Sisters, you are just spectacular! You're not perfect, but you are spectacular! From Siberia to Seattle, you have won my heart and my deepest respect. I believe there is more righteous courage and determination inherent within the sisters of this Church today than there has ever been among any group of women who have ever lived. And today I want to tell you why.
Recently, my sixteen-year-old niece Megan and two of her friends came for a sleepover. As we talked that evening, one of them asked me what it had been like growing up on a farm in the olden days. (This is not as bad, however, as what happened a few days ago when a handsome young returned missionary said to me, "Sister Dew, if I were just forty years older . . ." You know, if I ever do get married, I hope my husband does better math than that.) Anyway, I told Megan and her friends that in the "olden days," I had been painfully shy and had absolutely no self-confidence.
"How did you get over feeling that way?" Megan asked. A pat answer was on the tip of my tongue when I stopped, sensing that these terrific young women were receptive to more. So I told them that the reason was a spiritual one: It wasn't until I began to understand how the Lord felt about me that my feelings about myself and my life slowly began to change. Their questions then came in a flurry: How did I know how the Lord felt? And how could they find out how He felt about them?
For several hours, scriptures in hand, we talked about how to hear the voice of the Spirit, about how eager the Lord is to unveil the knowledge stored safely inside our spirits concerning who we are and what our mission is, and about the life-changing difference it makes when we know.
My message to you today, my dear sisters, whom I love, is the same: There is nothing more vital to our success and our happiness here than learning to hear the voice of the Spirit. It is the Spirit who reveals to us our identity-which isn't just who we are but who we have always been. And that when we know, our lives take on a sense of purpose so stunning that we can never be the same again.