Lesson 47: Messages of Latter-day Prophets

Young Women Manual 3, (1994), 170–73


Each young woman will understand the important messages of latter-day prophets presented in this lesson.


  1. 1.

    Review lesson 48 about organizing lessons from general conference talks. Prepare to present the information in this lesson that will be most useful to the young women in your class.

  2. 2.

    Assign young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.

Suggested Lesson Development

(The following material is taken from an address given to the young women of the Church by President Ezra Taft Benson.)

“My dear sisters, this has been a glorious meeting. What an opportunity to meet with the choice daughters of our Father in Heaven gathered in meetinghouses throughout the world! …

“What hopes I have for you young sisters! What hopes our Father in Heaven has for you!

“You have been born at this time for a sacred and glorious purpose. It is not by chance that you have been reserved to come to earth in this last dispensation of the fulness of times. Your birth at this particular time was foreordained in the eternities.

“You are to be the royal daughters of the Lord in the last days. You are ‘youth of the noble birthright’ (Hymns, 1985, no. 255).

Strengthen Your Family

“My young sisters, I am happy to see so many of you with your mothers this evening. I counsel each of you to draw close to your own mother. Love her. Respect her. Honor her. Receive your mother’s counsel as she loves and instructs you in righteousness. Honor and obey your father as he stands as the head of the home by emulating his spiritual qualities.

“Young women, the family unit is forever, and you should do everything in your power to strengthen that unit. In your own family, encourage family home evenings and be an active participant. Encourage family prayer. Be on your knees with your family in that sacred circle. Do your part to develop real family unity and solidarity.

“In such homes there is no generation gap. That is another tool of the devil. Your most important friendships should be with your own brothers and sisters and with your father and mother. Love your family. Be loyal to them. Have a genuine concern for your brothers and sisters. Help carry their load so you can say, as in the lyrics of that song, ‘he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother’ (Bob Russell, ‘He Ain’t Heavy,’ Lynbrook, N.Y.: Harrison Music Corp., 1969).

“Remember, the family is one of God’s greatest fortresses against the evils of our day.

“Help keep your family strong and close and worthy of our Father in Heaven’s blessings. As you do, you will receive faith and hope and strength, which will bless your lives forever.

Read the Scriptures Daily

“Next, young women, may I admonish you to participate in a program of daily reading and pondering of the scriptures. We remember the experience of our beloved prophet, President Spencer W. Kimball. As a fourteen-year-old boy, he accepted the challenge of reading the Bible from cover to cover. Most of his reading was done by coal oil light in his attic bedroom. He read every night until he completed the 1,519 pages, which took him approximately a year; but he attained his goal.

“Of the four great standard works of the Church—the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price—I would particularly urge you to read again and again the Book of Mormon and ponder and apply its teachings. The Book of Mormon was referred to by the Prophet Joseph Smith as ‘the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man [and woman] would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book’ (History of the Church, 4:461).

“Young women, the Book of Mormon will change your life. It will fortify you against the evils of our day. It will bring a spirituality into your life that no other book will. It will be the most important book you will read in preparation for life’s challenges. A young woman who knows and loves the Book of Mormon, who has read it several times, who has an abiding testimony of its truthfulness, and who applies its teachings will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil and will be a mighty tool in the hands of the Lord.

“Further, I would encourage you, young sisters, as you approach your teenage years, to receive a patriarchal blessing. Study it carefully and regard it as personal scripture to you—for that indeed is what it is. A patriarchal blessing is ‘an inspired and prophetic statement of [your life’s] mission … together with such blessings, cautions, and admonitions as the patriarch may be prompted to give’ (Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., David O. McKay, in Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, comp. James R. Clark, 6 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965–75, 6:194).

“Young women, receive your patriarchal blessing under the influence of fasting and prayer, and then read it regularly that you may know God’s will for you.

Attend All Your Church Meetings

“May I now direct your attention to the importance of attending all of your Church meetings. Faithful attendance at Church meetings brings blessings you can receive in no other way.

“Attend your sacrament meeting every Sunday. Listen carefully to the messages. Pray for the spirit of understanding and testimony. Partake of the sacrament with clean hands and a pure heart.

“Attend your Sunday School classes every Sunday. Listen carefully to the lessons and participate in class discussions. Gospel scholarship and an increase in testimony will result.

“Attend your Young Women meetings every Sunday and your weekly activities. Learn well your responsibilities in the gospel and then perform them with diligence.

“Regularly attend seminary and be a seminary graduate. Seminary instruction is one of the most significant spiritual experiences a young woman can have.

“Young women, take full advantage of the Church programs. Set your goals to attain excellence in the achievement programs of the Church.

“The Personal Progress Program for young women is an excellent goal-oriented program. Its purpose is to help you develop the qualities and virtues of exemplary Latter-day Saint young women. Earn the Young Womanhood Recognition Award and proudly wear the gold medallion. Do not settle for mediocrity in this great incentive program for the young women of the Church.

Support Missionary Service

“May I now speak with you about missionary service in the kingdom. I feel very deeply about this. I pray that you will understand the yearnings of my heart.

“The Prophet Joseph Smith declared, ‘After all that has been said, [our] greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel’ (History of the Church, 2:478).

“The Lord wants every young man to serve a full-time mission. Presently only a third of the eligible young men in the Church are serving full-time missions. This is not pleasing to the Lord. We can do better. We must do better. Not only should a mission be regarded as a priesthood duty, but every young man should look forward to this experience with great joy and anticipation.

