General Young Women Meeting: Sister Elaine S. Dalton

“Be not moved” was the theme of the address Sister Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president, delivered during the General Young Women Meeting on March 30. “I can think of no more important counsel from a loving Heavenly Father than His admonition for each of you to ‘stand … in holy places and be not moved.,’” she told the young women of the Church. “He is saying, ‘Stand firm. Be steadfast. Stand for truth and righteousness. Stand as a witness. Be a standard to the world. Stand in holy places.’”

She spoke of a statue, located on a pier in Copenhagen, of a Danish convert named Kristina. Sister Dalton described the statue, saying that it portrays the young woman who stood firm even though opposing winds were blowing fiercely against her. She told of Kirstina’s decision to join the Church and leave her home. Although it was not an easy decision to make, she stood firm, doing a very hard thing but one she knew to be right.

“Her descendants placed this sculpture there on that pier as a tribute to Kristina, for her decision that day had eternal significance for generations,” Sister Dalton said.

“Like Kristina, you are standing on the edge of many important decisions and making choices daily, some of them difficult, that will shape not only your future but the destiny of generations,” Sister Dalton said. “You too are facing gale-force winds of opposition, adversity, peer pressure and moral pollution. And yet you are standing immovable and living the gospel in the face of these raging storms in our society.”

Like the example of faithful Kristina, young women can be led by the Holy Ghost to make correct decisions, Sister Dalton said. “You are loyal and you are royal.”

Be not moved in choosing right.

Sister Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president, left, greets her friends after the annual General Young Women Meeting in the Conference Center on Saturday, March 30, 2013.
Sister Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president, left, greets her friends after the annual General Young Women Meeting in the Conference Center on Saturday, March 30, 2013. Credit: Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News

“In these latter days, there are no small decisions,” she declared. “The choices you are making right now are of critical importance. Agency, or the ability to choose, is one of God’s greatest gifts to His children. It is part of the plan of happiness you and I chose and defended in our pre-mortal existence. Live your lives in such a way that you can listen to and hear the Holy Ghost and He will help you make correct decisions. He will ‘tell you all things what ye should do.’”

Sister Dalton shared an experience she had upon returning to her high school’s auditorium, in which a stake conference was held. It was the first time she had returned to the school in many years; a flood of memories poured into her mind. Along with those memories came feelings she had experienced as a young woman — feeling insecure, unsure of herself, self-conscious and a having desire to fit in. She said she was familiar with every detail of that auditorium; although everything looked the same, she realized one thing was very different — she was different. She looked out among the crowd and saw faces of people with whom she had gone to school. She was grateful for the positive associations she had with those people many years before.

“Young women, make sure your relationships with others are such that forty years from now you will not be embarrassed,” she said. “No amount of peer pressure, no acceptance, no popularity is worth a compromise. Your influence on the young men will help them remain worthy of their priesthood power, of temple covenants and missionary service. …

“Your choices matter. Your choices now not only affect you, but they affect others. They are of eternal significance. Be not moved!”

Be not moved in your desire and commitment to remain virtuous and sexually pure.

“Your personal purity is one of your greatest sources of power,” she taught. “When you came to the earth you were given the precious gift of a body. Your body is the instrument of your mind and a divine gift with which to exercise your agency. This is a gift that Satan was denied and thus he directs nearly all of his attacks on your body. He wants you to disdain, misuse and abuse your body.”

Immodesty, pornography, immorality, tattoos and piercings, drug abuse and addictions of all kinds are all efforts to take possession of the precious gift, Sister Dalton explained.

“Keep yourselves pure and worthy and guard that which is ‘most dear and precious above all … [your] virtue and chastity.”

Be not moved in being worthy to make and keep sacred covenants.

“Virtue is the golden key to the temple,” she said. The covenants individuals make at baptism will tether them to the path of virtue and happiness. By taking the sacrament each week, individuals are renewing their baptismal covenant.

“As you keep your baptismal covenant you will look differently, dress differently and act differently from the world. Keeping this covenant will enable you to be guided by the Holy Ghost. Stand in holy places and do not even go near those environments or music, media or associations that might cause you to lose the companionship of the Holy Ghost.”

As individuals keep their covenants they will remain worthy and prepared to enter the Lord’s holy temples, Sister Dalton said.

Be not moved in accepting the Savior’s Atonement.

“The Atonement is for you and for me,” she said. “It is an enabling and a redeeming power. If you are not feeling worthy to stand in holy places, do not carry this burden one day longer. In mortality, we will all make mistakes. Be assured that the Savior loves you so much that He made it possible for you to change and to repent if you make a mistake. Satan does not want you to think you can change. He will try to convince you that all is lost. That is a lie. You can return. You can repent. You can be pure and holy because of the Savior’s infinite Atonement.”

Sister Dalton reviewed “one of the greatest love stories ever told,” that of Rebekah found in the Old Testament. Rebekah is first mentioned in the account of her bringing water from a well for the camels of Abraham’s servant who had been sent to find a wife for Isaac. It was Rebekah’s virtuous, pure and worthy life that prepared her to make and keep sacred covenants and to become a covenant wife. She did not have to wait and prepare herself, Sister Dalton noted. Rebekah’s response was, “I will go.”

“For both Rebekah and Kristina standing in holy places was not easy,” Sister Dalton said. “Being not moved was not easy. The winds blew fiercely, the water from the well was heavy and departing from their familiar homes and former lives certainly was not easy. But they made correct choices. They were guided by the Holy Ghost. They were virtuous and they prepared themselves to make and keep sacred covenants. The Savior descended through Rebekah’s lineage. Did she know then, that this would happen? No. Do your choices matter? Yes!

“Young women, generations are depending on the choices you make, your purity and your worthy lives. Be not moved. You have a great destiny before you. This is your moment! I truly believe that one virtuous young woman, led by the Spirit, can change the world.”