Sunday, March 14, 2010

My annual YW Pres. speaks in sacrament meeting talk. It turned out WAY better than I could've planned for.




honest- even when you don’t want them to be






hormonal and moody- as are RS;)

know everything



They have a special power.

They can set the mood in their homes, classrooms, peer groups

It’s up to them to decide if that influence will be for good or bad.

Blogger named Sarah @

“I have two teenagers. I love them. I love their friends. I love their classmates. Even the ones that my own teenagers don't especially even like. I love them all.

I love teenagers.

Oh, I think sometimes the two I have now, plus the 3 others that will one day grow into teenagers, might just be the death of me yet.

But I have a secret to tell you.

Something I never really thought about till my oldest taught it to me.

Here it is.

Listen carefully, mothers of innocent helpless babies, cute, cuddly toddlers, and darling, funny children everywhere.

One day this:

(cute pic of a little baby)

Will be this:

(teenager pic)

Let's go over that again just so it sinks it real good.



My point?

Hold on a second, I have to wipe the tears off the keyboard.

It's not that I didn't think that every birthday meant my children were one year older from becoming that dreaded word: teenager. It's just that I DIDN'T think...I didn't THINK about it at all.

Let me tell you what I've learned so far:

1. Teenagers have a bad rap that they don't deserve. I know, I know, you have a thousand and one examples of WHY they deserve it. I did too...and I am the first to admit that the words, "Teenagers these days..." have come out of my mouth and into the breeze just as they have for centuries before us. I am NOT innocent on that front. But you know what? I have never met a teenager I didn't like. Have you? If you ever did, let me tell you, if you would have had a chance to have a quiet moment, an open-minded talk, REALLY listening, away from their peer group maybe, you would love each and every one of them. They are all sweet and vulnerable inside and if not, I'll bet you my last stashed away piece of chocolate I'm saving for tonight, that you can contribute it to an ignorant adult(s) who damaged them in some way and they've built survival mechanisms to prevent that from happening again.

2. Teenagers are smarter than us. Not in all ways but in this way: they are quick judges of characters...and usually get it right...and I'm talking where adults are concerned. They know instincitvely if they can trust you or not, they know from the get-go if you respect them, if you like them, if you will give them a chance or if it's not even worth trying. They can see it by the look on your face instantly.

3. Teenagers are SO vulnerable. And adults take advantage of this vulnerability to treat them badly sometimes...because they can "get away with it". I have seen teenagers over the years being treated so rudely by an adult and no one steps in. It irks me to no end. A group of teenagers, standing and talking somewhere, being told to "move out of here". No one would dare talk like that to a group of adults! If someone talked to YOU like this, what would your response be? Do you know how many times I've sent a teenager of mine into a store or restaurant to pick something up for me and they have been cut in front of, spoken to rudely, ignored by MANY adults? Burns me up.

4. Teenagers are children. CHILDREN who are sometimes expected to know and learn things we take lifetimes to figure out. How to steer away from the "wrong" people, how to demand respect and still behave politely, how to love openly and fully, but how to take care of OUR spirit and our needs too. How to pick friends, how to set priorities, how to use manners, and the tone of voice necessary to portray politeness. The list goes on and on...and before you expect teenagers to know all this in a few short years, look around. How many adults do you know (including yourself!) who are still trying to figure this out?

I know, before I had kids, I was sort of "afraid" of this age group. Who wants to talk to some weird outdated lady that says, "Cool beans!" all the time, I thought. What could WE possibly have in common to talk about? Sometimes teenagers are so awkward, so self-conscious. But you know what? Once I let my fears go, and was just genuinely MY SELF, willing to laugh, to ask questions, to be vulnerable, to listen, to learn, to talk them like I was talking to a friend of mine, I came to realize that this age, this "teenager-hood" has a bad reputation it doesn't deserve.

I have learned SO MUCH from my 2 teenagers and their friends and cousins and could not be more thankful for this knowledge. Fresh, see-it-as-it is knowledge, knowledge about people, about situations, about LIFE, you could NOT get anywhere else...not the most prominent psychologists, spiritualists, philosophers.

It's something to look forward to. It's something to be excited about. It's a stage of childhood that has it challenges, but the rewards are greater than you can ever imagine.”

The influence of teenagers

Holland- New era

I would like you to go back nearly 600 years to the New Year of 1412. That week in the small village of Domrémy, France, a baby girl was born who, a little later, at roughly the age some of you are (teenager), changed the political and religious landscape of her world. Through military developments and a variety of personal religious experiences, Joan of Arc, sometimes called the Maid of Orléans, was made a captain in the French army at the tender age of 16. In a rather remarkable series of battles and victories, she brought acclaim to herself and her cause, inspiring not only the men under her command but also the entire French nation. Later she was captured, tried, and put to death—burned at the stake—her life complete at 19 years of age.