“A young man can do nothing more important. School can wait. Scholarships can be deferred. Occupational goals can be postponed. Yes, even temple marriage should wait until after a young man has served an honorable full-time mission for the Lord.

“Now, why do I mention this to you young women this evening? Because you can have a positive influence in motivating young men to serve full-time missions. Let the young men of your acquaintance know that you expect them to assume their missionary responsibilities, that you personally want them to serve in the mission field, because you know that’s where the Lord wants them.

“Avoid steady dating with a young man prior to the time of his mission call. If your relationship with him is more casual, then he can make that decision to serve more easily and also can concentrate his full energies on his missionary work instead of the girlfriend back home. And after he returns honorably from his mission, he will be a better husband and father and priesthood holder, having first served a full-time mission.

“There is no question that faithful Latter-day Saint young women can have a great impact for good in helping young men to magnify their priesthood and to motivate them to good works and to be their best selves.

“Remember, young women, you may also have the opportunity to serve a full-time mission. I am grateful my own eternal companion served a mission in Hawaii before we were married in the Salt Lake Temple, and I am pleased that I have had three granddaughters serve full-time missions. Some of our finest missionaries are young sisters. …

Live Up to Your Divine Potential

“My young sisters, we have such hope for you. We have such great expectations for you. Don’t settle for less than what the Lord wants you to be.

“As the prophet Nephi exclaims in 2 Nephi 31:20: ‘Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus sayeth the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.’

“Yes, give me a young woman who loves home and family, who reads and ponders the scriptures daily, who has a burning testimony of the Book of Mormon. Give me a young woman who faithfully attends her church meetings, who is a seminary graduate, who has earned her Young Womanhood Recognition Award and wears it with pride! Give me a young woman who is virtuous and who has maintained her personal purity, who will not settle for less than a temple marriage, and I will give you a young woman who will perform miracles for the Lord now and throughout eternity. …

“Now, in closing, my dear young sisters, how I love and respect you! How I pray for you! How my hope abounds in you! Remember the counsel I have given you tonight. It is what the Lord would have you hear now—today.

“Live up to your divine potential. Remember who you are and the divine heritage that is yours—you are literally the royal daughters of our Father in Heaven. O ‘youth of the noble birthright,’ with all my heart I say, ‘Carry on, carry on, carry on!’ (Hymns, 1985, no. 255), in the name of Jesus Christ, amen” (“To the Young Women of the Church,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, pp. 81–85).

Become More like the Savior

(The following is taken from addresses given by President Howard W. Hunter.)

“I invite all members of the Church to live with ever more attention to the life and example of the Lord Jesus Christ, especially the love and hope and compassion he displayed. I pray that we will treat each other with more kindness, more patience, more courtesy and forgiveness. …

“Let us study the Master’s every teaching and devote ourselves more fully to his example. He has given us ‘all things that pertain unto life and godliness.’ He has ‘called us to glory and virtue’ and has ‘given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these [we] might be partakers of the divine nature’ (2 Peter 1:3–4).

“I believe in those ‘exceeding great and precious promises,’ and I invite all within the sound of my voice to claim them. We should strive to ‘be partakers of the divine nature.’ Only then may we truly hope for ‘peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come’ (D&C 59:23). …

“I bear solemn and grateful witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. Certainly he is the center of our worship and the key to our happiness. Let us follow the Son of God in all ways and all walks of life. Let us make him our exemplar and our guide.

“We are at a time in the history of the world and the growth of the Church when we must think more of holy things and act more like the Savior would expect his disciples to act. We should at every opportunity ask ourselves, ‘What would Jesus do?’ and then act more courageously upon the answer. We must be about his work as he was about his Father’s. We should make every effort to become like Christ, the one perfect and sinless example this world has ever seen” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, pp. 7–8, 118; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, pp. 8, 87).

Make the Temple the Symbol of Your Membership

“I invite the Latter-day Saints to look to the temple of the Lord as the great symbol of your membership. It is the deepest desire of my heart to have every member of the Church worthy to enter the temple. It would please the Lord if every adult member would be worthy of—and carry—a current temple recommend. The things that we must do and not do to be worthy of a temple recommend are the very things that ensure we will be happy as individuals and as families. …

“We again emphasize the personal blessings of temple worship and the sanctity and safety that are provided within those hallowed walls. It is the house of the Lord, a place of revelation and of peace. As we attend the temple, we learn more richly and deeply the purpose of life and the significance of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us make the temple, with temple worship and temple covenants and temple marriage, our ultimate earthly goal and the supreme mortal experience. …

“Let us prepare every missionary to go to the temple worthily and to make that experience an even greater highlight than receiving the mission call. Let us plan for and teach and plead with our children to marry in the house of the Lord. Let us reaffirm more vigorously than we ever have in the past that it does matter where you marry and by what authority you are pronounced man and wife.

“All of our efforts in proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the Saints, and redeeming the dead lead to the holy temple. This is because the temple ordinances are absolutely crucial; we cannot return to God’s presence without them. I encourage everyone to worthily attend the temple or to work toward the day when you can enter that holy house to receive your ordinances and covenants.

“May you let the meaning and beauty and peace of the temple come into your everyday life more directly in order that the millennial day may come, that promised time when ‘they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more … [but shall] walk in the light of the Lord’ (Isaiah 2:4–5)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, pp. 8, 118; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, pp. 8, 87–88).