Hello from Mexico! I was excited to get your letter and hear about your birthday coming up. It sounds like you’re a little nervous about leaving Primary. Can I tell you about when I went into Young Women?
I was nervous about leaving Primary too. I was worried that I might not make any friends. I was scared of being one of the youngest girls instead of one of the oldest.
But it all worked out just fine. The bishop interviewed me before my birthday and told me the change would be a good thing. On Sunday, I still felt shy and stayed in the Primary room. Luckily, one of the Young Women leaders found me there. She said, “I thought I would find you here! Come on, it’s time to go to class.”
Sister Diaz welcomed me in opening exercises, and she gave me three books that I’ve come to love: For the Strength of Youth, Young Women Personal Progress, and a journal. As I looked around the room, I realized that I knew some of the girls there from Primary. Some of the girls I didn’t know said hi to me. Soon I felt peace instead of fear.
Things just kept getting better after that. Mutual activities have been special to me because they’ve taught me how to live the gospel and how to help my family and friends. And going to camp each year is so much fun! Now that I’m a Laurel, I hope to finish Personal Progress soon. I can’t wait to wear the Young Women medallion so it can remind me of how much I have grown nearer to my Heavenly Father over the years.
So don’t be fearful, my friend. Spread your wings and fly to Young Women. I promise you won’t be sorry.
Welcoming a New Season of Life
Do you live in an area where the trees change color to get ready for the winter? These four friends do. Noah B., Dylan L., Patrick M., and Ben M. all live on Prince Edward Island off the east coast of Canada. Like the trees, these boys are getting ready for a new season of life. They are all turning 12 within a year of each other, and that means saying good-bye to Primary and hello to Young Men. Here’s what they had to say about growing up and moving on.
When Noah moved here, his new friends helped him adjust to life on the island. Now, as the oldest in the group, he’s helping them get used to life in Young Men. “I was worried about being accepted and getting to know the others,” Noah said about starting Young Men. “Going to the activities really helped.” Noah’s favorite Primary song is about the army of Helaman, and that’s how he sees the priesthood quorum—as being together, united.
His advice? “Be yourself.”
Respect the Priesthood
For Patrick, getting the priesthood is not about turning a certain age. It’s about being worthy and prepared. “You don’t get the priesthood just because you’re 12,” Patrick said. “You have to be prepared.”
Dylan understands how important preparation is. He tries to get to church 15 minutes early to spiritually prepare to pass the sacrament. “I’ve passed the sacrament three or four times, and each time the Spirit touches my heart. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it,” he said.
Ben said that passing the sacrament reminds him of the Last Supper: “Jesus was standing there. We’re standing where Jesus was, and He wants us to be there.”
Look to the Temple
Ben is working on earning his Faith in God Award and is looking forward to doing baptisms for the dead for the first time. “I haven’t been inside the temple yet, but other people always give testimonies about how warm and good they feel after they go,” Ben said.
Noah went on his first visit to the temple recently. He said that the other young men he traveled with treated him like family. “You might feel nervous, but there will be people there to help you,” he said. “You will feel welcome.”
Juliana’s First Temple Visit
Outside it was foggy and drizzly. But Juliana J. of Hatchet Lake, Nova Scotia, Canada, didn’t mind. She was feeling very warm inside as she and her family walked around the Halifax Nova Scotia Temple. She had just finished doing baptisms for the dead for her first time.
Going to the temple was actually the main reason Juliana had been excited to turn 12. Her older sisters and brother had been telling her about it for a long time, and she couldn’t wait to feel the Spirit there for herself.
But when her 12th birthday came, Juliana and her family were on vacation. When they stopped to see the Salt Lake Temple, she didn’t have her recommend yet, so she couldn’t go inside. Big disappointment!
On her first Sunday back home, Juliana made sure she had her recommend interview with her bishop. Then she had to wait a few more weeks until it was her ward’s Mutual temple visit.
Finally, the special day came. Juliana got dressed in her Sunday clothes. Her oldest sister helped by braiding Juliana’s long hair. Juliana’s family went with her to the temple. “She was so excited, she was vibrating!” her mom said.
Afterward, Juliana and her family walked around the temple together taking pictures. That’s a family tradition, come rain or snow. It’s a tradition that Juliana looks forward to repeating many more times.
Juliana’s Tips for Getting Ready for the Temple
Temple recommend interviews aren’t scary. After your bishop asks you about things like paying tithing and following the Word of Wisdom, it gives you a good feeling to know you’re worthy and ready to go to the temple.
Dress in nice clothing you would wear to church. It’s reverent.
Wear your hair in a nice, simple hairstyle to keep it from getting tangled.
Before you go, think about the importance of what you’re going to be doing. One of my sisters told me to think about the people who have been waiting to have their baptisms done.
If you have a special question or problem, think and pray about it before and while you’re in the temple.
While you’re in waiting areas of the temple, take time to look at the pictures on the walls, read the scriptures, and let the spirit of the temple sink into your heart.
Go often! My ward goes on the fourth Thursday of each month. Even if you can’t go that often, go as often as you can. You might find that your life goes more smoothly when you do.
If you have questions or are concerned about going to the temple, talk to someone who has already gone.