Unlocking the Door to the Blessings of Abraham
Relief Society General President
March 2, 2008
Relief Society General President
March 2, 2008
What a privilege it is to speak to you, a royal generation, who were chosen before the foundation of the world to come forth at this time to do an important work. I have met many of you during my service in the Church, and I have been impressed by your brightness and goodness. I can picture you now in your gatherings all over the world, from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and other countries in South America to the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and many European countries. I have even seen you arrive at meetings by the truckload in the Dominican Republic.
We learn in the Book of Mormon that when the rising generation—that’s you—are converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and keep their covenants, then the future is bright for all of the Lord’s people. But when the rising generation fails to gain testimonies and take hold of their responsibilities, then the older, more faithful people begin to lose heart (see Mosiah 26:1–4; see also 1 Nephi 8:23). Thank you for your fine lives and the bright future you will bring to me and so many others.
We are here tonight primarily because we have a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Without that testimony there would be no point in going any further with a message to you. I know that you have a firm belief in our Heavenly Father and in the Savior and in latter-day prophets or you would not have made the effort to attend this meeting. When we know the restored gospel is true, we embrace all of it and not just the parts that are convenient for us. We believe in the plan of our Heavenly Father and all that the prophets and apostles have taught us. I know that as you participate tonight with an open and prayerful heart, the Spirit will convey to each of you some individualized and important teachings.
As I pondered and prayed to the Lord to learn what He would have me say to you tonight, my thoughts went often to my 79 nieces and nephews. I have walked with them, sung with them, and heard their testimonies. I love them all. I know that each one of them has desires to make a difference for good in the world and have their lives count for something. Twenty-two of those 79 nieces and nephews are single adults in your age-group. Of those 22, 11 of them are currently serving or have served missions, and others are preparing for missions. Some are preparing for marriage. Some have completed school and are searching for their place in the world. All of them have been or are currently furthering their education.
These nieces and nephews have unique gifts, and among them are those who have had experience with illness, injury, and tragedy. Knowing that in many ways my nieces and nephews are representative of you, I prepared this message with them in mind. In thinking of them, I think of you. Each of you has been, is, or will be in the same places as these nieces and nephews. I have sought inspiration as to how I could be of help to them with some of their questions, and, in doing so, I hope to also be a help to you. I invite all of you to be part of our extended family this evening. I will speak to you as a loving, caring aunt.
The prophet Abraham experienced the same season of life you are in. We read about it in the Pearl of Great Price: “In the land of the Chaldeans, at the residence of my fathers, I, Abraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence” (Abraham 1:1). Abraham had approached the time to go out on his own and begin his life as an adult. He said he was “a follower of righteousness” and desired to possess “greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace” (verse 2). He knew that there was “greater happiness and peace and rest” (verse 2) for him than he currently had.
Abraham sought for those blessings. He actively desired them. The Lord told Abraham:
I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;
And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee . . . and in thy seed . . . , for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee . . . shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal. [Abraham 2:9–11]
That covenant was reaffirmed through Joseph Smith to us in section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants (see verses 30–32). These blessings of greater happiness, peace, and rest are the blessings each of us receive as we make covenants in holy temples and form eternal families. Your patriarchal blessings help you understand your personal lineage to Abraham.
Church leaders often talk to young single adults about seeking those blessings—blessings that can only be found in forming eternal families. Each of you knows that your future happiness, your eternal progress, and the growth of the Lord’s kingdom on the earth depend on you forming strong and happy eternal families.
As faithful Latter-day Saints of the rising generation, most of you have a testimony of your responsibility to marry and have families. You know that you cannot be full recipients of the blessings of Abraham if you are single. But most of you are not going to get married tomorrow. In fact, most of you have no clue yet whom you will marry. So, when we speak about your responsibility to marry, we might be creating feelings of frustration because this important part of your eternal progress is not occurring on your timetable.
It reminds me of an experience my husband had while playing on a high school basketball team. The players had prepared well and traveled to the gymnasium of their rival team. They were physically and mentally ready to beat their opponents. They were in the locker room, and the coach had just finished his pep talk. They were bursting with energy and confidence as they ran for the door that led onto the playing floor. It was locked! The ballplayers plowed into each other against the door, and their energy went flat in the locker room before the game ever started.