As the fires were being ignited around the stake to which she was tied, Joan was given a last chance to save her life and regain her liberty if she would deny her religious—and thus some of her personally motivated political—beliefs. She refused to deny anything she believed or anything she had said about her faith, and thus chose fire above freedom, and principle above politics. Maxwell Anderson, who wrote a moving drama about this young woman and her courage, has her say in his play as the flames begin to consume her: “The world can use these words. … Every man gives his life for what he believes; every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, [and yet] they give up their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it, and then it’s gone. But to surrender what you are, and live without belief—that’s more terrible than dying—more terrible than dying young” (Joan of Lorraine, act 2, interlude 3).

My young brothers and sisters, that is my message to you—a message from me, from the leaders of the Church, and from a teenage young woman of 600 years ago. “One life is all we have” and our happiness will come in living it the right way for the right reasons—reasons that are eternal, reasons that matter in this life and in the next. Now, we don’t want you to die! And we surely don’t want you to die young, but truly there are some things worse than dying. In Joan’s words that would be to “live without belief,” to surrender what you are and live contrary to what you know—or should know—to be true.


1942 “How glorious and near to the angels is youth that is clean; this youth has joy unspeakable here and eternal happiness hereafter.”

Heber J. Grant (1st Pres) - Those in the front lines cannot be strong unless those behind the lines are strong also.

YW today- Personal Progress program

Help develop daily righteous routines.

When you do small things consistently,

they become part of who you are and they change you.

Book of Mormon challenge

Read it by Christmas!!

Want ALL youth to love the words of the prophets

Want Parents and ward to be involved

Leaders ARE involved!

If started today

1.9 pages per day

Mormon 8:12, 34-35

12 And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these. Behold, I am Moroni; and were it possible, I would make all things known unto you.

34 Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you.

35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.

What can they have to say? (Steven Kapp Perry) A song of a teenage boy wondering why he needs to read the Book of Mormon.

“I am a child of the modern age,
I am a son of the present hour.
What can these words from so long ago
Mean to me now?

What can they have to say to me?
We live so differently today.
What can they have to offer me?
They lived so far from me;
So many years away.
What can they have to say?”

And in the boy’s heart he hears an answer:

“We are the prophets, years gone by.
We spent our days, we gave our lives
For a record which was written not for us,
But for you. And every word is true.

Each word chosen prayerfully,
Laid down carefully in its place.
For here, from so far away,
We have seen your day
And we pray;
Hear what we have to say!

Hear what we have to say to you.”

Read the Book of Mormon!


When firmly planted, your testimony of the gospel, of the Savior, and of our Heavenly Father will influence all that you do throughout your life. The adversary would like nothing better than for you to allow criticism of the Church to cause you to question and doubt. Your testimony, when constantly nourished, will keep you safe.

The Old Testament account of Esther is a very interesting and inspiring record of a beautiful young Jewish girl whose parents had died, leaving her to be raised by an older cousin, Mordecai, and his wife.

Mordecai worked for the king of Persia, and when the king was looking for a queen, Mordecai took Esther to the palace and presented her as a candidate, advising her not to reveal that she was Jewish. The king was pleased with Esther above all the others and made Esther his queen.

Haman, the chief prince in the king’s court, became increasingly angry with Mordecai because Mordecai would not bow down and pay homage to him. In retribution, Haman convinced the king that there were “certain people” in all provinces of the kingdom whose laws were different from others’ and that they would not obey the king’s laws and should be destroyed. Without naming these people to the king, Haman was, of course, referring to the Jews, including Mordecai.

With the king’s permission to handle the matter, Haman sent letters to the governors of all of the provinces, instructing them “to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, . . ..”

Through a servant, Mordecai sent word to Esther concerning the decree against the Jews, requesting that she go in to the king to plead for her people. Esther was at first reluctant, reminding Mordecai that it was against the law for anyone to go unbidden into the inner court of the king. Punishment by death would be the result—unless the king were to hold out his golden scepter, allowing the person to live.

Mordecai’s response to Esther’s hesitation was to the point:

“Think not . . . that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews.

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, . . . thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed.”

And then he added this searching question: “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

In response, Esther asked Mordecai to gather all the Jews he could and to ask them to fast three days for her and said that she and her handmaids would do the same. She declared, “I [will] go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” Esther had gathered her courage and would stand firm and immovable for that which was right.

Physically, emotionally, and spiritually prepared, Esther stood in the inner court of the king’s house. When the king saw her, he held out his golden scepter, telling her that he would grant whatever request she had. She invited the king to a feast she had arranged, and during the feast she revealed that she was a Jew. She also exposed Haman’s underhanded plot to exterminate all of the Jews in the kingdom. Esther’s plea to save herself and her people was granted.

Esther, through fasting, faith, and courage, had saved a nation.

You will probably not be called upon to put your life on the line, as did Esther, for that which you believe. You will, however, most likely find yourself in situations where great courage will be required as you stand firm for truth and righteousness.

“Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Josh 1:9