Guest Post from Elizabeth W

I need help! Last night I got a call from a woman in the YW presidency. She asked me to attend a panel for a combined Young Women activity. The topic is about family, improving family relations, that sort of thing. I have to be prepared to answer all kinds of questions b/c it will be an open forum. But, I do have to have a prepared statement/talk about what is the most important piece of advice I could give my daughters? I'm totally overwhelmed. I think it's sort of hard/strange--I mean, really what could a person say in five minutes that wouldn't be something they've heard their entire lives? You Marry Who You Date Lengthen Your Stride Remember who you are and what you stand for If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear (Add your own favorite slogan/scripture here) I couldn't sleep last night fretting about it. Some things I've been thinking about are: that it doesn't matter what your parents do or say,or don't do or say, you have to figure out for yourself what is true, what is right, and figure out how to make your will align with God's will; that life is a test, we signed up for mortality with all its ugliness, and we need to get comfortable with imperfection of self and others both on micro/macro levels; slow and steady wins the race; and the idea from a statement by Elder Eyring-he said "So, the great test of this life is tosee whether we will hearken to and obey God's commandments in the midst of the storms of life. [and this is the part i like] It is not to endure storms, but to choose the right while they rage." So any ideas on what you think you might say, or would want your adolescent daughter to hear from someone besides you, I would love some input.


Anonymous Amy said...

I like Sheri Dew's new book title, "If life were easy it wouldn't be hard". It has some very good thoughts in it. I also like the Elder Erying quote.

Whatever you say, I'm sure it will be great!

3/23/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger The Nag said...

I am delurking to answer this question:

I am the YW President in my ward, and I know what I wish you would tell MY girls...

My girls need to be told that they're valued and loved, that they are daughters of God and have infinite worth. They need to be told that they are doing good things and that tomorrow, they should try to be a little kinder, more courteous, and more thoughtful (See President Hinckley's Let Us Live the Gospel More Fully,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 102).

Also, I encourage you to read Elder Holland's talk from last conference. It is entitled "To Young Women" and it is wonderful. Wonderful. I could go on and on about the wonderful things that he teaches that the Young Women need to know, but I would be doing it an injustice. (Jeffrey R. Holland, “To Young Women,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 28).

I hope I have helped. Most of all, prepare thoughtfully and with the Spirit, and you will know what you should teach them.

Please let us know how it turns out.

3/23/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Heidi M said...

I am a convert who joined the church at age 19, so I missed all the YW stuff. I would tell them to value and use the knowledge that they have. They have the tools to live a happy life (Scriptures, Gift of the HG, Sacrament, YW, leaders, and on and on ...). Not everyone has them. I wish I had known in High School what I know now.

3/23/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger mindy said...

When I was in YW, I tried to let the girls know that life after high school was SO much more enjoyable than high school. To not give up or have a defeatist attitude if they weren't super thrilled with their lives now, because the likelihood is that things will get a lot better. I don't think you want people to think that happiness is always around the corner, but I do think it gives hope to girls who are struggling to know that life after high school really isn't anything like life IN high school. People who don't "fit in" in the small high school world will very likely find their niche after they leave. In a similar vein, I think it is important to find people around whom you can be yourself.

Good luck! I think your best bet is to speak from your own experience. Otherwise they won't even hear you. YW are expert at tuning you out if they don't believe you, or think you are being insincere. Only you can really know what message you can truthfully give them.

3/23/2006 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Em said...

As a young woman I wish somebody would have pointed out to us how much we need to have our own testimonies developed before we venture out into the world. I was suprised how much I needed my own testimony. There are so many distractions and temptations that you really have to "know" before you "go."

3/23/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

I second the idea that they need to know that they are valuable and children of God.

I also think they need to know that doing everything "right" does not necessarily promise them an easy life, but it does give them a resource of faith to draw on when the storms come.

And borrowed light only goes so far....

3/23/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth-W said...

I emailed this question to some friends of mine, most of whom are LDS, before it had been posted here. All the women came back with different ideas. My sister, who is 30+ wrote back that she wished she had been told that it is okay to be single. One friend wrote that if only she'd heard the idea of "you marry who you date" it would have saved her a divorce (she wasn't raised LDS). Another friend wrote about unconditional love, meaning that takes care of a lot of the pettiness that comes with adolescence both with peers and family. And the list goes on. I had this fantasy that there was a basic theme that most everyone was seeing besides me.

It really comes down to some insecurity on my part. I am always surprised when I am asked to do anything with young women. Because of being married to a non-member, I always feel like there are people who might think I'm not the best example. I think this is my issue more than than anyone else's and I need to let it go, but it still crops up when people (rarely) do make subtle comments. On the other hand, more than one parent of a YW has called me for professional advise on how to handle "x" situation, so that helps me balance out that insecurity stuff.

I appreciate everyone's comments--it's really helping me to clarify some what might be needed.

3/23/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve said...

In conjunction with the "You marry who you date" line you should add "You date who you hang out with."

3/23/2006 06:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Katie P said...

I would tell that there is no relationship or life out there that will save them from needing to know who they are and building their own relationship with the Lord. It isn't just a good thing to do - it is essential for survival.

I'd also say that they will fail many times in their successful lives. Just keep trying - life is not a race, and no one is keeping score.

3/23/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Selwyn said...

Ooh, gotta answer this one!

I'd tell them that their life is between them and their Heavenly Father. That if their conversations with Heavenly Father end with Him saying to do something, do it, regardless of what is "expected" by those around us. If an answer to prayer is to go and work, go and work. (That was an answer I got as a new convert with baby boy - and I was married! Try explaining THAT to people - who would be trying to tell me nicely that I wasn't MEANT to work because we're counselled to stay in the home etc etc) If the answer is to wait on having a child, wait. If the answer is to start quilting, start quilting.

In summary, that they need to do what they know Heavenly Father has told them, personally, to do. Them, not anyone else.

I hope this makes sense!?????

3/24/2006 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I can think of some things.

"guys are temporary, girlfriends last" (to remind them that they ought not to burn all their friends every time they have a new boyfriend).

"just because you are dating them, doesn't mean you have to" (to remind them that you date people to learn what you don't want as much as anything else, and once you know you don't want it, time to say good-bye).

3/25/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Anonymous claire said...

Something I tried to beat into the heads of the YW when I was in the YW presidency:

Everyone is born in to a family, that they have no control over, and has an opportunity to create a family, that they have all the control over.

This can be related to all sorts of sub-lessons about chastity, education, honoring your parents, creating personal religious observance habits (prayer, scripture study, repentance, service), etc.

Good Luck!

3/25/2006 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth-W said...

I just wanted to give an update, as last night was the YW thing. I think it went pretty well. All the women had different kinds of advise to give, such as get to know you husband a long time (make sure he's really compatible b/c what you get is what you get-you can't change him later); Bloom where you're planted, which fit nicely with Heather's reset button discussion; remember who you are and what you stand for; if you bother to ask even a tiny bit Heavenly Father is more than willing to help out, etc. I ended up talking about a phrase from the Proclamation about increasing compassion, respect and love, tying it to the adolescent's behavior and getting more of what they want from their parents by going first in increasing these attributes.
So I just wanted to say thanks for everyone's comments. It helped to have these things to think about.

4/13/2006 01:02:00 PM  

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