Sometimes I think that is what happens to you when we talk to you about marriage and family. We encourage you to get excited about the possibilities, but in reality you may feel you are pushing against a locked door. You do not need to live a life of waiting and wondering. You do not need to lose the momentum and enthusiasm that you now have and that the Lord needs from you in order to build His kingdom.
So, let’s then focus on four activities you can be doing right now. These activities can be the keys that will help you unlock the door to the blessings of Abraham. The four activities are serving others, sharing the gospel, participating in temple and family history work, and preparing for your future.
All of these activities invite the Holy Ghost to be your companion. They keep you in the right places, doing the right things with the right people, and they set you apart as disciples of Jesus Christ. By participating in these four activities with your peers, you will form friendships and connections and have the sociality that may help you find someone to marry in the temple and with whom you can create an eternal family.
First, serve others. The teen and young adult years are usually times of great self-interest. There are so many decisions to make, and it is easy to be turned inward. The first thing I, as a caring aunt, would encourage you to do is forget yourself. You should probably be participating in fewer activities that are meant merely to entertain when you could and should be finding ways to make life a little easier for someone else.
The quickest way to find friends, to find happiness, to feel grateful, and to have the companionship of the Spirit is to get on your knees and ask the Lord, “Who needs my help today?” and then begin helping.
Not long ago I watched a movie about two young adult men who lived in England in the 1800s. These men asked the question “Who needs my help?” They had witnessed the terrible evil of the slave trade and conceived the idea that they could change the world by eliminating the slave trade. This was the ultimate impossible service project. It would mean that they would have to change the entire economy of their country, not to mention the social and ethical codes as well. But these men said, “We can do this!” They concluded that they were so young they did not know that they couldn’t do it! It took them some time to finish this project, but they eventually provided this great service to mankind.
Today, in every country of this world, there are many important causes that could use your energy and vision. All over the world, cities and parks need to be cleaned up. Schools and orphanages need to be built and staffed with volunteers. Governments need help following correct principles. You have the mental, emotional, and physical strength to do these things.
Many important causes in history have been led by young people. You could serve as individuals or prayerfully organize yourselves in your callings with your single-adult groups, ward and institute groups, and Relief Societies and priesthood quorums; together you would be able to make a difference for good in the world. Most service opportunities are found very close to home, within your families and wards. You are now old enough and mature enough to lead out in planning and organizing these types of activities. You also know how to receive answers to prayers to learn what the Lord would have you do.
As you look outward, the Spirit will be with you to guide you in all the life-changing decisions you are making because the Spirit always accompanies righteous service. You will not have any trouble finding places to serve. While you serve with your peers, you will form good friendships and have meaningful social experiences. And because your associations and friendships are expanding, there is an increased likelihood for you to find a spouse and form an eternal family.
Second, share the gospel. This world is full of people who do not yet know the good news of the gospel. You are a specially prepared group who can help righteousness and truth sweep the earth.
Some of you have had the opportunity to be the first missionaries to use Preach My Gospel. With that in mind, those preparing for missions should be some of the most qualified missionaries the world has ever known. Those who are now preparing for missions are better situated than any other generation to be effective from the first day of their missions. Because of your opportunities to this point, you should arrive ready to serve. You should know how to qualify for and receive the help of the Spirit. Also, those who know how to work hard on a daily basis are much happier during their missions. I have enjoyed very much reading letters from missionary nieces and nephews describing the unique challenges and opportunities of their missions. Their letters overflow with vitality and joy. They write about their missions as if they were experiencing the greatest adventures of their lives.
That fire of sharing the gospel must continue after a mission, and, of course, you great missionaries would never want to put your gospel-sharing skills on the shelf. Because you are single and do not yet have the responsibility of caring for families, you are perfectly situated to continue to share the gospel. Each of you has friends or family members who are not yet converted to the gospel and do not know God as they should. Nearly every ward and branch in the Church has lists of people who, for one reason or another, have stopped coming to renew covenants at sacrament meeting. Your help is essential in bringing them back. In your callings, as friends, or individually, you can take a more proactive approach to preaching the gospel and thus activating those who may have stopped attending.
I saw an example of this type of missionary work when I was a young girl in Brazil, where my father was serving as a mission president. A few weeks after one of our Brazilian sisters completed her mission, she told my father that she did not see a gospel family in her future because there were no LDS men in her town to marry.
Her mission president said, “You have just completed a mission where you taught and converted people to the gospel. Were you a good missionary?”
