Sister Dalton: 'Now is the time to arise and shine'
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In a challenging world, the Young Women of the Church are a shining light of hope, Sister Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president said during the General Young Women Meeting on March 24.
"Gathered here today, are the Lord's elect daughters," she said. "There is no more influential group standing for truth and righteousness in all the world than the young women and the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I see your nobility and know of your divine identity and destiny."
She said that from her window in the Young Women office, she has a spectacular view of the Salt Lake Temple. As she looks out her window, she sees the glorious building, and is reminded of the faith it represents.
"Every day I see the angel Moroni, standing atop the temple, as a shining symbol of not only his faith, but ours," she said. "I love Moroni, because in a very degenerate society, he remained pure and true. He is my hero. He stood alone. I feel somehow he stands atop the temple today, beckoning us to have courage, to remember who we are and to be worthy to enter the holy temple to arise and shine forth, to stand above the worldly clamor and to, as Isaiah prophesied, 'Come to the mountain of the Lord' — the holy temple."
Just as Moroni tops the temple as a banner for all to see, young women of the Church need to be a standard of holiness for all the world to see, Sister Dalton said.
"These are your days, and now is the time for young women everywhere to 'arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations," Sister Dalton said.
Drawing from For the Strength of Youth, Sister Dalton said it is through living the standards explained within the booklet, that individuals will be able to know what to do to become more like the Savior and to be happy in an ever darkening world.
"Living the standards in this booklet will help you qualify for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost," she said. "And in the world in which you are living, you will need that companionship to make critical decisions that will determine much of your future success and happiness.
"Living these standards will help each of you qualify to enter the Lord's holy temples and there receive the blessings and power that await you as you make and keep sacred covenants.
It is through personal purity that young women are able to shine for others, reflecting the light of the Lord, she said.
"I wish every young woman assembled here tonight would know and understand that your beauty you shine does not lie in makeup, gooey cream or the latest clothing or hairstyles. It lies in your personal purity. When you live the standards and qualify for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost you can have a powerful impact in the world. Your example, even the light in your eyes, will influence others who see your shine and they will want to be like you."
She told the young women that it is a divine light that comes into their eyes and countenance when they draw close to Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
"The call to arise and shine forth is a call to each of you to lead the world in a mighty cause — to raise the standard — and lead this generation in virtue, purity and temple worthiness," she said. "If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world."
Quoting from the prophet Joseph F. Smith to the women of his day, Sister Dalton said, "It is not for you to be led by the [young] women of the world; it is for you to lead the [young] women of the world, in everything that is purifying to the children of men. These words ring true today. As daughters of God, you were born to lead.
"In the world in which we live, your ability to lead will require guidance and constant companionship of the Holy Ghost who will tell you all things what ye should do as you recognize and rely on His guidance and promptings," she said. "And since the Holy Ghost does not dwell in unclean temples, each of us will need to take inventory of our habits and our hearts. All of us will need to change something to repent."
Just as King Lamoni's father stated in the Book of Mormon, "I will give all my sins to know thee," Sister Dalton asked, "Are we, you and I, willing to do the same?"
Sharing an experience from a group of youth in Queen Creek, Ariz., Sister Dalton said they determined to arise and shine forth, by leading the youth in their community in live the standards found in For the Strength of Youth.
"Each wrote something that they felt was holding them back or something they wanted to change in their lives in their journals, and then they literally dug a hole," she said. "They came together, and tore out the journal page and threw it into the hole in the earth, just like the people of Ammon did in the Book of Mormon with their weapons of war.
"As the youth did this, they each made a commitment to change and repented," Sister Dalton said. "They determined to arise! Do you have something in your life that you need to change? You can do this. You can repent because of the Savior's infinite atoning sacrifice.
"He made it possible for you and me to change, to become pure and clean again and to become like Him. And He has promised that when we do, He will remember our sins and mistakes no more."
"Sometimes it may seem almost impossible to keep shining," she said. "You encounter so many challenges which may obscure the source of all light, which is the Savior. Sometimes the way is difficult and it may even seem at times that a thick fog obscures the light."
But it is through not giving up and staying true to righteous goals even in hard times, that individuals are able to look to the Savior's light and shine forth, she said.
"For each of us, the temple is our goal, she said. Young women, stay focused. Don't lose sight of your goals. Don't let the thick fog of moral pollution and the detracting voices of the world keep you from reaching your goals, living the standards, enjoying the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and being worthy to enter holy temples. Retain the vision of the temple the Savior's holy house ever in your hearts and minds."