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Monday, March 26, 2012

Arise and Shine Forth

Dear Mother,

I saw that you watched the Young Women's General Broadcast! It was a delight! I was elated to hear that many of the same themes were discussed that I spoke about at New Beginnings!

This is the talk that I gave. I had stayed up past 2am writing it, because I knew that Husband needed ample time to translate it. I delivered it in English this time so that the Young Women could hear the proper inflection. Husband served as my translator and read from his translation. I know they like to hear my improving Spanish, but I didn't want that to be the focus. I felt very inspired as I wrote this. When I thought I had finished, I had just laid down in bed when a specific sentence formed in my mind, and I knew I had to go back and include it. This is why I was doubly excited by the messages given in the Young Women's General Broadcast.

Here it is:

Since I am moving soon, I am running out of time to share my testimony with you. As I have pondered and prayed, I have thought about each one of you Young Women, and your hopes, dreams, desires, heartbreaks, and challenges that you each face. This is what Heavenly Father wants you to hear tonight.

H. just sang the most beautiful song, thank you [Worth Waiting For from this year's Jenny Phillips CD]. Some of the lyrics said:” though evil seems like the normal thing, the light inside you, will help you see through the deceit.” And in the second verse: Let the light inside you, flood all the world around you.” Let’s talk about these.

Both lyrics speak of light. Not just any light, but the light inside of you. Doctrine and Covenants115:5 says “Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations” This is our Young Men and Young Women theme scripture for the year. Evil is everywhere. It is in our books, on our televisions, in our schools, governments, on our computers, everywhere. Because it has infiltrated every part of our daily life, sadly many people think that evil is normal and acceptable. We know, it is not, and as the song says, the light inside of us will help us to see through the deceit and know good from evil. We can let this light “flood all the world”. I like that word, “flood”. It’s not just show our light a little, or if we feel like it, or just enough to get the job done, but flood with as much light as possible. If I am trying to reach something from the back of my closet in the morning, I want as much light as possible; otherwise I might pull out mismatched clothes and shoes. Have you ever dressed in the dark before? It is near impossible to know how you are dressed until you get into the light. Did you know that it is impossible for light and dark to be in the same place at the same time? It is also impossible for good and evil to co-exist. Now, what if you dressed in the dark spiritually? Without the light of Christ, or the Holy Ghost, do you think that you will be able to live the standards of the church very easily? Will you be happy if you are living “in spiritual darkness”? I don’t think so. Find the light inside of you and flood the world. I think of a lighthouse that is emitting light from all directions, so that from a far distance everyone can see your “light”.

Now I’ve been talking about this light that is “inside” of you. What do you suppose that means? For me, I think it is talking about your testimony and your ability to have the Spirit with you at all times. In the Book of Mormon, Alma asks “have ye received his image in your countenances?” He is talking about having a mighty change of heart after committing oneself to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can tell a lot by looking at someone’s face. Happy, sad, etc. You can tell from their countenance if they have charity and are overflowing with the Spirit. We may even feel warm and fuzzy around them. Be that kind of person. Don’t hide your light under a bushel, like the bible says. Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine among men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Arise and shine forth that thy light may be a standard to all nations. This light, this testimony, this Spirit that you have will be a standard to all nations. That’s everyone on earth. Your light, your testimony, your Spirit will be an example to everyone you meet. The best way to be an example is to live the standards that are found in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. They are not considered “popular” or “cool” by many people, but they are the standards that will bring light to you and to others. They are the standards that will help your testimony to grow and to stay strong. Clean language, appropriate dress and grooming, gratitude, honesty, sexual purity, Sabbath day observance, and other standards are what will bring you light and happiness into your life. Living these standards will keep you close to the gospel.

Elder Ballard, one of the Twelve Apostles, has said (source), “Thirty years from now the leadership of the Church will largely depend on how well each one of you is prepared to fulfill the calls to serve in the Church that will come to you…. Suppose the Church creates 100 stakes a year. That means by 2040, just 30 years from now, the number of stakes will have doubled to approximately 6,000. You will be in your late 40s…. Now ask yourself—where are the 6,000 stake presidents? Where are their counselors, executive secretaries, clerks?...where are the 60,000 bishops…elders quorum presidents…Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary presidents and counselors, and on and on? Where are they? Elder Ballard says, “You are they!” And I would add, you will be married to those priesthood leaders that will be called. So Elder Ballard asks, “Will you be ready to accept the callings that the Lord will extend to you?” Arise and Shine Forth. Live the standards in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. Keep it as a reference guide, and refer to it often.

Living these standards will prepare and keep you worthy to attend the temple and receive your endowment and when the time is right, marry a worthy young priesthood holder.

September 29th is a day that I am looking forward to. Sister B [one of the YW leaders who was baptized in September] can tell us what is so special about September 29th. She has already scheduled that she will be sealed for time and eternity. She has made the goal and now is doing everything she can to prepare. Let her light be an example to each of you. I am going to her sealing, and I still promise that I will go to each of yours. There is nothing that I want more than for you to call me in 5-10 years and say “Sis. Lindsay, It’s me, M, K, J, etc from [location]. Do you remember that one Girl’s Camp? The one where we all committed to get married in the temple? Well, I’m getting married in the temple, and I want you to be there.”

And I cry, and I will come. If weren’t at camp, commit to me now and I will still cry when you call me, and I will come. A temple marriage should be your goal.

Do what you are supposed to do. You know what is right. You know what is wrong. If you feel new to the church and you aren’t sure then complete your Personal Progress, read the standards, come to church and learn. This is a picture of my Grandpa. When he was 19 years old, he served a mission in [location]. He made a righteous choice. He did what he knew he should. He served diligently and completed his assignments. One assignment was to baptize a 15 year old girl that had been tracted into by the sisters so an elder needed to baptize her. The girl was my grandma. [note to Mom: I printed out their wedding picture and when I held it up, I held a piece of paper over Grandma, then for dramatic effect, I whipped it off later to show them in front of the temple. Dumb I know, but they had really wide eyes when I did it, because they totally weren't expecting it :) ] It’s a long story, but they became engaged a few years later when he came back to [location] to work. My grandpa made a righteous choice to serve a mission so he could teach people about Jesus Christ. Do you think he ever thought that one choice would lead him to his eternal companion? This is them being sealed in the [location] temple. Do you think he ever thought that because he served a mission, he met his wife, they had my mom, and my mom had me, and now I’m serving in a Spanish Branch with you lovely people teaching you about the gospel? Did he know in 1953 that he was going to bless you in 2012? No, he had no way of knowing the generations of good that his righteous choice would create.

Each of you is like my Grandpa. You have no way of knowing ALL of the good, of light, that your righteous choices will bring to yourself AND others. Your decisions in 2012 are shaping people’s lives that will be happening in 2040, 2050. We cannot begin to guess what Heavenly Father has planned, but we can prepare because we know that He DOES have a plan. This plan involves His gospel and being the future leaders, His standards, the temple, eternal families and happiness. Each righteous choice that you make will bring an eternity of blessings. Heavenly Father loves you and wants you to live with Him again. He wants you to make righteous choices so that you are happy, so that you are worthy to attend His house, the temple. I testify that it is worth waiting for. He wants you to Arise and Shine Forth and I do too. I love you and leave these messages with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love you Mom. Thank you for everything this past week.

Love,
Lindsay

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