“Yes!” she answered.
“Do you still have the skills and Spirit to share the gospel?”
“Yes!” she affirmed.
“Then I suggest you go back to your town. Go to places where good and worthy young people go. Look for a man who has the appearance of a missionary or a future bishop. Become his friend, share the gospel with him, and convert him. You might find a man to marry if you do this.”
The sister did exactly that. She met a man in her town who was worthy and good. She became his friend and shared the gospel with him, and he was baptized. Later they developed a deeper love for each other, and they were married in the temple. He did become a bishop and a stake president and a mission president and a temple president!
Now, my young friends, I do not suggest that this is a magic formula for finding a husband or wife. Please remember, as this Brazilian sister did, that prophets have repeatedly counseled you to seek marriage partners only among those who are worthy members of the Church. I related the story to illustrate that when you continue to share the gospel after your missions, you are likely to find worthy friends with whom you can enjoy the blessings of the gospel, and those new members could then be part of your group of potential marriage partners.
If you were to prayerfully organize yourselves in your callings with your single-adult groups, ward and institute groups, and Relief Societies and priesthood quorums, you could be planning and carrying out missionary activities under the direction of priesthood leaders. You are now old enough and mature enough to lead out in planning and organizing these types of activities. The Church needs your energy in this important work. Many children of our Heavenly Father need the gospel message and do not yet know the truth. You have the skills and the testimony to share the gospel. You have the skills and testimony to move the Lord’s work forward. You also know how to receive answers to prayers to learn what the Lord would have you do.
As you share the gospel, the Spirit will be with you to guide you in all the important decisions you are making because the Spirit always accompanies us when we teach and testify of the truth. While you share the gospel with your peers, you will form good friendships and have meaningful social experiences. And because your associations and friendships are expanding and the Spirit is working with you, there is an increased likelihood for you to find a spouse and form an eternal family.
Third, participate in temple and family history work. You are the perfectly prepared force to participate in temple and family history work.
When you were young men and young women, you were given the charge to work on Duty to God and Personal Progress. You remember that those booklets had the image of the temple on them. That is because the First Presidency has chosen the temple to be the symbol for the youth of the Church. Women, if you earned your medallion, is the temple still a symbol in your life? Are your eyes still on the temple? Men, could you say the same?
You know that over the centuries many people have died without knowledge of the gospel. Those people are your near and distant relatives. They are waiting for you to do the necessary research to link your families together and perform saving ordinances on their behalf.
Temple and family history work is aided by some knowledge of technology. It is apparent that you are a specially prepared generation with the technological talent to do this work. My Grandma Bangerter had a deep testimony and feeling of urgency for family history work. Many years ago, when she was compiling 25,000 names of her family, she had to enter each name by hand on the forms. She would have been so grateful for a computer program to help her be more accurate and efficient. Now she has hundreds of talented young people among her descendants who are capable of assisting her from this side of the veil. Your family needs your help. Your ward or branch needs your help in this important activity.
Most of the temples of the world are not busy enough. The Lord has promised to plant in your hearts the promises given to the fathers and that your hearts would be turned to the fathers so that the earth would not be utterly wasted at His coming (see D&C 2:2–3). Your technical skills are a partial fulfillment of this prophecy, and I hope you are feeling a sense of urgency about this work. You were born in this age to do temple and family history work.
There are also personal blessings you receive as a result of participation in temple and family history work. One of these is that you are able to qualify for a temple recommend, which signifies your worthiness before the Lord. A temple recommend is actually a symbol of obedience. When you participate with your peers in this work, you know they are also worthy.
A much-told family story illustrates the importance of a temple recommend. When one of my sisters was a young single adult, she danced one night with a man whom she thought she would like to know better. When she returned home she told my mother about him. My mother was skeptical and said there was no possible way to know if a man was good just by dancing with him.
My sister replied, “He has a temple recommend, so he must be pretty good.”
Mother asked, “How do you know he has a recommend? Did you ask as you were dancing, ‘So, do you have a recommend?’”
My sister laughed and said, “No, but he said something about having plans to go to the temple tomorrow with a mission companion, and he must have a recommend to do that.”
Deliberately, my mother asked, “Why is it so important to know that?”
