When Sister Packer asked me to speak to you this evening, I said no. I said, “I don't want to give a talk, but I would be delighted to share the impressions that will come into my heart as I listen and look out into the faces of the beautiful sisters in the stake, young and old.” I'm delighted to be able to do that for just a few brief moments.
I hope that you have listened carefully tonight. As I looked out at your faces, I wish I had the power to communicate to you how your Father in Heaven sees you. You are a powerful force for good that literally has the ability to change the world. One of my greatest sadnesses is that oftentimes I am convinced that sisters of the Church don't recognize that in themselves, but I want you to know that it is true.
As I sat here this evening, into my mind came a quote from President Uchtdorf, remarks that he made in 2010 at the General Women's Conference: “We all search for happiness, and we all try to find our own 'happily ever after.' The truth is, God knows how to get there! And He has created a map for you; He knows the way. He is your beloved Heavenly Father, who seeks your good, your happiness. He desires with all the love of a perfect and pure Father that you reach your supernal destination. The map is available to all. It gives explicit directions of what to do and where to go to everyone who is striving to come unto Christ and 'stand as [a witness] of God at all times and in all things, and in all places.' All you have to do is trust your Heavenly Father. Trust Him enough to follow His plan.”
My young sisters, we who are your parents, grandparents, and Priesthood leaders recognize that, as President Boyd K. Packer said, you are growing up in enemy territory. We know that the messages of the world are confusing. The adversary is very devious. He knows by experience what works. I want to say to you plainly tonight that what President Uchtdorf said is true. Heavenly Father has provided a perfect plan that will provide perfectly for your spiritual safety. All you have to do is trust in Him now. Trust in your parents now, your grandparents, your Young Women and Primary leaders, and follow that plan.
President Spencer W. Kimball, who was the prophet in my youth, said that for important decisions, we only have to make them once. If we will make them once, then we are freed from the burden and stress of having to re-make that decision over and over again.
Heavenly Father has provided a perfect plan that will provide perfectly for your spiritual safety.I would invite you young sisters this evening to make a decision regarding modesty and that you will follow Heavenly Father's perfect plan perfectly. I promise you, as bearer of the keys of the Priesthood for our stake, that your Heavenly Father will honor the promise you make to Him this evening, and He will give you strength and power to keep it and to be safe.
In a coming day, you may then serve a mission if you choose, but more importantly, you may enter the temple and receive your own endowment, be sealed to a young man for time and all eternity, and qualify to literally walk back into his presence, to live where He lives, to be as He is, and to receive all that He has. That is your destiny! That is who you are. You are not of this world. You are a divine creation.
To you older sisters who are mothers and grandmothers, I say to you the same thing, but I also would ask you to consider something. Would each of you turn and look at your daughter or granddaughter, if you are privileged to have them with you tonight? Isn't that a beautiful sight? Who are they, those young ladies, those children, or perhaps adult daughters? Who do they belong to?
Over the years I have been struck by how quickly we, as parents, claim ownership of our children, and think that we have the liberty of directing what they do or don't do. Would it be okay if I suggest that these beautiful young ladies sitting next to you do not belong to you, but rather that they are on loan to you?
You have been given the privilege by Him who they belong to, our Father in Heaven, that you might teach them and rear them in love and safety within the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that they might someday return to live with him.
I wonder if we, as parents, took that perspective, how our interactions with them might be different. How we might we have more courage when faced with dilemmas. In the name of popularity we would hold fast to Heavenly Father's plan. I testify to you wonderful mothers and grandmothers that if you will be true and faithful to the responsibility that you have as a partner with God to bring His daughters back to Him, if you will keep your covenants, the day will come that they will not be on loan to you, but they will be yours. You will be bound together by the power of God. That privilege depends on our worthiness and their worthiness.
I hope that you will ponder this as you seek to guide your daughters with regard to this sacred and important principle that has been taught this evening.
I testify to you that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I testify that you have a Heavenly Father who loves you and is desirous for every single one of you beautiful, wonderful sisters to return back to his presence.
Finally, I want to say that you have tremendous power--the power to change the world. Heavenly Father needs you to stand firm in the faith, to be an example of what it means to be a righteous, strong daughter of God. I testify to you that we need you this day to strengthen homes and families. We need you to bear witness to sacred truths.
In a coming day, the Savior Jesus Christ will return to the earth to rule and reign. It is our privilege to prepare for that day.
I express my love to you, sisters. Again, I plead with you to think carefully, seriously, and deeply about the things we have been taught this evening, not just by what has been spoken, but what we have felt. I bear witness that the Spirit has been here in rich abundance. Of these things I testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.