Help Young Women Learn, Live, and Share Word of God
Contributed By Sister Carol F. McConkie, first counselor, Young Women general presidency
“When young women live by the word of God, they enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost and feel the Spirit testify of truth.” —Carol F. McConkie of the Young Women general presidency
Great are the promises of the Lord to those who will hold fast to the word of God and heed His counsels.
I witnessed the power of the word of God in the life of a beautiful young woman in the Philippines. The tears ran down her cheeks as Anne explained that she had been bullied for choosing to live by high moral standards.
But she also shared that studying the scriptures had strengthened her to remain true to her beliefs. She said that the scriptures helped her to know what to do and say in order to explain her choices to her peers. Sunday lessons in Young Women provide opportunities for young women to learn, live, and share the word of God.
Learn the Word of God
The word of God is sacred and is delivered to us by faithful, holy men and women called of God to speak or write by the power of the Holy Ghost. “And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation” (D&C 68:4).
Consider the sacrifices of the prophets that labored “with all the might of … body and the faculty of … whole soul” (Words of Mormon 1:18) to bring forth the words of eternal life. It is little wonder that the Lord condemns those who treat lightly these sacred records (see D&C 84:54).
Parents and Young Women leaders have a duty to open the scriptures to the minds and hearts of young women. If we want young women to “hold fast” to the word of God, we must establish the word of God as the rock-solid foundation for all that we teach in the home and in Sunday lessons. It is not enough to give young women a bite-size taste of a verse or two here and there. We help them “feast upon the words of Christ; for … the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3).
Parents and leaders provide opportunities for young women to search, ponder, and pray, with faith in Christ, so that God may “manifest the truth … by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:4). In Come, Follow Me, leaders use the learning activities in the section titled “Learn Together” and invite young women to read passages of scriptures, scripture stories, or sections of conference talks. They help young women search for meaning, find answers to their questions about the doctrine of Christ, and seek ways to apply gospel principles in their lives.
Leaders let young women discuss their thoughts in small groups or pairs and then share their best thoughts with the entire class. (For more learning ideas see www.lds.org/youth/learn/learning-teaching-ideas/apyw/learn-together.)
Live the Word of God
To search the word of God is not enough. God has commanded us, “For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God” (D&C 84:44). Leaders allow time at the end of each lesson for young women to make a commitment to apply the doctrine in their lives. Leaders may invite them to write down their goal and then give those who desire an opportunity to share their commitment with the class.
When young women live by the word of God, they enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost and feel the Spirit testify of truth. As young women exercise the faith to live by a gospel principle, the Holy Ghost helps them feel that it is good, that it enlarges the soul, enlightens the understanding, and strengthens their faith, until they come to a perfect knowledge of that principle (see Alma 32:27-43).
When young women hold fast and heed the word of the Lord, they are comforted, healed, strengthened, guided, and protected. “The temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary [cannot] overpower them [and] lead them away to destruction” (1 Nephi 15:24).
Baptized members of the Church have covenanted to preach, exhort, and strengthen their families and the Church. “At the beginning of each class, leaders invite young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson” (lds.org/youth/learn/yw). Through their words, the Holy Ghost bears witness that what they are teaching is true. Through their testimonies, their sins are forgiven them (see D&C 62:3).
The day following my visit, I listened as Anne shared what she had learned about the plan of salvation at the beginning of a Sunday lesson. She read from her scriptures and her study journal. She testified of the peace and eternal blessings that were in store if she endured her trials and made the right choices. She spoke with confidence and assurance. Through her faith, she had received a witness of the truth from the Holy Ghost. She had learned it, she had lived it, and she could share it.
It is my hope that parents and leaders will encourage young women to feast upon the words of Christ that they might be filled with the Spirit of the Lord, for the word of the Lord is the “power of God unto salvation” (D&C 68:4; see also Romans 1:16).