What We Really Think of Youth

Mary N. Cook

“My dear young women, how we love each one of you. We see you courageously arising and shining forth with light in a world where great challenges accompany great opportunities.”

Mary N. Cook, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, “Seek Learning: You Have a Work to Do,” Ensign, May 2012, 120.

Setting Her Sights High

young woman with archery bow

Photographs courtesy of LaNola P.

Robin Hood of Sherwood fame makes it look easy to grab any old curved branch from the forest, wrap a string around both ends, and effortlessly shoot arrows into a target 50 yards off with the makeshift bow.

In reality, that kind of precision often requires mastery of some pretty complex technology on a modern bow. You start coming across terms like stabilizer, sight, clicker, and more. “My friends are sometimes shocked at all the gear,” says LaNola P., a 17-year-old from California with a true talent for archery. “It’s a lot harder than you would think.”

LaNola has been involved in archery since she was six years old, with her dad as her coach and shooting partner. Over the years she’s won competitions and set national archery records. Archery hasn’t been her only focus, however. She keeps the gospel at the heart of all she does, even when that means getting out of bed at 4:00 a.m. to attend 5:25 a.m. seminary. “The gospel allows me to keep things in perspective,” says LaNola. “I know my strength comes from Heavenly Father.”

LaNola has recently been accepted to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. She hopes to compete in the 2016 Olympics. She also plans to continue centering her life on the Savior. As one example, LaNola chooses not to practice on Sundays, a decision many of her athletic peers can’t understand.

“I don’t think it hurts me in any way,” LaNola explains. “It’s my day of rest.”

My Favorite Scripture

young woman

Photograph courtesy of Samantha T.

3 Nephi 17:10 “And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.”

I love this scripture because it shows the people’s love for Christ. I really love the whole chapter because, for me, it is the perfect depiction of Christ.

Samantha T., 15, Utah, USA

Tell us about your favorite scripture in a paragraph or two. Send it to us, along with a photo, by going to newera.lds.org and clicking “Submit Material.”

A Missionary-Minded Branch

pictures of youth on bulletin board

Photographs courtesy of Joel Flake

In a rural mountain town in Idaho, 12 has become quite the golden number. That’s because in a small branch with only 75 active members, 9 missionaries (8 elders and 1 sister) are serving full-time missions. That adds up to 12 percent of the entire active congregation. Missionary prep is a big deal to this branch, including regular preparation classes. “Serving a mission is the single best decision I’ve ever made,” says Elder Dillon Flake, one of the elders serving from the branch. “It’s the most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done with my life.”