Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Windows To The Temple

Dear Young Women,
It was wonderful to see so many of you on Saturday at our Young Women Recognition Dinner and Broadcast. I wanted to share some of the remarks I gave that night with you, because I want you to remember to always look out your spiritual windows toward the temple.I am humbled and privileged to share some thoughts with you. I want you to know how much I love you and hope you recognize that each of you are part of a noble generation and as righteous young women, your actions can and will change the world.
When I was a little girl, my parents used to pack up my sisters and I every summer and take us to Manti, Utah where we visited our great-aunt and watched The Mormon Miracle Pageant. The Manti temple sits high on a hill known as “Temple Hill” and the pageant is held on the lower part of the hill – right below the temple. This was something we loved and looked forward to every year with great anticipation.
Our great-aunt’s large, old house was just blocks from the temple and we loved spending our afternoons there waiting for the pageant to begin and playing games in her home and yard. One of our favorite games was hide and seek – her yard seemed to go on forever and the house had a large number of rooms which were perfect for hiding in. One afternoon as I was hiding in one of the rooms of the house waiting to be found, I noticed that I had a very clear view of the Manti Temple out the window. After I was discovered, I went to hide in another room and noticed that that room also had a window with a beautiful view of the temple. As I made my way from room to room I realized that from every window in that house, I could see the temple.
Although none of us live in homes with windows that look out onto the temple, each one of us can picture the temple through spiritual windows. Spiritual windows are things that we do that help us to keep the temple in clear view. Some of these spiritual windows include reading our scriptures every day, saying our prayers and working on our personal progress and achieving the Young Womanhood Recognition Award. The righteous things you are doing now will help you to clearly see the temple through your spiritual windows.
In 1888, the Manti Temple was dedicated by President Lorenzo Snow. The dedicatory prayer of the Manti Temple says this: “We pray for Thy blessing upon the Young Ladies' and Young Men's Associations …that our youth may find Thee early…” My heart echoes that prayer – I pray that you will be strong and courageous as you walk toward the temple, that you will live the highest of standards like those found in the “For The Strength Of Youth” pamphlet so that you will always be worthy to enter the temple.
Last year, Young Women General President, Elaine Dalton, shared a story of how as she was leaving the office of President Monson, he presented her with single white rose. Sister Dalton said, “The moment he handed me that beautiful white rose, I knew why. I went back to the time when, as a young woman, I chose the white rose as my symbol of purity—my personal banner. How did President Monson know? I took that precious rose home, put it in a beautiful crystal vase, and placed it on a table where I could see it every day. Every day that rose reminded me of the importance of my own personal purity and virtue, and it reminded me of you. As you grow and blossom, your personal purity will enable you to become a force for good and an influence for righteousness in the world. I truly believe that one virtuous young woman, led by the Spirit, can change the world.”
Tonight we honor the 2010 Young Womanhood Award recipients. We will be presenting them with several items that we hope will always help them remember to look to the temple. Sister Spackman along with Sister Patsy Needham have made a beautiful envelope for each young woman that she will take with her the first time she goes to the temple; beautifully stitched on this envelope is the San Diego Temple. We hope that you will remember this evening and how the things you worked on were an important step toward achieving your goal of going to the temple. We are also honoring those young women who had previously completed their Young Womanhood Recognition award, but with the addition of the value “Virtue”, have gone back to complete those requirements. We commend them for their desire to go the extra mile and we have a heart charm for you to attach to your necklace. Our dear Stake President, President Hatch, has asked that each young woman being honored receive a white rose as a reminder to her of her personal purity and her influence for righteousness in the world.
I know that the temple is a place where we can find peace and feel the guidance of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that you will never regret making righteous decisions that lead you toward the temple. I testify that Jesus Christ lives and loves each one of us. May we each look out our spiritual windows toward the temple and go forward in the strength of the Lord is my prayer.

I love each one of you and hope you have a wonderful weekend watching General Conference.