will come into every life. That solid basis for a foundation of faith is personal integrity.
Our choosing the right consistently whenever the choice is placed before us creates the solid ground under our faith. It can begin in childhood since every soul is born with the free gift of the Spirit of Christ. With that Spirit we can know when we have done what is right before God and when we have done wrong in His sight.
Those choices, hundreds in most days, prepare the solid ground on which our edifice of faith is built. The metal framework around which the substance of our faith is poured is the gospel of Jesus Christ, with all its covenants, ordinances, and principles.
One of the keys to an enduring faith is to judge correctly the curing time required. That is why I was unwise to pray so soon in my life for higher mountains to climb and greater tests.
That curing does not come automatically through the passage of time, but it does take time. Getting older does not do it alone. It is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength.
Now, I wish to encourage those who are in the midst of hard trials, who feel their faith may be fading under the onslaught of troubles. Trouble itself can be your way to strengthen and finally gain unshakable faith. Moroni, the son of Mormon in the Book of Mormon, told us how that blessing could come to pass. He teaches the simple and sweet truth that acting on even a twig of faith allows God to grow it:
“And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
“For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.
“But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.
“Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.”7
That particle of faith most precious and which you should protect and use to whatever extent you can is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Moroni taught the power of that faith this way: “And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God.”8
I have visited with a woman who received the miracle of sufficient strength to endure unimaginable losses with just the simple capacity to repeat endlessly the words “I know that my Redeemer lives.”9 That faith and those words of testimony were still there in the mist that obscured but did not erase memories of her childhood.
I was stunned to learn that another woman had forgiven a person who had wronged her for years. I was surprised and asked her why she had chosen to forgive and forget so many years of spiteful abuse.
She said quietly, “It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I just knew I had to do it. So I did.” Her faith that the Savior would forgive her if she forgave others prepared her with a feeling of peace and hope as she faced death just months after she had forgiven her unrepentant adversary.
She asked me, “When I get there, how will it be in heaven?”
And I said, “I know just from what I have seen of your capacity to exercise faith and to forgive that it will be a wonderful homecoming for you.”
I have another encouragement to those who now wonder if their faith in Jesus Christ will be sufficient for them to endure well to the end. I was blessed to have known others of you who are listening now when you were younger, vibrant, gifted beyond most of those around you, yet you chose to do what the Savior would have done. Out of your abundance you found ways to help and care for those you might have ignored or looked down upon from your place in life.
When hard trials come, the faith to endure them well will be there, built as you may now notice but may have not at the time that you acted on the pure love of Christ, serving and forgiving others as the Savior would have done. You built a foundation of faith from loving as the Savior loved and serving for Him. Your faith in Him led to acts of charity that will bring you hope.
It is never too late to strengthen the foundation of faith. There is always time. With faith in the Savior, you can repent and plead for forgiveness. There is someone you can forgive. There is someone you can thank. There is someone you can serve and lift. You can do it wherever you are and however alone and deserted you may feel.
I cannot promise an end to your adversity in this life. I cannot assure you that your trials will seem to you to be only for a moment. One of the characteristics of trials in life is that they seem to make clocks slow down and then appear almost to stop.
There are reasons for that. Knowing those reasons may not give much comfort, but it can give you a feeling of patience. Those reasons come from this one fact: in Their perfect love for you, Heavenly Father and the Savior want you fitted to be with Them to live in families forever. Only those washed perfectly clean through the Atonement of Jesus Christ can be there.
My mother fought cancer for nearly 10 years. Treatments and surgeries and finally confinement to her bed were some of her trials.
I remember my father saying as he watched her take her last breath, “A little girl has gone home to rest.”
One of the speakers at her funeral was President Spencer W. Kimball. Among the tributes he paid, I remember one that went something like this: “Some of you may have thought that Mildred suffered so long and so much because of something she had done wrong that required the trials.” He then said, “No, it was that God just wanted her to be polished a little more.” I remember at the time thinking, “If a woman that good needed that much polishing, what is ahead for me?”
If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up.10 And He always keeps His word.
I testify that God the Father lives and that His Beloved Son is our Redeemer. The Holy Ghost has confirmed truth in this conference and will again as you seek it, as you listen, and as you later study the messages of the Lord’s authorized servants, who are here. President Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s prophet to the entire world. The Lord watches over you. God the Father lives. His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, is our Redeemer. His love is unfailing. I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mercies in Disguise

So I was driving to the hospital on yesterday... And I was pretty certain I was going to finally... for real be going into labor... As I was driving heart racing with desperation this song came on the radio...


