Young Women General Meeting: `It is not by chance you were born now'

"Family - what a sacred name for those we love the most," Carol B. Thomas declared during the General Young Women Meeting March 28. "I know that most families, including mine, are not perfect, but every day we are trying to be

more kind and thoughtful to each other."

Sister Thomas, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, told her listeners: "It is not by chance that you were born now, in this season of the world's history. Each one of you was a valiant and noble woman in your premortal life."She referred to the different kinds of families young women are in. "Some of you are doing hard things and you are doing them so very well. Some of you may worry about your relationships with your mother or father as you learn together how to live in families. You are learning that sometimes the Savior calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms you.

"Paraphrasing what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland [of the Quorum of the Twelve] once said, `The [home] is not a monastery for perfect people;' sometimes it is a hospital where we nurse and take care of those we love."

Sister Thomas said the general presidency is "so impressed that each of you young women is turning your heart to your family."

She then spoke of letters received from young women throughout the Church describing family experiences, including one from two sisters in Ghana who sing the "beautiful songs of Zion, bringing a spirit of peace to their own family."

"Sometimes young women have special challenges when the family isn't complete. Last summer in Alaska, I met a Young Women president whose mother had died when she was 3. She had been raised by her father, joining the Church at age 14. I asked her how she had learned to do all the feminine things, like fixing her hair and setting a pretty table. She said, `I watched my Young Women leaders!'

"So even if your own families are less than perfect, you can think about and plan for your own future family.

"As each one of you practice being homemakers, you are doing exactly what the Lord wants you to do. In every young woman's heart is a deep yearning to someday be a wife and a mother. These feelings were nurtured in your soul long before you came to this earth.

"Turning hearts to the family! The 1998 Worldwide Celebration suggests so many ways you can turn your hearts to your families, including to your ancestors. The spirit of Elijah is with young women. Throughout the world, there are family history centers, places where you can find your ancestors and your roots. Young women love doing this.

"As you search for your ancestors and desire to do their temple work, you know the power that comes from attending the house of the Lord."

Sister Thomas declared: "Thank you, young women, for all you offer. As you continue to enjoy this worldwide celebration, you will feel strengthened by the power of the Spirit.

"As you pray and read your scriptures and keep the commandments, the Holy Ghost will whisper to you that you belong to Heavenly Father's royal family and that He loves you very much."

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