Sister Dalton Dares Young Adults to Do Great Things

Contributed By Heather Whittle Wrigley, Church News and Events

  • 12 October 2011

On Tuesday, Young Women general president Elaine S. Dalton spoke to young adults at BYU-Idaho about their ability and opportunity to do great things.

Article Highlights

  • Dream Big—Believe in yourself now and in what you can become.
  • Leave Your Comfort Zone—To become like God we must change, and we must utilize the Atonement.
  • Go Forward with Faith—We must have a testimony of Jesus Christ.

“Your gifts and talents, and your preparation now, will help you to accomplish your divine mission—and each of us has one. … So today, I say to each of you … dare great things!” —Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president

On October 11, 2011, Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president, addressed thousands of college students in the BYU-Idaho Center and dared them to do great things.

Sister Dalton, who is an avid runner, drew a parallel between the discipline required to prepare for a marathon and the preparation required in life—“making a plan; strict training; hills; a set path; beautiful vistas; training partners; long, lonely miles; people cheering; falling and getting back up; injuries; aid stations; and, of course, a finish line.”

“You have been reserved to be here on the earth now. You were prepared and uniquely tutored for your destiny now. You are not ordinary,” she told those in attendance. “Your gifts and talents and your preparation now will help you to accomplish your divine mission—and each of us has one. … So today I say to each of you . . . dare great things!”

Sister Dalton said that doing great things requires that we (1) dream big, (2) move out of our comfort zones, and (3) go forward with full confidence, relying on the strength of the Lord.

Dream Big

Sister Dalton encouraged the young adults to believe in themselves now and to believe in what they could become.

She related the story of Australian Cliff Young, a 61-year-old man who set a new record in an 875-kilometer (543.7 miles) race in 1983 by forgoing sleep and using a consistent shuffle step over the five days of running.

“We can endure. We must prepare, and all our life is preparation,” Sister Dalton said. “There are many lessons, and each is custom fit to you. What I know and have learned is that anything worth doing is not easy and that we can do anything that is not easy if we believe.”

Leave Your Comfort Zone

“From everything I read in the scriptures, I don’t think the Lord likes us to be in a comfort zone,” Sister Dalton laughed. “He repeatedly takes his choicest servants out of their comfort zones and challenges them by their circumstances, their trials, and their opportunities to become more and to do more.”

She challenged young single adults to stop hanging out. To the women she said, “Stop competing with each other in a group for the attention of the available men in the room. Make yourself scarce. … Wait until they call you and personally ask you to go on a date with them.”

“Young men,” she said, “Make an investment with your wallets in your future. Seriously begin your search for an eternal companion.”

Sister Dalton also reminded those in attendance of the need for a return to virtue: “Returning is repentance, and repentance is progress. It is a gift that was given to us by the Savior in Gethsemane. … He made it possible for each of us to repent, to return, to change and to become like Him. In order to do this, we must also be willing to move out of our comfort zones—to change.”

Go Forward with Faith

Lastly, in order to do great things, we must go forward with full confidence in the Lord, Sister Dalton said.

Speaking of the pioneers, she said, “I think about what the pioneers went through, and … I think, ‘Oh, what we’re doing is easy compared to them.’ But you know what? It’s not. What we’re doing now is pivotal, and it’s not easy. And it’s not going to be easier. In fact, I think it may get harder for us. And I think that we are going to have to be very strong and firm.”

She said the most important thing is to have a testimony of Jesus Christ.

“When you make a transition, you are never alone. Our Heavenly Father knows exactly where you are, and He will be with you,” she emphasized. “If you have a testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel, you will be able to make any of life’s transitions.”

In order for us to have the life that God has in store for us, we must give up the life we have planned, Sister Dalton said. “‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward’ (Hebrews 10:35). Go forward with faith knowing if you do your part, the Lord will always do His.”