I sat there bawling as I listened. I thought this is my answer.... I finally have waited long enough. As I was walking in the hospital trying and praying my heart out to progress I felt like Heavenly Father was finally going to answer my prayers and help me not have to endure this anymore... and I got sent home. What is going on? I didn't feel frustrated I felt seriously heart broken. I was so sad... Which may seem so childish. .... I came home and tried my hardest to just take my mind away from what happened. Later that night I looked I listened to this song again and I felt very different than when in the car. I felt like I could do this... again... Heavenly Father may not take away our pain, sadness, heart aches... it may take thousands of sleepless nights, hundreds of tears, but I believe I am going to learn something so important through this hard time... maybe in years to come, but I willl understand one day. As the song says our trials are his mercies in disguise. I never thought of them in that way.  I am grateful I heard this today... It is one of the hundred things my Heavenly Father has given me through this hard time to let me know he is still here. I love you both!

Mamie

Saturday, June 9, 2012

No Cussing???

Okay I was studying my scriptures and I came across the scripture that helped me decide to live my no cussing goal, and I would like to share...

So general conference or some kind of meeting when I was 11 or 12  years old we were sitting in the Webster building listening to President Gordon B. Hinckley give a talk. He was speaking and challenged us to do something different, to do something of our own free will, something we weren't commanded to do. He read this scripture...

D&C 58: 27-28


 27 Verily I say, men should be aanxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
 28 For the power is in them, wherein they are aagents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their breward. 
The rest of the day this talk kept coming back to me... I kept thinking what is something I can change in my life through my own free will that could maybe bring about something good. I thought for a while and I remember I started to watch and movie and of course a cuss word was said and I remember getting sick to my stomach from hearing it. I remember I couldn't stand the sound of  cuss words... I kept watching the movie and didn't turn it off or anything. I remember feeling like if those words bother me so much why oh earth am I choosing to listen to them. Then it came... I am not going to watch or listen to anymore cussing. This was what I was going to do of my own free will! I was so excited... until I started actually doing my goal! My excitement turned into a fight... I know I don't have to explain to either of you how hard it was for me. I felt embarrassed walking out of movies, afraid that I was going to make someone feel bad, angry that I got made fun of so bad, or completely in tears thinking that people I wanted to date wouldn't like me anymore or would stop being my friend all together. I think you can remember certain times. But now I don't regret this choice at all. I have not been perfect at it by any means. I have heard a couple since... but I have to say this choice has blessed my life in so many ways, and I feel has made me a better and stronger person...
Today I have decided to do something else... a new goal as well as my last one of my own free will to bring about something good... I have no idea what I am going to do yet. I also want to ask both of you if you wouldn't mind doing something as well, something of your own free will, something we aren't commanded to do? It doesn't have to be huge- it could be something so small that could become huge down the road to you or someone else. Let me know what you think. I love you both so much!!
Mamie

Friday, June 8, 2012

Joseph Smith Quotes



“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.” 


“Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason there of until all of the events transpire.” 


“For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round" - 1 Nephi 10:19” 


“When God commands, do it! ” 


“We say that God is true; that the Constitution of the United States is true; that the Bible is true; and that the Book of Mormon is true, and that Christ is true” 

“The Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.” 

“God judges men according to the use they make of the light which He gives them.”

“Never give up an old tried friend, who has waded through all manner of toil, for your sake, and throw him away because fools may tell you he has some faults.” 

“Stand Fast Through the Storms of Life.

