Become the woman of whom you dream, President Gordon B. Hinckley told the young women of the Church March 24.
Speaking in the Conference Center on a warm spring evening, President Hinckley said: "In your youth you speak of the future, and it is bright with promise. You speak of hope and faith and achievement. You speak of goodness and love and peace. You speak of a better world than we have ever known.
"You are creatures of divinity, for you are daughters of the Almighty. Limitless is your potential. Magnificent is your future, if you will take control of it. Do not let your lives drift in a fruitless and worthless manner."
This was the first time the Young Women general meeting, which was telecast throughout most of the world over the Church satellite system, has been held in the Conference Center, which was dedicated last October conference by President Hinckley. Thousands of young women filled the auditorium, and their voices joined in reciting the Young Women Theme and Values.
Seated on the stand, along with President Hinckley, were President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency; President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency; Elders M. Russell Ballard and Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve; and Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy. Also speaking during the meeting were Young Women General President Margaret D. Nadauld and her counselors, Carol B. Thomas and Sharon G. Larsen. (Please see page X for excerpts of their addresses.) Sister Nadauld conducted the meeting.
In his remarks, President Hinckley related looking through his high school yearbook recently and noting the lives of two young women he knew. One was beautiful and a charmer. "Life for her could be summed up in one short word fun. She married a boy of her own kind. Alcohol took possession of her life. She was a slave to it. Her body succumbed to its treacherous grip. Sadly, her life faded without achievement."
The Church president then recounted the life of another girl, not particularly beautiful but wholesome. "She also knew how to have fun, but knew when to stop and put her mind on other things."
This young woman married a boy also from the school after they graduated from a university. He went on to graduate school and she reared their children. They scrimped and worked hard. President Hinckley said he met them again a few years ago on a plane flight. "I learned that they had been active in the Church, serving in whatever capacity they were asked to serve. By every measure, they were successful. She had become the woman of whom she had dreamed."
President Hinckley said he was, thus, anxious to say something that would help the young women of today become the women of whom they dream. "As a starter, there must be cleanliness, for immorality will blight your life and leave a scar that will never entirely leave you. There must be purpose. There can be fun, yes. But there must be recognition of the fact that life is serious, that the risks are great, but that you can overcome them if you will discipline yourselves and seek the unfailing strength of the Lord."
He assured them, however, that if a mistake has been made all is not lost. They can be forgiven and live a life fully acceptable unto the Lord. "But there will be scars that will remain. The best way, the only way for you, is to avoid any entrapment with evil.
"There is nothing in all this world as magnificent as virtue. You young women spend a lot of time thinking of the boys. You can have a good time with them, but never overstep the line of virtue. Most of you will marry and your marriage will be much the happier for your earlier restraint. You will be worthy to go to the House of the Lord."
President Hinckley counseled the young women to "find purpose in your life. Choose the things you would like to do and educate yourselves to be effective in their pursuit. You are hopeful that you will marry and that all will be taken care of. In this day and time, a girl needs an education. She needs the means by which to earn a living should she find herself in a situation where it becomes necessary to do so.
"You can include in the dream of the woman you would like to be a picture of one qualified to serve society and make a significant contribution to the world of which she will be a part.
"For you, the sky is the limit, my dear young friends. You can be excellent in every way. You can be first-class. Respect yourself. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you. Particularly, pay no attention to what some boy might say to demean you. He is no better than you. In fact, he has already belittled himself by his actions. Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you. Love life and look for its opportunities, and forever be loyal to the Church."
The Church president urged those listening: "Never forget that you came to earth as a child of the divine Father, with something of divinity in your very makeup. The Lord did not send you here to fail. He did not give you life to waste it. He bestowed upon you the gift of mortality that you might gain experience, positive, wonderful, purposeful experience that will lead to life eternal. He has given you this glorious Church, His Church, to guide you and direct you, to give you opportunity for growth and experience, to teach you and lead you and encourage you, to bless you with eternal marriage, to seal upon you a covenant between you and Him that will make of you His chosen daughter, one upon whom He may look with love and with a desire to help.
"Of course there will be problems along the way. There will be difficulties to overcome. But they will not last forever. Look to the positive. Count your blessings. Know that He is watching over you, that He hears your prayers and will answer them, that He loves you and will make that love manifest."
Music for the evening was offered by a choir of young women from the Logan, Utah, area, with Claudia Bigler directing and Linda Margetts accompanying. The invocation was offered by Tosy Phachomphon, a young woman from the Salt Lake University 1st Stake; the benediction was given by Emily Foss of the Salt Lake Mount Olympus Stake.