Monday, February 15, 2016

Our Young Women and Young Men....

                                                         (image from

Well, it happened. We always knew it would. I am the mom to two teenagers and one tween. It's hard to believe. It happened so fast. Let me tell you what.... I love it. I love being the mom to two teenagers and one tween !

I've spoken with a lot of my friends from back when we were youth and would hang out together at stake dances ( Nauvoo Stake is #1!! haha ) and we have all talked about the fact that we really feel that we were born to teach these amazing youth. The children that were born in this generation... that are the youth and primary children now... they are amazing. They are special. Their spiritual gifts are strong and they are strong in their faith. We discuss ways to teach these bright children, who are incredibly way to smart. We throw around ideas on how to teach the kids the Gospel, when so many times my children have actually taught me Gospel truths. We are trying to raise this generation. These Latter Day warriors.

My friends and I have discussed how we were totally not like that when we were teenagers. We didn't plan ahead and think of our future that much... we had hopes and dreams where these kids have plans. We read our Scriptures for Seminary while these kids ponderize their Scriptures during personal Scripture Study and Seminary. A common conversation for us was " hey did you hear that new song by Nsync ? " where I have heard conversations from these kids that include things like " So... I started praying for my future wife.. you think that's a good idea ? " and " When I get home from my mission we are so going to go there and hang out! "   Amazing.  I'm sad to admit it, but I did not grasp the importance of Temple trips while I was a young beehive. The beehives in my small branch are fierce in their love of the Temple and how important it is. They love Temple trips and are worthy to be there. These youth are incredible. They are on a mission now, to learn as much as they can, to be pure, to learn their Spiritual gifts and to prepare for missions and for life. The Latter Days. Do they even realize how special they are ?

All we have to do is look at For the Strength of the Youth and read the message from the First Presidency. They know. They see that these precious youth have a special sparkle in their eye. When we visit the site and read all of the articles and the special messages for our youth.. we see how special they are. Just this morning I read THIS article and I just couldn't stop my huge smile ! They are special! They have amazing gifts ! We are so dang lucky to be their parents and to watch them grow, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So what are we doing to help them see how special they are ? Are we teaching them everything we should ? How do we know what to teach them ?

I will never forget the first time I heard THIS talk from President Faust. When he tells the following story it hit me hard! It just proves how amazing our youth are. He quotes :

"A sacred light comes to our eyes and countenances when we have a personal bond with our loving Heavenly Father and His Son......
I recently recalled a historic meeting in Jerusalem about 17 years ago. It was regarding the lease for the land on which the Brigham Young University’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies was later built. Before this lease could be signed, President Ezra Taft Benson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, then president of Brigham Young University, agreed with the Israeli government on behalf of the Church and the university not to proselyte in Israel. You might wonder why we agreed not to proselyte. We were required to do so in order to get the building permit to build that magnificent building which stands in the historic city of Jerusalem. To our knowledge the Church and BYU have scrupulously and honorably kept that nonproselyting commitment. After the lease had been signed, one of our friends insightfully remarked, “Oh, we know that you are not going to proselyte, but what are you going to do about the light that is in their eyes?” He was referring to our students who were studying in Israel. "

This is my daughter Marlee. She's 13. In this picture she is getting ready to head to the Symphony with her young women class. When Marlee was first born, her daddy and I looked at her in wonder, and both of us said ' she needs to be protected ' there was something special about her. A few years later we found out that she has autism. It didn't hurt us the way you would think... we were prepared. We knew she was different, we knew she would need our protection from this world. We gave that to her until a certain time in her life when she was willing and ready to adventure out on her own. Marlee didn't talk until she was almost 4. Her first words were ' happy happy happy! ' How perfect. She was happy. She struggled, but she was happy and loved. She would sit in her room at night, when she was around 4 and 5 years old and I would sit in the hallway where she couldn't see me. She would begin talking and it sounded like she was telling someone about her day. It was amazing. I asked her one time... who are you talking to ? 'Jesus' she said. That was that. She knew who she was talking to. She knew that He loved her and that He listened. I peeked in once and she was sitting calmly on her bed , talking away to a spot on the bed next to her. I think that Jesus was with her. These youth today have an incredible connection to their Savior. They are spiritually mature at a very young age. This quote really explains how I feel :

“Youth of Zion, do you realize you are living in the days of the fulfillment of these signs and wonders? You are among those who will see many of these prophecies fulfilled. Just as certain as was the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jews, so shall these words of the Savior be certain to your generation... You will live in the midst of economic, political and spiritual instability. When you see these signs – unmistakable evidences that His coming is nigh – be not troubled, but ‘stand... in holy places...” These holy places consist of our temples, our chapels, our homes and the stakes of Zion, which are as the Lord declares, ‘for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from the wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth'... We have every confidence that you, ‘the rising generation,' will not falter. I repeat: You were valiant spirits reserved for this exceptional time. You have but one choice: To rise to the task of history's most significant hour!”

- Prophet Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Yourselves for the Great Day of the Lord," address delivered to the Devotional Assembly, Ricks College, Idaho, September 16, 1980

I want to discuss this. How do we teach these children ? How do we know what to teach them ? How do we make sure they never lose the light in their eyes ? 
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