My sister answered, “Well, if I know a man has a recommend, I know he keeps the Word of Wisdom, I know he pays his tithing, I know he attends his meetings, I know he honors his priesthood, I know he sustains the leaders of the Church, and I know he has a testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I want to start with a recommend as the basis for any relationship and go from there. When I know a man has a recommend, there are a lot of questions I don’t have to ask.”
Recent instruction from the First Presidency clarifies the policy for obtaining temple recommends and receiving endowments. It was reiterated that receiving one’s temple endowment is a serious matter that should be extended only to those who are sufficiently prepared and mature enough to keep the covenants they enter into. They also affirmed that single members in their late teens or early twenties who have not received a mission call or who are not engaged to be married in the temple should not be recommended to the temple for their own endowment. Every member who is 12 or older can, however, receive a Limited-Use Recommend to perform baptisms for the dead.1
Those of you who are not worthy today of the privilege of carrying a recommend should be working with your bishop or branch president to qualify yourselves for a recommend as soon as possible. Please don’t be without this vital document. I testify that the Atonement is real and that sins can be forgiven upon proper repentance.
You can and should be keeping the temples very busy. Temple and family history work is your work. Much depends on you! The Church needs your energy in this important work. You are the ones who can accomplish so much with your energy and skills.
As you participate in temple and family history work, you are certain to have the Spirit to comfort you in your challenges and to guide you in all the important decisions you are making. As you participate in this work as individuals, in your ward and institute groups, and in your Relief Societies and priesthood quorums, you will form good friendships and have meaningful social experiences. And because your associations and friendships are expanding and the Spirit is working with you, there is an increased likelihood for you to find a spouse and form an eternal family.
Fourth, prepare for your future. You are in a unique season of life. You should be preparing for future roles and responsibilities. You only get this season once. Embrace it! Enjoy it!
In the natural course of things, most of you will become husbands and wives. You will be fathers and mothers. You will be Church leaders and teachers. You will be employees and employers. Are you preparing for those responsibilities?
Many of you are involved in various aspects of education. Latter-day prophets have repeatedly counseled you to get all the education possible for you. You live in an increasingly technical and sophisticated world. Education will help you build the Lord’s kingdom and provide for your future family. Because education is so important for the rising generation, the Perpetual Education Fund was established and now benefits more than 30,000 young people worldwide. The Church has also invested many resources in institutes of religion all over the world and in great Church schools and universities. I hope you are following the prophetic counsel to receive all of the education and training that is possible for you.
It is true that you will be better able to serve in the Church and build the Lord’s kingdom if you have good employment. Mothers and fathers will be better parents as they are educated and know how to solve family problems and manage their homes in wise ways.
Some of you women are deciding now whether you should marry and have a family or choose a career. You are bright and qualified, and you have opportunities your grandmothers never dreamed of. The possibilities for earning credentials and making a mark for yourselves on the world stage have never been greater. But I hope you are making your decisions with the blessings of Abraham in mind.
Latter-day Saint women should understand that no matter how many other people they enlist to help them with their home and children, they cannot delegate their role as the primary nurturer and teacher of their families. Righteous motherhood will always stretch every reserve they have to meet the needs of their families. As a daughter of God who has made covenants with Him, each of you carries the vital and indispensable female half of the responsibility for fulfilling the Lord’s plan.
Each of you has the agency to prayerfully and humbly choose how to approach your career opportunities. Every choice has a consequence. You cannot have everything and do everything. You must choose with eternal priorities in mind. I would hope that you will understand that there are no glamorous careers. Every form of employment has its own innate challenges. Many choices available in the world today compete with eternal goals and responsibilities. Many choices could persuade you to delay or limit the number of children you invite into your family. Many choices could rob you of critical time and energy necessary to adequately care for your spouse, your children, and your responsibilities in the Lord’s kingdom. These decisions are between you and the Lord. He knows the desires of your heart and your unique situation.
Most of you in this audience will one day marry. In this season of preparation, are you developing and looking for the right qualities in an eternal companion?
Some time ago President Gordon B. Hinckley said to the men: “The girl you marry will take a terrible chance on you. She will give her all to the young man she marries. He will largely determine the remainder of her life.”2
Men, are you becoming the kind of person who could ask a girl to take a chance on you?
Women, the same could be asked of you. The man you marry will also take a chance on you. In section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord gives good counsel for wives to “be . . . a comfort unto . . . thy husband . . . with consoling words, in the spirit of meekness” (D&C 25:5). Are you that kind of woman? The man you marry will largely be happy because of your influence on his happiness.
