Monson encourages Mormon young women to 'believe, obey and endure'
A girl named Joanna upheld her commitment never to use bad language despite a classmate who didn't have the same conviction.
A woman in the Philippines named Karen refused to drink alcohol even when called upon by her teacher in a hotel and restaurant management program to try some drinks.
And a group of youngsters in Arizona wrote in their journals of things holding them back in their lives and then buried those pages as they readied to change.
They're stories leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told to about 20,000 girls and women who filled the church's conference center for its annual General Young Women Meeting Saturday evening, an event geared toward girls ages 12-18. It was also broadcast around the world in more than 50 languages by satellite and Internet.
Church President Thomas S. Monson, along with leaders of the Young Women General Presidency, told the female audience how living their lives in harmony with this year's theme, "Arise and Shine Forth," would help them live rich, meaningful lives.
Monson encouraged the girls to "believe, obey and endure."
"No one has described the teenage years as easy," Monson told the crowd, clad in colorful springtime skirts and blouses. "They are often years of insecurity, of feeling as though you just don't measure up, of trying to find your place with your peers, of trying to fit in. â¦ They are also prime years Satan will tempt you and will do his utmost to entice you from the path which will lead you back to that heavenly home from which you came and back to your loved ones there and back to your Heavenly Father."
He said magazines and television shows portray movie stars and athletes "as disregarding the laws of God and flaunting sinful practices, seemingly with no ill effect," and he urged the girls not to believe it.
He told them, "Wonderful, glorious things are in store for you if you will only believe, obey and endure."
Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president, urged the girls to "be a standard of holiness for all the world to see."
"I wish every young woman assembled here tonight would know and understand that your beauty your 'shine' does not lie in makeup, gooey cream or the latest clothing or hairstyles," Dalton told the girls. "It lies in your personal purity."
They were messages that those in attendance said resonated.
"I liked how he said to believe, obey and endure," said Janae Cox, 13, of American Fork, of Monson's message. "I haven't been very good at always remembering to do certain things, and it will inspire me to remember to do more."
Brooklynn Jarvis, 14, of Boise, Idaho, said, "I felt the spirit a lot, especially when the prophet entered the room. That was awesome."
And Kathy Hallen, who traveled with five granddaughters and their mothers to the event from Redlands, Calif., called the "Arise and Shine Forth" theme the best ever.
"It's for any age, whether young or old. You need to always be your best," Hallen said. "If we arise and shine forth, we're headed in the right direction."