Heavenly Father knows and loves His daughters. For the past 35 years, young women have proclaimed this truth as they stand and repeat the Young Women theme. In the women’s session of the recent general conference, the Young Women theme was revised. As a general presidency, we invite young women and their leaders to study this new theme and gain a deep understanding of the doctrine found in the inspiring words. Below are a few thoughts you may wish to consider.
While our Savior, Jesus Christ, was on the earth, He spoke to multitudes, He fed 5,000, but He healed “the one.” The young daughter of Jairus (see Matt. 9:18, 23-26), the Samaritan woman at the well (see John 4:4-42), and the woman with an issue of blood (see Mark 5:25-34) were among those He made whole. Each one of us is known and loved. This new theme is written for “the one.”
I am a beloved daughter of heavenly parents with a divine nature and eternal destiny
Heavenly Father’s children are as numberless as the sands of the sea, yet He knows each one and wants each of us to return to Him. This truth is both immense and personal at the same time. The empowering use of “I” in the theme invites each young woman to feel an individual connection with her heavenly parents and her Savior, Jesus Christ.
Understanding our divine nature gives us confidence in our ability to become more like our heavenly parents — we are their daughters. Knowing our eternal destiny increases our commitment to make and keep the sacred covenants that enable us to return to live with them as heirs of eternal life.
As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I strive to become like Him
Jesus Christ is central to our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. As we strive to love the way He loves, forgive the way He forgives, and serve the way He serves, we can become like Him. Ponder the word “strive,” which suggests both hope and determination — “I will do my best every day to live as the Savior lived.”
I seek and act upon personal revelation and minister to others in His Holy Name
As we learn to seek and to act upon personal revelation, we become familiar with the Lord’s voice, and our ability to receive revelation increases. Recognizing His voice will protect us against the power of the adversary and will open heaven’s doors to guide and bless us in all areas of our lives.
Everything that invites us to do good and to love God and to serve Him is inspired of God. When we truly love God, we desire to take His holy name upon us by making covenants to do the work He would do. The Savior “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). Keeping our covenants empowers us to love and minister to those around us in a holier way.
I will stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places
At baptism, we made a covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ. Our choices and actions bear witness of this commitment “at all times and in all things and in all places.” The Lord needs bold, covenant-keeping young women who are not afraid to stand up for what is right, even if we stand alone.
As I strive to qualify for exaltation
President Russell M. Nelson put it best when he said, “The end for which each of us strives is to be endowed with power in a house of the Lord, sealed as families, faithful to covenants made in the temple that qualify us for the greatest gift of God — that of eternal life” (“As We Go Forward Together,” Ensign, April 2018).
Qualifying for exaltation is a tandem effort; we strive with the Savior to return to our Heavenly Parents and Their fullness. There is something so powerful about the image of being yoked with Christ and working together to achieve our goals. We strive by intentionally doing our best to keep our covenants and follow the Savior. Our efforts are then magnified and made glorious through the merits, mercy and grace of the Savior.
I cherish the gift of repentance and seek to improve each day
Repentance is a gift made possible by our loving Heavenly Father through the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Repentance is not just about being cleansed, it is about being transformed. As we repent and seek to improve each day, we discover and strive to achieve the divine potential the Lord sees in us. We seek to align our will with God’s will for us. With exaltation as our goal, we can look beyond our natural man tendencies, the temptations of the adversary and the harmful effects of comparisons. We seek those things that fill us with the Holy Ghost.
President Nelson taught: “When we choose to repent, we choose to change. We allow the Savior to transform us into the best version of ourselves. When we choose to repent, we choose to become more like Jesus Christ” (“We Can Do Better and Be Better,” Ensign, May 2019, p. 67).
Faith is a principle of power, God’s power, that He is freely willing to give us as we experiment upon His word, even if we have only a desire to believe (Alma 32:27). Acting in faith increases our ability to do what the Lord asks of us. With each faithful choice and action, our capacity to become more like the Savior is increased.
I will strengthen my home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, and receive ordinances and blessings of the holy temple
See 1 Nephi 14:14; 2 Nephi 11:5; Alma 30:3; Mosiah 13:30; Joshua 24:15; Exodus 19:5; Ezekiel 37:26; Isaiah 2:3; Psalm 24:3; Doctrine and Covenants 54:6, 66:2, 84:20-22, 90:24, 109:8, 132:19; and Articles of Faith 1:3.
It is a glorious blessing to receive sacred ordinances: baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, partaking of the sacrament weekly, temple endowments and temple sealings. As our commitment to the gospel grows, our hearts change. We begin to see commandments and covenants not as restrictions or a mere task list, but as protective and empowering blessings. With an eternal perspective in mind, we are able to see life and our part in it as a wondrous blessing and gift from a loving Heavenly Father.
“I invite you to exercise your faith and study and ponder these words. Understanding these truths will change the way you face challenges. Knowing your identity and purpose will align your will with the Savior’s. Peace and guidance will be yours as you follow Jesus Christ” (“Beloved Daughters,” Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Ensign, November 2019).
As you study the new theme, memorize it and apply its truths to your own life, may you be blessed with the knowledge that your life is of great worth to your Heavenly Father, and by abiding by His words, you — “the one” — can return to live with Him and qualify for exaltation.