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President Monson offers tips to help young women navigate life's storms

SALT LAKE CITY — Young women must "look to the lighthouse of the Lord" for guidance in the storms of life, President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said during the General Young Women Meeting held in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday night.

"No one has described the teenage years as being easy," President Monson said. "They are often years of insecurity, of feeling as though you just don't measure up, of trying to find your place with your peers, of trying to fit in. ... They are also prime years when Satan will tempt you and will do his utmost to entice you from the path which will lead you back to that heavenly home from which you came and back to your loved ones there and back to your Heavenly Father."

In order to make it through life's treacherous journey, President Monson shared three essential signals to help young women return to their Heavenly Father. Those signals are believe, obey and endure.

Believe. "Believe that you are a daughter of Heavenly Father, that he loves you and that you are here for a glorious purpose — to gain your eternal salvation," President Monson said. "Believe that remaining strong and faithful to the truths of the gospel is of utmost importance."

President Monson spoke of seminary and the importance of a spiritual education in building and strengthening testimonies.

"There will be times when you will face challenges which might jeopardize your testimony, or you may neglect it as you pursue other interests. I plead with you to keep it strong. It is your responsibility, and yours alone, to keep its flame burning brightly. Effort is required, but it is effort you will never, ever regret," he declared

Obey. "Obey your parents," President Monson admonished. "Obey the laws of God. They are given to us by a loving Heavenly Father. If they are obeyed, our lives will be more fulfilling, less complicated. Our challenges and problems will be easier to bear. We will receive the Lord's promised blessings. ... You have but one life to live. Keep it as free from trouble as you can."

Endure. "Courage may be necessary for you to believe; it will at times be necessary as you obey," he said. "It will most certainly be required as you endure until that day when you will leave this mortal existence."

He said that over the years he has given counsel to people who have faced problems, real concerns and challenges. He told the young women he would share with them the suggestion he has given others: "'Seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Life by the yard is hard; by the inch — it's a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day — and then one more, and then one more after that, until we've lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit, a lifetime close to the Lord, a lifetime of good deeds and righteousness.'"

Sister Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president, said that the young women of the church are a shining light in a challenging world.

"I wish every young woman assembled here tonight would know and understand that your beauty — your 'shine' — does not lie in makeup, gooey cream or even the latest clothing or hairstyles," she said. "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. ... 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. If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world."

Sister Mary N. Cook, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, told the young women to seek learning by studying diligently.

"Rarely will you be able to spend as much time dedicated to learning as you can now," said Sister Cook. "I assure you that as a virtuous daughter of God, your future is bright. … God gave you moral agency and the opportunity to learn while on Earth, and he has a work for you to do. To accomplish this work, you have an individual responsibility to seek learning. ... Surround yourself with exemplary women who can teach you skills in homemaking, art, music, family history, sports, writing or speaking. Get to know them and ask them to mentor you."

Sister Ann M. Dibb, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, said the youth of the church can arise and shine forth as they confidently obey the commandments of God. She focused on the 2012 Mutual theme — "Arise and shine forth" — found in the Doctrine and Covenants and asked the congregation what they think of when they hear the word arise.

"I think of you — the noble youth of the church," she said. "I picture you diligently arising from your beds each morning for early morning seminary. I see you faithfully arising from your knees after finishing your daily prayers. I think of you courageously arising to share your testimony and defend your standards. I am inspired by your commitment to the gospel and your good examples."

"If you are struggling with keeping these standards and commandments, I encourage you to look for support within the gospel. Read your scriptures. ... Talk to your parents, your church leaders, and those who shine brightly as they live the gospel. Pray. Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father who loves you. Use the gift of repentance daily. Serve others. ... Listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Ghost."