Sometimes we spend so much time and energy thinking about where we want to go that we don’t notice where we happen to be
Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
I understand that, at times, some may wonder why they attend Church meetings or why it is so important to read the scriptures regularly or pray to our Heavenly Father daily. Here is my answer: You do these things because they are part of God’s path for you. And that path will take you to your “happily ever after” destination.
“Happily ever after” is not something found only in fairy tales. You can have it! It is available for you! But you must follow your Heavenly Father’s map.
Sisters, please embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ! Learn to love your Heavenly Father with all your heart, might, and mind. Fill your souls with virtue, and love goodness. Always strive to bring out the best in yourself and others.
Learn to accept and act upon the Young Women values. Live the standards in For the Strength of Youth. These standards guide and direct you to your “happily ever after.” Living these standards will prepare you to make sacred covenants in the temple and establish your own legacy of goodness in your individual circumstances. “Stand . . . in holy places, and be not moved,” regardless of temptations or difficulties. I promise you that future generations will be grateful for you and praise your name for your courage and faithfulness during this crucial time of your life.
My dear young sisters—you who stand for truth and righteousness, you who seek goodness, you who have entered the waters of baptism and walk in the ways of the Lord—our Father in Heaven has promised that you will “mount up with wings as eagles; [you] shall run, and not be weary; and [you] shall walk, and not faint.” You “shall not be deceived.” God will bless and prosper you. “The gates of hell shall not prevail against you; . . . and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.”
Sisters, we love you. We pray for you. Be strong and of good courage. You are truly royal spirit daughters of Almighty God. You are princesses, destined to become queens. Your own wondrous story has already begun. Your “once upon a time” is now.
President Thomas S. Monson and those before him have shown us the way. The path is clearly marked, and the pace is steady and strong. You, like Agnes, are being asked to cross the plains. You may not have to give up all your earthly possessions, but the journey to Zion requires that you give up all of your sins so that you may come to know Him—the true and living Christ. You may even be asked to run to the point of exhaustion, but by doing so, the warmth of the Lord’s love will preserve you for the great work yet to come.
(General Conference Sessions) declare eagerly and unequivocally that there is again a living prophet on the earth speaking in the name of the Lord. And how we need such guidance! Our times are turbulent and difficult. We see wars internationally and distress domestically. Neighbors all around us face personal heartaches and family sorrows. Legions know fear and troubles of a hundred kinds. This reminds us that when those mists of darkness enveloped the travelers in Lehi's vision of the tree of life, it enveloped all of the participants—the righteous as well as the unrighteous, the young along with the elderly, the new convert and seasoned member alike. In that allegory all face opposition and travail, and only the rod of iron—the declared word of God—can bring them safely through. We all need that rod. We all need that word. No one is safe without it, for in its absence any can "[fall] away into forbidden paths and [be] lost," as the record says. How grateful we are to have heard God's voice and felt the strength of that iron rod in this conference these past two days.
The Lord has made it very clear that we do not have to serve Him, but if we seek the blessings of righteousness, we will serve Him, and there is no peace nor happiness, no joy, nor satisfaction, nor freedom in any other course. Let our love extend, and our righteousness increase, for our own sakes and for those who depend upon us.
First and most importantly, the Spirit will come into the homes of our sisters with even greater power. We can have experiences such as the Savior’s disciples had when they asked, “Did not our heart burn within us, … while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32).
Second, our understanding of our relationship with Deity will increase, for it is impossible to study holy writ on a regular basis without coming to understand more clearly who we are. We will be reminded that “because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called … his daughters” (Mosiah 5:7).
Third, as mothers, grandmothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and aunts are strengthened, families will be strengthened. As we feel the Spirit and come to see that gospel study increases our ability to receive personal revelation, we will better know how to bring up our “children in light and truth” (D&C 93:40).
Fourth, we will find solutions to our own and our families’ problems, because as we “feast upon the words of Christ,” they will tell us all things that we should do (2 Ne. 32:3). We are not alone. The Lord will guide us if we seek Him diligently.
Fifth, we will feel greater peace and strength and comfort, for the Lord has promised to be on our right hand and on our left, and He has promised that His Spirit will be in our hearts and His angels will be round about us to bear us up (see D&C 84:88).
Sixth, our testimony of the Savior and our understanding of the power of the Atonement will increase. We will “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, … that by his grace [we] may be perfect in Christ. … Then are [we] sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ” (Moro. 10:32–33).
Seventh, sisters will stay on the path that leads back to our Heavenly Father, where we may be raised to “dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of never-ending happiness” (Alma 28:12).
As Relief Society visiting teachers study and testify of gospel truths, the cumulative outcome of this worldwide gospel study will be glorious. Through the word of the Lord, every sister, every family, and ultimately every person will be fortified.
When pondering which of these voices to listen to or which road among the many is right, have you ever asked yourself, as Joseph Smith did: "What is to be done? Who of all these [voices and roads is] right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?" My witness to you is that Jesus Christ continues to mark the path, lead the way, and define every point on our journey. His path is strait and narrow and leads toward "light and life and endless day."
...The Lord provides guidance and direction to individuals and families today, just as He did with Lehi. This very general conference is a modern Liahona, a time and place to receive inspired guidance and direction that prospers us and helps us follow God's path through the more fertile parts of mortality.