Cover image via LDS Bookstore.
I was recently called to work with the Young Women. What an honor. We keep hearing that the newest generation is the best yet—the strongest, the most amazing—and it’s true. I know I will learn immensely from these wonderful girls.
Already I’m amazed at how well they speak in public, run a meeting, and teach a class. I think back to how things were done when I was their age and they are miles ahead. It’s thrilling to imagine their futures.
When I knelt to pray for help with this calling, three things came to mind, that I should emphasize while serving them. And they’re also three things we all need to remember as we go about our day.
First, Christ the Lord. He is the central focus of our faith. The closer we get to Him, the better we get to know Him, the happier and easier life will be.
President Ezra Taft Benson said, ““When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.”
The Lord’s perfect example will guide our choices and even those trying moments when we almost lose our temper, sink into self-pity, or judge others unfairly. We’ll be in the habit of trying to emulate His teachings.
It means looking at the things we plan and saying, “Is this just a time-waster or will we actually grow?” Will our testimonies be strengthened? Is Jesus in this? And if not, let’s not do it. Instead, let’s choose something the Savior would approve of.
This doesn’t mean there isn’t room for “fun” activities or recreation. It means we approach those same events with a better mind-set. We appreciate nature more. We invite those people on the margins more. We feel gratitude more. We help others more during the activity. We end up enjoying those events more because we aren’t thinking selfishly.
The second word I heard was Outreach. But we could just as easily say, “Temple,” as that’s the ultimate goal for everyone we want to help. This encompasses service to others, missionary work, and gathering names for the temple. Young women, young men— and all the rest of us—need to be anxiously engaged in these pursuits. The least happy people I know are the most inwardly focused, and the happiest are the ones who are constantly trying to help others in some way. There is tremendous joy, even elation, in lifting the lives of those around us.
When we immerse ourselves in helping others, we find that our love for them grows. Even if we start out a bit begrudgingly, we cannot keep love from sprouting and flourishing once we dig in and make ourselves useful. There is great self confidence that comes from this as well. Ask any missionary what a difference it made when he or she learned to love the people. It’s like night and day.
And, of course, everything we do to help others gets them closer to Christ, and to temple sealings. We want everyone to make it home again, to enjoy the companionship of their loved ones forever, and to be with their Heavenly Father. President Thomas S, Monson said, “Always have the temple in your sights.”
The third directive I heard was Revelation. If I can help these girls learn to seek revelation, recognize when they’re receiving it, and then heed it—their lives will be joyous and beautiful. The Holy Ghost knows everything. As a member of the Godhead, he is all-knowing and all-loving. If we can access His advice, we can avoid the terrible pitfalls that capture so many and can cause serious damage.
If you learn at a young age how to recognize His comfort, His promptings, and His directives, you won’t struggle or worry as much. You won’t wonder if a certain movie is okay; you’ll know. You’ll also be safer; the Holy Ghost can warn you of dangerous places and dangerous people.
Julie B. Beck said, “The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.”
Life presents many choices—schooling, missions, careers, moves, jobs, and more. Why not solicit the Holy Ghost when you have these big decisions to make? And always be aware that He may direct you away from your favorite, even towards something that doesn’t make sense to you now. But if we heed His counsel, we’ll later see the why of it, and be so glad we exercised faith.
Best of all, the Holy Ghost can, at the appropriate time, endorse someone as the person you can marry for eternity. While others struggle to figure this out, your heart will know certainty and calm.
CTR still stands for Choose the Right, but Christ, Temple, and Revelation can also become a lifelong mantra, a forever goal. Each one will bless our lives immeasurably. I’m sure of it.
Hilton is an award-winning playwright and the author of many best-selling LDS books. Those, her humor blog, and YouTube Mom videos can be found on her website.
Jan HathawayOctober 14, 2021
CTR also means Current Temple Recommend❣