Inner spirituality brings security, confidence

Build an inner core of spirituality, Janette C. Hales, Young Women general president, counseled during the General Young Women Meeting March 26.

"As you exercise your faith and feel that spirituality grow, you will begin to feel more secure; you will feel more confident," Pres. Hales said. "Gradually, we will come to more fully understand what it means to completely trust in our Heavenly Father and `stand as a witness of God.' As we become righteous, problem-solving women of faith, we will learn to represent Him and do His work."I have tremendous reverence for each one of you," she told the young women gathered in the Tabernacle and the Assembly Hall in Temple Square in Salt Lake City, and those listening through satellite transmission. "My hope for you during these important years between the ages of 12 and 18 is that you are going from being a dependent child to becoming a righteous, problem-solving woman of faith. It is a mighty work you do during these years, and when you do your work well, you will build a foundation for a responsible and righteous life.

"When your leaders encourage you in the Young Women program to get involved with Personal Progress, I hope you will understand that this represents much more than goal setting and receiving recognition, although that is very important. The greatest goal is that you would constantly choose experiences that would exercise or strengthen your faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ."

Pres. Hales explained that Personal Progress is "like an experiment on the word. There are experiences with prayer, scripture study, strengthening family relationships, and service to others. Exercising our faith will increase and strengthen it.

"Now listen to the wonderful promise that is given to those who exercise their faith: `But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.' (Alma 32:41.)

`Growing up spiritually," Pres. Hales explained, "requires faith, great diligence and patience. It takes maturity to look forward to those things that have eternal consequence."

In conclusion, Pres. Hales said: "I feel the love (the Lord) has for the young women of His Church. I have also thought of His great love and appreciation for (Young Women) leaders, those of you who teach doctrine, who model righteous behavior, who provide an environment of trust where others can practice righteous living. I have a testimony of our Savior's love for us.

"Most of us make mistakes. We can't be perfect alone. The atoning gift of Jesus Christ allows us to let go of our weaknesses and be strengthened by His perfection."

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