I’ve had a couple requests to start sharing the lessons that I gave to the Young Women last year. Here is one that I gave in September 2013 and felt was important. I really hope that they listened. These are pretty much my notes. I did try to ask questions and encouraged the girls to share relevant stories throughout.
How we communicate reflects our understanding of who we are as children of God. Our language can either uplift and encourage others, or it can hurt and offend them. When we use uplifting language, we are able to be an influence for good.
There once was a teenage girl named Rachel Scott
. She wanted to be an influence for good in the world. She wrote an essay about it in one of her classes. She made a point of noticing people around her that were lonely or sad and tried to give encouragement to them. She was the first person killed at Columbine High School. After she died many of her peers came forward and shared how she had helped them when they were struggling. Her parents decided to create a program to help stop bullying as a legacy to her. In their presentations they use quotes from her essays and journals and try to inspire others to be kind.
I have this theory that if one person will go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same….Tomorrow is not a promise, but a chance. – Rachel Joy Scott
Look for the best in others
Dream big and believe in yourself
Choose positive influences
Speak with kindness
Start your own chain reaction
Proverbs 15:1–4; 16:24; 1 Timothy 4:12; James 3:2–10; Alma 31:5; D&C 25:12; 108:7 (Our words can have a powerful effect on others)
Exodus 20:7; Matthew 12:34-37; 15:11; Luke 12:2–3; 1 Timothy 5:13; D&C 42:27 (Profanity, gossip, crude language, and insults are offensive)
Mosiah 4:30 (We should be careful about the words we use)
Thy Speech Reveals Thee by Elder L. Tom Perry
The Savior taught, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). May your mouth speak out of the abundance of that which is good in your heart is my prayer for all of you.
The Tongue of Angels by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
There is a line from the Apocrypha
which puts the seriousness of this issue better than I can. [here I gave them a background on the Apocrypha] It reads, “The stroke of the whip maketh marks in the flesh: but the stroke of the tongue breaketh the bones.”
The voice that bears profound testimony, utters fervent prayer, and sings the hymns of Zion can be the same voice that berates and criticizes, embarrasses and demeans, inflicts pain and destroys the spirit of oneself and of others in the process. “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing,” James grieves. “My brethren [and sisters], these things ought not so to be.” Is this something we could all work on just a little? Is this an area in which we could each try to be a little more like a “perfect” man or woman?
So, brothers and sisters, in this long eternal quest to be more like our Savior, may we try to be “perfect” men and women in at least this one way now—by offending not in word, or more positively put, by speaking with a new tongue, the tongue of angels. Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith and hope and charity, the three great Christian imperatives so desperately needed in the world today.
Arise and Shine Forth- by Ann M. Dibb
President Thomas S. Monson encourages us all with these words: “My young friends, be strong. … You know what is right and what is wrong, and no disguise, however appealing, can change that. … If your so-called friends urge you to do anything you know to be wrong, you be the one to make a stand for right, even if you stand alone.”
Dear young women, each of you has been born with great potential. You are beloved daughters of Heavenly Father. He knows you and He loves you. He invites you to “arise and shine forth,” and He promises that as you do, He will sustain and bless you. I pray that each of you will find the courage to accept His invitation and receive His promises, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Girls, I want you to know that I distinctly remember how difficult adolescence is. You really care what other people think and you may be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and help other people because you’re afraid that they may reject your offer or mock you. I challenge you to do it anyway. Everybody has moments where they are made fun of or feel uncomfortable. Everybody has bad days. Try to help other people around you.
Discussion: What are some ways that I can help others around me? (Here were a few that we mentioned)
- Be a friend
- Smile, smile at everyone, even people you don’t know, especially if they are not smiling
- Call people by their names when you see them.
- When you ask someone how they are doing, listen to their response
- When you see that someone needs help or is stressed, find ways to help them.
- When we smile and lift others, we feel better also.