I attended a regional conference recently. The Sunday morning meeting was held in a large auditorium. On the front row, just below the stand, sat a group of beautiful girls. They were well-groomed—clean and lovely. They were vivacious and bright in their appearance. They were the very epitome of all that could be hoped for in young women. Some of them had their scriptures with them. All listened attentively to the speakers, and those with their books followed quotations cited by the speakers. It was evident that they were products of the seminary program as well as the other programs of the Church.
They had risen early that morning to travel far with their parents to be at the conference. They were there because they had learned to love the Lord and to enjoy the association of the Saints. They impressed me as representing what this marvelous work is all about (from New Era, Sept. 1988, 45–46).
We had in the United States a newspaper columnist named Abigail Van Buren. Her writings are published in papers across the world, including our own Deseret News. She is one of those who gives advice to the troubled. You know the kind. A young lady wrote her and said that her boyfriend wanted her to prove her love, and this was Abby’s response. It is plainspoken, but I think it is good.
Said Abby, “Girls need to prove their love through illicit sexual relations like a moose needs a hat rack. Why not prove your love by sticking your head in the oven and turning on the gas or by playing leapfrog in the traffic? It’s about as safe.
“Clear the cobwebs out of your head. Any fellow who asks you to prove your love is trying to take you for the biggest, most gullible fool who ever walked. That proving bit is one of the oldest and rottenest lines ever invented.
“Does he love you? It doesn’t sound like it. Someone who loves you wants whatever is best for you. But now figure it out. He wants you to commit an immoral act, surrender your virtue, throw away your self-respect, risk the loss of your precious reputation, and risk getting into trouble. Does that sound as though he wants what is best for you? This is the laugh of the century. He wants what he thinks is best for him; he wants a thrill he can brag about at your expense. Love? Who’s kidding whom? A guy who loves a girl would sooner cut off his right arm than hurt her. In my opinion, this self-serving so-and-so has proved that he doesn’t love you.
“The predictable aftermath of proof of this kind always finds Don Juan tiring of his sport. That’s when he drops you, picks up his line, and goes casting elsewhere for bigger and equally silly fish.
“If he loves you, let him prove his love by marching you to the altar.”
I think that’s pretty good for Abby. …
To you young women, you of the noble birthright, you the hope of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you the mothers and the grandmothers and the great-grandmothers of the sons and daughters of Israel who are to come: Keep yourselves worthy of the blessings of God. Keep yourselves pure and virtuous and good and decent and sweet and wonderful; and as a servant of the Lord, I don’t hesitate to promise you that you will be loved and respected and honored, and you will be grateful to get on your knees with tears in your eyes and thank your Father in Heaven for His watchful care over you and for the marvelous blessings that will be yours (from New Era, Nov. 1971, 35).
Of all the creations of the Almighty there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth. …
The young women of this generation not only have tremendous opportunities, but they also face terrible temptations. … It is so important that young women learn the ways of eternal truth, that virtue is attractive and all-important, that testimony is a pearl to be sought after and worn with dignity and pride, that they understand the incomparable blessings that come from temple marriage and a wholesome, rewarding family life. …
Youth is the season to set the directions for life. A young woman’s life will be immeasurably enhanced if she sets now the proper directions for her future course. Moreover, the posterity who follow after will more likely be reared in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord” to their great benefit and blessing (Eph. 6:4; Enos 1:1). When a girl is saved, a generation is saved. No one can foretell the consequences of faithfulness in the life of a young woman (from New Era, Sept. 1988, 47).
Though of various nationalities, you are all of one great family. You are daughters of God. You are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In your youth you speak of the future, and it is bright with promise. You speak of hope and faith and achievement. You speak of goodness and love and peace. You speak of a better world than we have ever known.
You are creatures of divinity; you are daughters of the Almighty. Limitless is your potential. Magnificent is your future, if you will take control of it. Do not let your lives drift in a fruitless and worthless manner. …
For you, my dear friends, the sky is the limit. You can be excellent in every way. You can be first class. There is no need for you to be a scrub. Respect yourself. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you. Particularly, pay no attention to what some boy might say to demean you. He is no better than you. In fact, he has already belittled himself by his actions.
Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life and look for its opportunities, and forever and always be loyal to the Church (from Ensign, May 2001, 93–95).
Every young woman ought to refine her skills and increase her abilities, to broaden her knowledge and strengthen her capacity. …
The Church has been in the forefront in training the daughters of Zion and in giving them responsibility. We believe and have taught consistently from the earliest days of the Church that a woman’s greatest mission in life is an honorable and happy marriage with the rearing of an honorable and happy family. That means mothering and nurturing in a very real and personal way, a way that is demanding both in time and energy. But this is not inconsistent with other activities. There are tremendous responsibilities for women in the Church as well as in the community consistent with and in total harmony with marriage, motherhood, and the rearing of good and able children (from New Era, Sept. 1988, 47).
I should like to say to every one of you sisters here that as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you have an obligation to refine and improve your minds and your skills, for each of you is a daughter of God with a divine birthright and with an obligation to grow toward His stature (from New Era, Nov. 1971, 36).
Never forget that you came to earth as a child of the divine Father, with something of divinity in your very makeup. The Lord did not send you here to fail. He did not give you life to waste it. He bestowed upon you the gift of mortality that you might gain experience—positive, wonderful, purposeful experience—that will lead to life eternal. He has given you this glorious Church, His Church, to guide you and direct you, to give you opportunity for growth and experience, to teach you and lead you and encourage you, to bless you with eternal marriage, to seal upon you a covenant between you and Him that will make of you His chosen daughter, one upon whom He may look with love and with a desire to help (from Ensign, May 2001, 95–96).
And so, my beloved sisters, please know how much we appreciate you. You bring a measure of wholeness to us. You have great strength. … I bear testimony before the entire world of your worth, of your grace and goodness, of your remarkable abilities and tremendous contributions, and I invoke the blessings of heaven upon you (from Ensign, Nov. 1996, 70).