"You will have all kinds of trials to pass through. And it is quite as necessary for you to be tried as it was for Abraham and other men of God... God will feel after you, and He will take hold of you and wrench your very heart strings and if you cannot stand it you will not be fit for an inheritance in the Celestial kingdom of God" 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Opportunities to Do Good


It doesn't matter what color, who you are, what race, what people look like, what religion, or if we know them or not... there is always someone out there that needs help or something we can offer... I am so grateful I saw this today it opened my eyes more. I loved this video, I love that there are people in this world like the ones in the video. It gives a glimpse of how Christ is! Today I have a challenge if you have time... Through this next week find someone you don't know or just someone out of the ordinary and try to find a way to help or write a letter to someone not in the family but someone you feel could use a letter to help encourage them, lift them, just make there day or something like this.I would love to hear about what you did or who you wrote if you decide to do it! I love you both.
Mamie

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

HE LIVES






D&C 76: 22-24


 22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the atestimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he blives!



 23 For we asaw him, even on the bright hand of cGod; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only dBegotten of the Father— 
24 That by ahim, and through him, and of him, the bworlds are and were created, and the cinhabitants thereof are begotten dsonsand daughters unto God.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Trials



This makes my trial seem like a grain of sand in the entire ocean... this is another video I do not have to say anything... it says it all. And I know after you watch this you know exactly how I am feeling. I am grateful for messages like this, that can touch our hearts so deeply, turn our fear into hope, and our doubt into faith! I am so grateful for the Savior and I know that every trial will be but a small moment.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Comfort


D&C 76: 2-6
 aGreat is his wisdom, bmarvelous are his ways, and the extent of his doings none can find out.
 His apurposes fail not, neither are there any who can stay his hand.
 From eternity to eternity he is the asame, and his years neverbfail.
 For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am amerciful and gracious unto those who bfear me, and delight to honor those who cserve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.
 Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their aglory.
As I was studying my scriptures today this was the first verses I read... I have been pretty frustrated lately trying to figure out what is going on with this whole pregnancy thing and I felt pretty comforted after reading these scriptures... The extent of his doings none can find out! But marvelous are his ways. His purposes fail not!!! I know Paige will come soon I just have to be patient and remember that his way is the best way. So maybe say a prayer that I can be at peace with his way! I love both of you so much! 
Mamie

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Believe, Obey, and Endure


THIS TALK GIVES ME A LOT OF MOTIVATION (especially the bold text of the talk)! MOTIVATION TO KEEP ON GOING.... WHICH IS MUCH NEEDED I THINK IN MANY OF OUR LIVES!!!!

