`Now is the time to develop skills that will make an eternal difference'

As young adults concentrate on developing a wide variety of skills, their lives will be forever blessed, said Margaret D. Nadauld Nov. 2.

Speaking at a Church Educational System fireside at BYU, Sister Nadauld, who was sustained as Young Women general president at the October 1997 general conference, said, "Now is the time to develop some skills that will make an eternal difference."In her address, she focused on developing social, practical and spiritual skills and adding refinement to the students' lives.

More than 10,000 young adults gathered in the Marriott Center for her address, which was telecast to thousands of other college-age Church members in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean via the Church satellite system.

"What you learn and do in the period of time between 18 and 30 will, in large part, determine the direction of the remainder of your life," she said. "You have no time to waste."

Speaking of social skills, she said the trip through life can be smoother if the students would develop the skills, and then asked them to think about how they treat others. "Do you think of others first?" she asked. "Are you warm and interested in other people?"

She spoke of a woman who had never married, was tall, and a bit round, but knew how to serve others. "She was happy and others were happy because of her," Sister Nadauld explained. "Oh, my friends, how social skills such as these will bless you in your life - in public service, in careers, as parents, as spouses, as Church workers."

Speaking of practical skills, Sister Nadauld encouraged the young men to learn to fix a leaky faucet and to landscape, to know the difference between pliers and a pipe wrench. She encouraged the young women to get a good education that could help them "create a beautiful, loving environment for raising a family." She encouraged the young women to learn to make a budget, understand provident living, and "look forward to establishing a home of love, a home of order, a home of faith."

"Certainly husbands and wives can and will help each other. There may no longer be a strict division of labor as there was in times gone by, but you will discover when you establish a home of your own that someone must accept responsibility for each task."

Of adding refinement to their lives, Sister Nadauld told the students: "If you can't paint artistically, you can learn to appreciate it. If you don't play or sing musically, you can develop a taste for the beauty of it. My favorite free time pursuit is great literature. I love to curl up with a good book and have been known to do so late at night and early into the morning hours."

Speaking of spiritual skills, which Sister Nadauld said encompasses all of the other skills, she noted:

"We need to have more reverence in our lives, more holiness, more times of quiet and peace and calm. We need a place where our souls can be nourished and tutored and blessed. Temples are such places. Home can be such a place.

"Dear young friends, you busy, happy, enthusiastic young friends, invite the Spirit to abide with you and then welcome its companionship with a listening, prepared, quiet heart."

She said the Sabbath is a good day to calm down and put aside studies. "It's a day to feed our souls."

Inspiration comes only as members pray for guidance and then go to work," she said.

"As you go home tonight, and you kneel in your private prayer, remember to give thanks for all you have been given because you are so very blessed," she admonished. "Heavenly Father will continue to give, . . . He'll help you develop the skills that will enable you to reach your goals. He'll give you strength to keep practicing at them until they are part of you. Let Him help you be all that you can be and help you do all that you can do."

She counseled the students to find a way to mesh their long-term goals with the things they are doing on a daily basis.

"If, for some reason, you haven't gone through the process of thoughtfully preparing written goals, I strongly counsel you to do so now," she added.

Sister Nadauld told her listeners that as they set goals for themselves, they need to give thought to what Heavenly Father might have them do.

"Pray for divine guidance so He can direct your efforts in a path that will bless you," she admonished. "Then remember this: There really is a law of harvest. It's unrealistic to suppose that lofty goals and ambitions can be met without hard work, discipline and focused effort. So, each day, each stop along the way, ask for, and then listen for, divine guidance."

She told the young adults - most who don't have families they are responsible for - that this is their time for personal development. "Make the most of it," she said, "so that there will be no regrets."

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