Young Women general meetingi: `United in angelic cause of doing good'

Speaking to the young women of the Church "as if you were my granddaughters," President James E. Faust counseled them to "practice virtue in its highest sense."

"Virtue has many definitions, such as moral excellence, right action and thinking, goodness of character, or chastity in women," President Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, explained during the GeneralYoung Women Meeting March 28.

"You cannot become great women if you are not also good women. . . ," he added. "You will become great women if you are united in the angelic cause of doing good, and if you hunger and thirst after righteousness. The Savior said `Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. . . .' If we do not, then nothing else really matters."

Also attending the General Young Women Meeting, which was based on the 1998 Young Women Worldwide Celebration theme, "Turning Hearts to the Family," were President Gordon B. Hinckley and his first counselor, President Thomas S. Monson. Also present were Elder Robert D. Hales, priesthood adviser to the Young Women, and Elder Henry B. Eyring, both of the Quorum of the Twelve.

In addition to President Faust, other speakers at the meeting were members of the general presidency of the Young Women - Pres. Magaret D. Nadauld and her counselors, Carol B. Thomas and Sharon G. Larsen. (Please see articles on page 5.)

Along with those gathered in the Tabernacle on Temple Square were thousands of others listening via the Church satellite system in meetinghouses throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. In addition, Sister Nadauld, who conducted the meeting, explained the proceedings were being carried "for the first time" on a delayed basis to Europe and the British Isles.

A poignant moment during the meeting was a video, showing several young women talking about how they are turning their hearts to their families. Some of the young women shared experiences of how they serve family members.

Speaking on a chilly, spring evening in Salt Lake City, President Faust said: "You are constantly bombarded by explicit scenes of sexual immorality from the screen, books, music, magazines, the Internet and radio. The world seems to have forgotten the proverb: `Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.' I remind you precious young women that you are daughters of God. He loves you. You are his noblest creation."

President Faust explained that before birth, both males and females made commitments to come to the earth "with great, rich, but different gifts. We were called, male and female, to do great works, with separate approaches and separate assignments.

"You cannot trust the many conflicting voices that clamor about what women should or should not do in today's society. Do not be deceived in your quest to find happiness and an identity of your own. Entreating voices may tell you that what you have seen your mothers and grandmothers do is old-fashioned, unchallenging, boring and drudgery. But your mothers and grandmothers have sung a song that expressed the highest love and the noblest of womanly feelings. They have been our nurturers and teachers. They have sanctified the work, transforming the drudgery into the noblest enterprises."

President Faust explained that women today are encouraged by some to have it all: money, travel, marriage, motherhood and separate careers in the world. But, he added, "for women, the important ingredients for happiness are to forge an identity, serve the Lord, get an education, develop your talents, serve your family and, if possible, have a family of your own.

"I hope you acquire all of the knowledge you can. Become as skillful as you can, but not exclusively in new careers at the expense of the primary ones, or you may find that you have missed one of the great opportunities of your lives."

Continuing, he urged young women: "Accept without reservation the Savior for what He is, Joseph Smith for what he was, President Gordon B. Hinckley for what he is. God will not ennoble a person, man or woman, who refuses to uphold by faith, prayer and works those whom God has called and ordained to preside over them. So, my dear young sisters, sustain the priesthood authority in the Church and in your home."

President Faust emphasized, however, that "priesthood authority should exercise no compulsion, duress or unrighteous dominion."

He added: "Following the priesthood of the Church is an expression of faith in the Lord's continuing guidance of His Church. It is willing acceptance of the principle of divine agency."

President Faust counseled young women to respond generously to their natural womanly instincts and promptings to do good. "Hold your soul very still, and listen to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. Follow the noble, intuitive feelings planted deep within your souls by Deity in the previous world.

"Lastly, how do I think you may become great women? You should cultivate and employ generously your noble womanly instincts of care and mercy, first to your family and then to others. May you always hunger and thirst after righteousness within the framework of the revealed gospel of Jesus Christ. May you have an eternal perspective as you go about your angelic cause of doing good so that it will not only lead you to become great women, but ultimately to become queens in the eternities."

Providing music was a choir of young women from the Salt Lake Hillside, Parleys, Highland, Monument Park and Monument Park North stakes. Directing the music was Janice Rampton, with Bonnie Goodliffe accompanying.

Offering the invocation was Christine P. Olsen of the Young Women general board; the benediction was given by Elizabeth Eyring, a Laurel class president.

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