News Story

Church President Speaks to Thousands of Mormon Young Women

Citing the example of Queen Esther of the Old Testament, President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, counseled the young women of the Church to have courage in the face of everyday challenges.

“Though you will likely not be called to put your life on the line as did Esther, you will most likely find yourself in situations, however, where great courage will be required as you stand firm for truth and righteousness,” the Church leader taught.

President Monson joined the general presidency of the Young Women’s organization in addressing the annual worldwide meeting of teenage girls of the Church. The messages reached a near-capacity crowd in the Salt Lake City Conference Center and were broadcast in 77 languages to tens of thousands of others gathered in almost 7,000 locations in 97 countries.

President Monson reminded the young women: “You are some of Heavenly Father’s strongest children, and He has saved you to come to the earth, like Esther, ‘for such a time as this.’ With His help, you will have the courage to face whatever comes. Though the world may at times appear dark, you have the light of the gospel, which will be as a beacon to guide your way.”

The Church leader further taught the importance of refraining from criticizing or judging others, but rather exhibiting behavior that is loving and inclusive. President Monson quoted the dedicated Catholic nun Mother Teresa, who suggested, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

Finally, President Monson encouraged the teenagers to “maintain an eternal perspective. Be alert to anything that would rob you of the blessings of eternity.”

“My earnest prayer is that you will have the courage required to refrain from judging others, the courage to be chaste and virtuous, and the courage to stand for truth and righteousness,” President Monson advised.

Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president, emphasized the importance of a “return to virtue” in the lives of women throughout the world.

“In order to be virtuous and remain virtuous, you must be true to your divine identity and establish patterns of thought and behavior based on high moral standards,” Dalton suggested. “These standards are eternal, and they do not change. They have been taught by prophets of God. In a world filled with relative truth, the Lord’s standards are absolute. … In every sense, you are a guardian of virtue.”

Mary N. Cook, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, noted that a step-by-step approach to acquiring and maintaining virtue works effectively.

“Just as the Salt Lake Temple took 40 years to build, stone by stone, you are building a virtuous life, step by step,” Cook said.

Drawing on the Young Women theme for 2009, “Be thou an example of the believers,” Ann M. Dibb, second counselor in the general presidency, suggested that “Young women ‘believers’ must pray, speak kindly and be sincere in all that they say and do. … While these may seem like small and simple things, I testify that simple things have a great impact in life.”

A choir conducted by Marilee Webb and composed of young women from the East Millcreek, Cottonwood and Olympus areas of Salt Lake City presented the musical selections for the annual event.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.