Because I am one of the Young Women leaders at church, I had the privilege to attend New Beginnings. If you are unfamiliar with what that is, it is a time when the young women (ages 12 to 18) get together to welcome the girls that will be entering into the program this next year.
We had a really nice evening. The girl that was in charge of putting the program together is a very responsible 13 year old. She had everything put together from programs, decorations, speakers, refreshments, etc. After our opening hymn and prayer, we were presented with a nice little story, and then it was on to the Young Women Values. Each of the eight values was presented by a different girl. Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Integrity, and the newest value as of this month Virtue are the values that we are taught to live and be an example of. What a great opportunity for these girls, to be taught these values, and what they should mean in their lives. If each of us, young or old were to live these values, what a better world we would be in! Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer lived each of these values, and we are to pattern our lives after His.
1. Faith-- "Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." Alma 32:21. Faith is much more than just a passive belief...
2. Divine Nature--Be partakers of divine nature...Giving all diligence, and add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 2 Peter 1:4-7
3. Individual Worth-Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. D&C 18:10
We need to remember this, "I am of infinite worth with my own divine mission, which I will strive to fulfill." (LDS Young Women Personal Progress)
4. Knowledge--We need to "continually seek opportunities for learning and growth." In D&C 88:118 it says, "Seek learning, even by study and also by faith." When we leave this life the only thing we take with us is knowledge, I guess that is why it is so important to learn, and keep learning. Something else that has come to my understanding is that the more we keep our minds alert and exercised, the less likely we will suffer from dementia and Alzheimer's.
5. Choice and Accountability--"I will choose good over evil and will accept responsibility for my decisions." (Young Women Personal Progress). It is so often that when we choose wrong we try to blame it on the other guy. We need to accept responsibility, and consequences of our choices, whether good or bad. In Joshua 24:15 it says, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve;...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." That is a good scripture to live by. I would much rather live with the consequences by choosing to live right.
6. Good Works--3 Nephi 12:16 "Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." We should continually serve others. Everyone wins in the end. The person that has been helped wins because he has gotten the help, the one who gives wins, because he has learned, grown, and feels good. What better world we would be in if everyone helped others rather than see each others faults and critize them for it. We do not know the circumstances of others, and til we have walked in their shoes, we must not judge them. I have found this to be true too many times, and after I have critized someone for something I feel is inappropriate, many times, I find that if I were to be in their shoes, I might have done the same thing. Sometimes people do things that WE think are not appropriate, but if we knew the whole story behind it, then we would understand why...
7. Integrity--what a word! Integrity is much more than just being honest. In the Young Women's Personal Progress manual there is a statement which says, "I will have the moral courage to make my actions consistent with my knowledge of right and wrong." This pretty much sums it up.
8. The newest value is Virtue. It was just presented to the Young Women's program just a few weeks ago. Everyone has really been excited about it. Virtue is huge! In the dictionary it says that virtue is "moral excellence." In the scriptures it says, "Who can find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies." (Proverbs 31:10) "Large rubies of high quality are the rarest and most highly prized of all gemstones in the world. Above all other gemstones, including diamonds, rubies command the greatest per carat prices." (http://www.solitaire.com.sg/magazine/feb_mar/story3.html).
I grew up with "goodly parents!" I would never trade my family for anything, but one thing I do wish that we would have had growing up, was the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. I remember searching for the right teachings, and did come across many good teachings. The only thing was, I felt there was more. I found more when I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when I was 19. I did not grow up in Primary or with the Youth programs of the church, but as a parent, have been very happy to have raised my children, and having guildlines such as the ones found in the Young Women's Program. What a privilage these young women have to learn of their importance, and their potential. Don't know if it would have made a difference in my life, but I like to think it might have, to know that I have a loving Father in Heaven, that is always there for me; and that because He loves each and everyone of us, he has given Prophets, other leaders, and the Scriptures for us to learn how we should be living. He has given us the knowledge of what His Son did for each and everyone of us. Christ attoned for our sins. If we repent, and live worthily, we have the opportunity to live with Him someday.
Growing up, I was shy, and had a very low self esteem (I was never in trouble, just extreemly shy and quiet). I see so many youth with the same type problems. Some of them aren't shy, but are in trouble because they do not know who they are. It is our responsiblity to share the Gospel with everyone. That does not mean that we have to go up to everyone and start preaching. This does mean, that we need to live our lives so that others will notice, and wonder, and eventually we can share with them why we are the way we are. It is because of Jesus Christ.