Believe, Obey, and Endure



By President Thomas S. Monson
Believe that remaining strong and faithful to the truths of the gospel is of utmost importance. I testify that it is!
My dear young sisters, the responsibility to address you is humbling. I pray for divine help, that I may be made equal to such an opportunity.
A mere 20 years ago you had not yet commenced your journey through mortality. You were still in your heavenly home. There you were among those who loved you and were concerned for your eternal well-being. Eventually, earth life became essential to your progress. Farewells were no doubt spoken, and expressions of confidence given. You gained bodies and became mortal, cut off from the presence of your Heavenly Father.
A joyous welcome, however, awaited you here on earth. Those first years were precious, special years. Satan had no power to tempt you, for you had not yet become accountable. You were innocent before God.
Soon you entered that period some have labeled “the terrible teens.” I prefer “the terrific teens.” What a time of opportunity, a season of growth, a semester of development—marked by the acquisition of knowledge and the quest for truth.
No one has described the teenage years as being easy. They are often years of insecurity, of feeling as though you just don’t measure up, of trying to find your place with your peers, of trying to fit in. This is a time when you are becoming more independent—and perhaps desire more freedom than your parents are willing to give you right now. They are also prime years when Satan will tempt you and will do his utmost to entice you from the path which will lead you back to that heavenly home from which you came and back to your loved ones there and back to your Heavenly Father.
The world around you is not equipped to provide the help you need to make it through this often-treacherous journey. So many in our society today seem to have slipped from the moorings of safety and drifted from the harbor of peace.
Permissiveness, immorality, pornography, drugs, the power of peer pressure—all these and more—cause many to be tossed about on a sea of sin and crushed on the jagged reefs of lost opportunities, forfeited blessings, and shattered dreams.
Is there a way to safety? Is there an escape from threatened destruction? The answer is a resounding yes! I counsel you to look to the lighthouse of the Lord. I have said it before; I will say it again: there is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what the lighthouse of the Lord can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. It calls, “This way to safety. This way to home.” It sends forth signals of light easily seen and never failing. If followed, those signals will guide you back to your heavenly home.
I wish to talk with you tonight about three essential signals from the Lord’s lighthouse which will help you to return to that Father who eagerly awaits your triumphant homecoming. Those three signals are believe, obey, and endure.
First, I mention a signal which is basic and essential: believe. Believe that you are a daughter of Heavenly Father, that He loves you, and that you are here for a glorious purpose—to gain your eternal salvation. Believe that remaining strong and faithful to the truths of the gospel is of utmost importance. I testify that it is!
My young friends, believe in the words you say each week as you recite the Young Women theme. Think about the meaning of those words. There is truth there. Strive always to live the values which are set forth. Believe, as your theme states, that if you accept and act upon those values, you will be prepared to strengthen your home and your family, to make and keep sacred covenants, to receive the ordinances of the temple, and to eventually enjoy the blessings of exaltation. These are beautiful gospel truths, and by following them, you will be happier throughout your life here and hereafter than you will be if you disregard them.
Most of you were taught the truths of the gospel from the time you were a toddler. You were taught by loving parents and caring teachers. The truths they imparted to you helped you gain a testimony; you believed what you were taught. Although that testimony can continue to be fed spiritually and to grow as you study, as you pray for guidance, and as you attend your Church meetings each week, it is up to you to keep that testimony alive. Satan will try with all his might to destroy it. Throughout your entire life you will need to nurture it. As with the flame of a brightly burning fire, your testimony—if not continually fed—will fade to glowing embers and then cool completely. You must not let this happen.
Besides attending your Sunday meetings and your weeknight activities, when you have the chance to be involved in seminary, whether in the early morning or in released-time classes, take advantage of that opportunity. Many of you are attending seminary now. As with anything in life, much of what you take from your seminary experience depends on your attitude and your willingness to be taught. May your attitude be one of humility and a desire to learn. How grateful I am for the opportunity I had as a teenager to attend early-morning seminary, for it played a vital role in my development and the development of my testimony. Seminary can change lives.
Some years ago I was on a board of directors with a fine man who had been extremely successful in life. I was impressed with his integrity and his loyalty to the Church. I learned that he had gained a testimony and had joined the Church because of seminary. When he married, his wife had been a lifelong member of the Church. He belonged to no church. Through the years and despite her efforts, he showed no interest in attending church with his wife and children. And then he began driving two of his daughters to early-morning seminary. He would remain in the car while they had their class, and then he would drive them to school. One day it was raining, and one of his daughters said, “Come in, Dad. You can sit in the hall.” He accepted the invitation. The door to the classroom was open, and he began to listen. His heart was touched. For the rest of that school year, he attended seminary with his daughters, which led eventually to his membership and a lifetime of activity in the Church. Let seminary help build and strengthen your testimony.
