'Strengthening home and family'
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"Earning your Young Womanhood medallion can bring a much greater reward and help keep the fire of the Holy Ghost burning brightly within each one of you."
Referring to the recently ended 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Sister Carol B. Thomas, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, spoke of those individuals "who took home the gold."
"As young women in the Church, you too are preparing and competing for a medallion as the Spirit burns brightly within you," she said, speaking during the Young Women General Meeting March 30. "As daughters of God, some of you may have great athletic ability, but all of you have been blessed with many talents and gifts. One of the most meaningful gifts is your ability to strengthen your home and family, a new phrase which has been added to the Young Women theme.
"Do you recognize these words? One of the assignments given us as girls and women in the kingdom is to love and strengthen our families."
Sister Thomas shared with the young women three principles "that will help you strengthen your home and family nurturing, sacrifice, prayer." She then discussed those three principles:
Nurturing: "To nurture means to support each other, to encourage each other, to nourish and love each other. Are we doing this in our families?"
Telling the young women they could do so much to invite a spirit of unity in their families, Sister Thomas asked: "When was the last time you put your arms around your mom or dad and thanked them for all they do? Parents do most of the nurturing, but they need to be nurtured, too."
Sister Thomas spoke of the way Heavenly Father introduced the Savior to the world. "He demonstrated good nurturing by using a soft voice. The language of the scripture says, 'They heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; . . . and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; . . . notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center.' (3 Nephi 11:3.)
"In our homes, this can be a model for the way we talk to our family members. Let us not use a loud voice, but a soft voice when we talk to those we love. This is the way Heavenly Father speaks to His children."
Sacrifice: "As young women you are learning to sacrifice every day. We are so impressed with all the good things you are doing. You tend after school when your mothers need to work. You help fix dinner and put babies to bed. You stay home from parties on weekends because you won't watch inappropriate movies regardless of the rating. Thousands of you get up at 5 o'clock each morning to attend early morning seminary before going off to school."
Pray: Sister Thomas offered ways young women could use prayer to strengthen their families: "You can pray for help in keeping family rules, such as coming home on time. You can pray that your family will have a desire to study the scriptures together. You can pray that you will have better communication with your mom or dad. You can pray that you will be more patient with a sister or brother, helping them solve their problems.
"Pray over problems that worry you. Don't give up. Heavenly Father can and will answer your prayers. Our prayers will be answered in the Lord's time and when we are ready.
"The Savior, our Redeemer and Friend, has shown us the way," Sister Thomas concluded. "As you practice His teachings, you may never win the Olympic silver or gold, but earning your Young Womanhood medallion can bring a much greater reward and help keep the fire of the Holy Ghost burning brightly within each one of you."