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The Parable of the Purse

When I was recently assigned to a conference in the Mission Viejo California Stake, I was touched by an account of their four-stake New Year’s Eve youth dance. Following the dance a purse was found with no outside identification. I share with you part of what Sister Monica Sedgwick, the Young Women president in the Laguna Niguel Stake, recorded:

“We didn’t want to pry; this was someone’s personal stuff! So we gingerly opened it and grabbed the first thing that was on top—hopefully, it would identify her. It did . . . but in another way—it was a For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. . . . Wow! This told us something about her. Then, we reached in for the next item, a little notebook. . . . Surely this would give us answers. But not the kind we were expecting. The first page . . . was a list of favorite scriptures. . . . There were five more pages of carefully written scriptures and personal notes.”

The sisters immediately wanted to meet this stalwart young woman. They returned to that purse to identify its owner. They pulled out some breath mints, soap, lotion, and a brush. I loved their comments: “Oh, good things come out of her mouth; she has clean and soft hands; and she takes care of herself.”

They eagerly awaited the next treasure. Out came a clever little homemade coin purse made from a cardboard juice carton, and there was some money in a zippered pocket. They exclaimed, “Ahh, she’s creative and prepared!” They felt like little children on Christmas morning. What they pulled out next surprised them even more—a recipe for Black Forest chocolate cake, and a note to make the cake for a friend’s birthday. They almost screamed, “She’s a homemaker! Thoughtful and service-minded.” Then, yes, finally, some identification. The youth leaders said they felt greatly blessed “to observe the quiet example of a young lady living the gospel.”

This account illustrates the commitment of our young women to Church standards. It is also an example of caring, interested, dedicated Young Women leaders all over the world.

Read, watch, or listen to the entire talk.

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