Some of you have already found someone you are attracted to, whom you are compatible with, and who has qualities you admire, but perhaps you are fearful of making a commitment because you wonder if tomorrow or next week or next year you will find someone who is even more ideal.
Because this decision is so important, many of you worry about making a correct choice. The examples we find portrayed in movies and books about how to choose a spouse do not help us much. They often show this choice as a matter of chance or fate, a magical event. These romances are usually depicted irrationally as the instant discovery of a one and only soul mate.
Regarding such so-called soul mates, President Spencer W. Kimball said:
“Soul mates” are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price.3
Prophets have provided some inspired guidelines to help you find a marriage partner. Twenty years ago President Ezra Taft Benson listed some qualities men should look for in a mate. His words are still true:
Now, brethren, do not expect perfection in your choice of a mate. Do not be so particular that you overlook her most important qualities of having a strong testimony, living the principles of the gospel, loving home, wanting to be a mother in Zion, and supporting you in your priesthood responsibilities. . . .
And one good yardstick as to whether a person might be the right one for you is this: in her presence, do you think your noblest thoughts, do you aspire to your finest deeds, do you wish you were better than you are?4
Now let’s listen to President Hinckley’s counsel to women:
You are hoping to catch that perfect man. I have yet to see one who is perfect. Aim high, but do not aim so high that you totally miss the target. What really matters is that he will love you, that he will respect you, that he will honor you, that he will be absolutely true to you, that he will give you freedom of expression and let you fly in the development of your own talents. He is not going to be perfect, but if he is kind and thoughtful, if he knows how to work and earn a living, if he is honest and full of faith, the chances are that you will not go wrong, that you will be immensely happy.5
Let me ask: If you were to get married tomorrow, are you prepared to be a good spouse? Would you bring to your marriage personal qualities that would make you a good partner? Are you a good communicator? Are you a good problem solver? Do you have skills to create a nurturing climate in your home? Do you have enough faith, hope, and charity to create a marriage that will survive and thrive?
Men, as your aunt who will now speak plainly to you, I hope you understand that there is no worthy woman who will be charmed by dirty laundry, unpleasant habits, or a sloppy appearance. Yes, a righteous woman will love you for what is in your mind and heart, but she would very much appreciate your sincere efforts to display good manners and thoughtfulness to her. You should also know that there is no mate who will cheerfully overlook selfishness. Please remember that there are no righteous daughters of God who will willingly tolerate a pornography habit in the young men they date and marry. In fact, if a young woman has any hint that a young man she is interested in is involved in pornography in any of its forms, I would tell her to consider it as a flashing red light, which means “stop this relationship.” Now is your season to develop righteous and respectful habits and Christlike qualities that will bless your future marriage and family.
Women, speaking as your aunt who loves you, there is no magical prince who will gladly appreciate unclean or unpleasant habits or a careless appearance in you. Yes, a righteous man will love you for what is in your mind and heart, but he will be even more grateful for a woman who values cleanliness and loveliness in herself and in her surroundings. Righteous men are drawn to women who have radiant countenances. Also, no righteous priesthood holder will willingly tolerate a pornography habit in his wife, nor will he appreciate her displaying and advertising her precious body to other men by the tight or otherwise immodest and inappropriate ways she dresses and conducts herself. Additionally, I have yet to meet a man who enjoys dramatic emotional displays and temper tantrums. There is no mate who will cheerfully overlook selfishness. Now is your season to develop righteous and respectful habits and Christlike qualities such as kindness and long-suffering that will bless your future home and family.
Please understand what I just said. I want you to know that your imperfections and weaknesses will go with you into your marriage and will be magnified in that setting. Unless you are getting married today, you still have time to eliminate bad habits and develop good habits and qualities that will bless your marriage and family. President Thomas S. Monson has taught, “It is worthwhile to look ahead, to set a course, to be at least partly ready when the moment of decision comes.”6
Most of you will also be fathers and mothers who will create righteous homes for your families. When I was young, I was taught by my mother that while I was single I needed to learn how to take care of one life and one room so that I would be prepared to take care of several lives and several rooms.
In the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord gives a pattern for a Spirit-filled home. It should be “a house of prayer, a house of fasting, [and] a house of faith” (D&C 109:8). It should be a house where the Lord’s Spirit can abide, where no unclean thing is permitted to enter, and a house of learning where there is a study of the best books, which includes the scriptures (see verse 7).
