2013 Women's Conference: 'Believe, obey, endure'
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Young women need the example of virtuous and righteous women, Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, the Church's newly called Young Women general president, said during Women's Conference at BYU on May 3.
In their first public speaking assignment since being called to serve as the Young Women general presidency, Sister Oscarson and her counselors, Sister Carol F. McConkie and Sister Neill F. Marriott, encouraged women to help the youth nurture their flames of testimony.
"I can't overemphasize enough the power of our examples as mothers and grandmothers and youth leaders in influencing the testimonies and belief of our young women," Sister Oscarson said. "We cannot expect them to dress modestly and attend their Church meetings, to pray daily, study the scriptures and make wise choices if we are not doing those things ourselves. They need to see us modeling virtuous and righteous lives if we want them to develop the good habits that will increase their faith and belief. They need to see us making the temple a priority in our lives."
The presidency drew from the words President Thomas S. Monson shared during the 2012 General Young Women Broadcast, when he encouraged young women to "believe, obey and endure."
Believe. Sharing an experience she had as a young woman attending a camp sponsored by another Christian church, Sister Marriott said it was while she was there — singing a song — that she first realized her belief in God.
"As we began to sing the words, something happened to me. ... I was weeping, because of what had started in my heart — this warm feeling I had never felt before."A belief started to grow — a tiny, young, immature belief — but it was real, she said. "There was a God, and he knew me and loved me."
From that day on she decided to start a search for God through reading her scriptures and praying daily. Leaders and parents can help young women strengthen their beliefs as they set the example of developing good habits.
Obey. Sister McConkie said that individuals have the responsibility to grow their own testimony through study, prayer and Church attendance.
"I think we want to help our young women understand that obedience is not restrictive, but that it brings blessings," Sister McConkie said. "Obedience does not restrict us or bind us down. Obedience expands our horizons and increases our capacity."
Endure. To help young women understand what it means to endure, leaders can invite them to do difficult and challenging things that will bless their lives, the presidency taught. By participating in Personal Progress, reading the Book of Mormon and serving others, they are able to participate in activities that teach them to make a commitment to do something hard, endure to the end and receive the reward.