Photograph of Young Women presidency © Busath.com
We believe that one virtuous young woman, led by the Spirit, can change the world. As a Young Women general presidency, we have observed young women doing what they believe is right, standing as witnesses, living the gospel standards, and truly making a difference. It is amazing what one young woman can accomplish when she is virtuous, listens to the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost, and then acts!
When Joseph Smith wrote the thirteenth article of faith, he expressed everything we can and must seek and become as believers. Joseph Smith knew that we must believe in standards and values and seek after these things in order to have the power and strength of the Holy Ghost. He knew we would need to follow the Savior in word and deed. He knew that doing this would prepare us to be worthy of the blessings of the temple.
Believe in Yourself
How will you do this? How will you lead others in following the Savior’s example, living a virtuous life, and preparing for the temple? First, believe in yourself! Your courage and strength have helped you become a leader, and your commitment will make all the difference this year. Your ideas, innovations, and actions can shape the world now and in the future.
Because of the technological world in which you live, you have the ability to flood the earth with those things that are virtuous, lovely, and praiseworthy. You have at your fingertips the ability to testify of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. Never before has a generation had such an ability, blessing, and opportunity.
Three Things Plus One—Every Day!
We believe in you. Now is the time to unite and begin a change that will empower you and bless others. We invite you to continue to do three things every single day—plus one.
Pray every morning and every night.
Read in the Book of Mormon at least five minutes every day.
In addition, we invite you to obey and live the standards in For the Strength of Youth. Become familiar with these standards. Share them with others. And be an example of the believers.
This year, believe. Believe you are a daughter of Heavenly Father, who loves you and will help you. Believe in the Savior Jesus Christ. He is your light. He is your hope. He is your exemplar and Redeemer. Believe in yourself! Believe in the power of all young women living the standards. All together we can seek after those things that are virtuous, lovely, and praiseworthy. All together we can make a difference in our world.
We believe you are the generation whose belief and actions will change the world. We believe in you!
Becoming a Faithful Priesthood Man
Before you graduated from Primary, many of you memorized the thirteenth article of faith and hopefully can still recite it by heart. This year we as a presidency challenge you to move beyond simple memorization and truly learn what the Prophet Joseph Smith meant when he said we follow the admonition of Paul. We ask you to carefully study each quality mentioned in the thirteenth article of faith, this year’s Mutual theme. We invite you to act upon what you learn. And we invite you to share with others the joy that living these standards brings into your life.
This pattern of behavior is the same one you are using in the new Duty to God program: learn, act, share. Following these three simple steps will help you become a faithful priesthood man.
The thirteenth article of faith states in part, “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, [and] virtuous” (emphasis added). Being is more than how you act—it is who you are. Being honest, true, chaste and so on makes you different from most young men your age. When others see the good qualities in you, they will want what you have. As you learn your priesthood duties and act upon them, you will change. As you go about “doing good to all men,” you will bless and change people’s lives.
Ben is a great example of helping others and being a blessing in their lives. He looks out for people who are not as popular or don’t feel as involved. He thinks of others more than himself. When Kelon moved into Ben’s ward, Kelon described his life as “nothing but a party” that was going in the wrong direction. He felt empty inside. But because of the examples of his Latter-day Saint friends and particularly that of his best friend, Ben, he saw there was a better way. Ben invited Kelon to participate in Church activities. At those activities Kelon noticed there was something different about the young men there. He wanted to be like them. He wasn’t sure what it was, but he knew he wanted it. He wanted to be happy like they were.
He prayed to God and knew that he needed to join the Church. Ben baptized his best friend when they were 16. Kelon said of his baptism, “I had finally found peace, and I felt the loving arms of the Savior as I came out of the font. I’m grateful for good friends who live what they believe.”
Aaronic Priesthood Power
Doctrine and Covenants 58:27–28 says that “men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause,” doing “many things of their own free will” in order to “bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them.” The power is in you. You have been entrusted with the power of the Aaronic Priesthood. We love you, and we know you can do great things as you become a faithful priesthood man.
As you go about “doing good to all,” you will bless and change people’s lives.
Photo illustration by Frank Helmrich