That inspires the following questions: Is the home or room where you currently live that kind of house? In your room, do you have prayer, do you fast, and do you read the scriptures? Do you live in a place of order or a place of clutter? Do you allow unclean things to enter it by way of movies, books, or the Internet? Do you fill it with uplifting things—the best things? Is your current home a place where the Spirit of the Lord can abide?
Additionally, there are some important skills you should develop that will help you be a good father or mother and make a happy home. These skills could include cooking, cleaning, and repairing things that are broken. Wise financial practices are also critical for a happy marriage. This includes careful management of student loans. President Hinckley said, “There is nothing that will cause greater tensions in marriage than grinding debt.”7 Part of your preparation for marriage and family is to employ good financial habits and practices now so that when you marry, you and your spouse can begin your life together without huge financial burdens.
You are now regarded as adults, and you know how to hold yourselves accountable. I hope you are making the most of this precious gift of time you have to prepare for your future roles and responsibilities. When you are preparing adequately for your future roles and responsibilities, you will have the Spirit to guide you in your important decisions. When you are preparing for your future, you are much more likely to form the friendships that will help you find someone to marry in the temple and create an eternal family.
Now, my dear nieces and nephews, my friends, I want to express my love and confidence in you. Much depends on you. You have repeatedly been taught your responsibility to seek the blessings of Abraham, which include the formation of eternal families. I urge you not to unnecessarily delay marriage and the bearing of children. Even now, valiant spirit children are waiting for you to invite them into a happy, sealed family.
You are in the season of life when you should be seeking the blessings of Abraham. Postponing marriage until you have accomplished some other goal, no matter how important the world says it is, only increases your vulnerability to immorality, which could jeopardize your chances of receiving those blessings. Please do not put yourselves at risk for temptation by delaying this natural and important step in your eternal progress. When the decision of whom to marry has been reached, what you need most is faith. Waiting to accomplish other goals, such as getting more education, more money, or more things before marriage, merely delays your promised blessings.
I have spoken to you tonight as an aunt who loves you. Your own aunts and uncles have probably also given you advice. I am sure your priesthood leaders, teachers, and advisers have also taken an interest in your future. I hope that at this important season of your life you are also listening carefully to the counsel of righteous parents, who have eternal responsibility for your welfare.
President Monson has said:
In making a decision as momentous as whom you will marry, I suggest you seek the help of your parents. Take the time to confide in them, for they will not leave you nor forsake you. They love you dearly and want for a precious daughter or stalwart son the best in life and the ultimate promises of eternity.8
I have spoken tonight about four keys that could help you unlock the door to those blessings: You can and should be serving others. You can and should be sharing the gospel. You can and should be saviors on Mount Zion by participating in temple and family history work. And you can and should be doing all you can to prepare for your future roles and responsibilities.
The four activities I have described will add to your faith and happiness all of your life. They are marks of discipleship that will strengthen your future marriages and families and invite the Spirit to be with you. As you participate in these activities as individuals, with your friends, and in your quorums, Relief Societies, and institute groups, you will build sociality and friendships that will keep you in the right places doing the right things with the right people, thereby increasing your likelihood to meet people who could be your future marriage partners.
I testify that this Church is led by apostles and prophets who oversee and direct the affairs of the Lord in all the world. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Because it is true, much depends on you, the rising generation. As a loving aunt, I hope that you—like Abraham—will be followers of righteousness, that you will seek the blessings of the fathers by making temple covenants and forming eternal families, and that you will thereby find greater knowledge, happiness, peace, and rest. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
1. See First Presidency letter, 7 September 2007.
2. In CR, April 1998, 66; or “Living Worthy of the Girl You Will Someday Marry,” Ensign, May 1998, 49.
3. “First Presidency Message: Oneness in Marriage,” Ensign, March 1977, 4.
4. In CR, April 1988, 59; or “To the Single Adult Brethren of the Church,” Ensign, May 1988, 53.
5. “To the Women of the Church,” Ensign, November 2003, 114.
6. “Whom Shall I Marry?” New Era, October 2004, 4.
7. In CR, April 1998, 68; or “Living Worthy,” Ensign, May 1998, 50.
8. “Whom Shall I Marry?” New Era, October 2004, 7.
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Julie B. Beck was the Relief Society general president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this fireside address was given on 2 March 2008.