There will be times when you will face challenges which might jeopardize your testimony, or you may neglect it as you pursue other interests. I plead with you to keep it strong. It is your responsibility, and yours alone, to keep its flame burning brightly. Effort is required, but it is effort you will never, ever regret. I’m reminded of the words of a song written by Julie de Azevedo Hanks. Referring to her testimony, she wrote:
Through the winds of change
Encircled by the clouds of pain
I guard it with my life
I need the warmth—I need the light
Though the storm will rage
I stand against the pounding rain
I remain
A keeper of the flame. 1
May you believe and then may you keep the flame of your testimony burning brightly, come what may.
Next, young women, may you obey. Obey your parents. Obey the laws of God. They are given to us by a loving Heavenly Father. When they are obeyed, our lives will be more fulfilling, less complicated. Our challenges and problems will be easier to bear. We will receive the Lord’s promised blessings. He has said, “The Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.”2
You have but one life to live. Keep it as free from trouble as you can. You will be tempted, sometimes by individuals you had thought friends.
Some years ago I spoke to a Mia Maid adviser who told me of an experience she had with one of the young women in her class. This young woman had been tempted time and time again to leave the pathway of truth and follow the detour of sin. Through the constant persuasion of some of her friends at school, she had finally agreed to follow such a detour. The plan was set: she would tell her parents she was going to her activity night for Young Women. She planned, however, to be there only long enough for her girlfriends and their dates to pick her up. They would then attend a party where alcoholic beverages would be consumed and where the behavior would be in complete violation of what this young woman knew was right.
The teacher had prayed for inspiration in helping all her girls but especially this particular young woman, who seemed so uncertain about her commitment to the gospel. The teacher had received inspiration that night to abandon what she had previously planned and to speak to the girls about remaining morally clean. As she began sharing her thoughts and feelings, the young woman in question checked her watch often to make sure she didn’t miss her rendezvous with her friends. However, as the discussion progressed, her heart was touched, her conscience awakened, and her determination renewed. When it came, she ignored the repeated sound of the automobile horn summoning her. She remained throughout the evening with her teacher and the other girls in the class. The temptation to detour from God’s approved way had been averted. Satan had been frustrated. The young woman remained after the others had left in order to thank her teacher for the lesson and to let her know how it had helped her avoid what might have been a tragic outcome. A teacher’s prayer had been answered.
I subsequently learned that because she had made her decision not to go with her friends that night—some of the most popular girls and boys at school—the young woman was shunned by them and for many months had no friends at school. They couldn’t accept that she was unwilling to do the things they did. It was an extremely difficult and lonely period for her, but she remained steadfast and eventually gained friends who shared her standards. Now, several years later, she has a temple marriage and four beautiful children. How different her life could have been. Our decisions determine our destiny.
Precious young women, make every decision you contemplate pass this test: “What does it do to me? What does it do for me?” And let your code of conduct emphasize not “What will others think?” but rather “What will I think of myself?” Be influenced by that still, small voice. Remember that one with authority placed his hands on your head at the time of your confirmation and said, “Receive the Holy Ghost.” Open your hearts, even your very souls, to the sound of that special voice which testifies of truth. As the prophet Isaiah promised, “Thine ears shall hear a word … saying, This is the way, walk ye in it.”3
The tenor of our times is permissiveness. Magazines and television shows portray the stars of the movie screen, the heroes of the athletic field—those whom many young people long to emulate—as disregarding the laws of God and flaunting sinful practices, seemingly with no ill effect. Don’t you believe it! There is a time of reckoning—even a balancing of the ledger. Every Cinderella has her midnight—if not in this life, then in the next. Judgment Day will come for all. Are you prepared? Are you pleased with your own performance?
If any has stumbled in her journey, I promise you that there is a way back. The process is called repentance. Our Savior died to provide you and me that blessed gift. Though the path is difficult, the promise is real. Said the Lord: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”4“And I will remember [them] no more.”5
My beloved young sisters, you have the precious gift of agency. I plead with you to choose to obey.
Finally, may you endure. What does it mean to endure? I love this definition: to withstand with courage. Courage may be necessary for you to believe; it will at times be necessary as you obey. It will most certainly be required as you endure until that day when you will leave this mortal existence.
I have spoken over the years with many individuals who have told me, “I have so many problems, such real concerns. I’m overwhelmed with the challenges of life. What can I do?” I have offered to them, and I now offer to you, this specific suggestion: seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day—and then one more and then one more after that—until we’ve lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit, a lifetime close to the Lord, a lifetime of good deeds and righteousness. The Savior promised, “Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.”6
For this purpose have you come into mortality, my young friends. There is nothing more important than the goal you strive to attain—even eternal life in the kingdom of your Father.
You are precious, precious daughters of our Heavenly Father sent to earth at this day and time for a purpose. You have been withheld until this very hour. Wonderful, glorious things are in store for you if you will only believe, obey, and endure. May this be your blessing, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, amen.