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PRES. MONSON: FOUR SUGGESTIONS TO HELP YOUTH ENSURE ETERNAL JOY

In his address at the Young Women General Meeting March 25, President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency, offered four suggestions to help young women ensure eternal joy:

1. Study diligently. The scriptures, he said, provide an unfailing guide in life. "Become acquainted with the lessons the scriptures teach. Learn the background and setting of the Master's parables and the prophets' admonitions. Study them as though each were speaking to you, for such is the truth."He said crash courses on scripture study are not nearly so effective as the day-to-day reading and application of the scriptures.

He said there are lessons to be learned also in good literature. He cited Fiddler on the Roof as an example and quoted Tevye telling his daughters: " `Remember, in Anatevka each one of you knows who she is and what God expects her to become.' Contemplating our earthly life, could not we well consider Tevye's statement and respond, `Here, each one of you knows who she is and what God expects her to become.' "

2. Choose carefully. "All of you commenced an awesome and vital undertaking when you left the spirit world and entered the stage of mortality," President Monson said. "Loving parents made you welcome. Inspired teachers taught you truth. True friends provided counsel. Yet life's choices remain for each one to make. No choice is insignificant, for we become what we think about. Our choices determine our destiny. . . .

"Young women, choose carefully your friends, for they help to determine your future. Choose to honor your mother and your father, as Heavenly Father would have you do."

3. Pray fervently. "Each of you is a daughter of God, created in His image. Yours is a celestial journey. Heavenly Father wants you to check in with Him through sincere and fervent prayer. Remember, you are never alone. Never forget that you are loved. Never doubt that someone surely cares for you."

He said the young women's challenges are real, their concerns important, and their need for answers vital. He recommended that when they contemplate a decision they should do as the Lord advised the Prophet Joseph: " `Behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong.' " (D&C 9:8-9.)

4. Act wisely. "Take the Lord as your guide," President Monson counseled. "Do not lend a listening ear to the persuasive voice of that evil one who would entice you to depart from your standards, your home-inspired teachings and your philosophy of life. Rather, remember that gentle and ever-genuine invitation from the Redeemer, `Come, follow me.' (Luke 18:22.) Follow Him, and you will be acting wisely and will be blessed eternally."

President Monson told the young women that, along their pathway of life, each will observe she is not the only traveler. "There are others who need your help," he said. "There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire and souls to save."