When I was a Young Woman, my Mom encouraged me and worked with me to earn my Young Womanhood Recognition Award. With her help, I learned to sew clothes, to quilt, to cook, to pay tithing and manage money, to develop myself spiritually, to be true to my commitments, to make healthy choices about my body, and to make and keep my personal goals. In short, she helped me gain the tools I would need to be successful in life.
Since becoming an adult leader in the Young Women program a few years ago, I have been working to earn my personal progress award for a second time. I am now very close to achieving that. It has taken work and focus, but I have been richly rewarded with a stronger testimony and understanding of the Lord and his gospel, and a greater appreciation for the program that I went through as a kid and the one available to the youth today.
As I finished up working on the virtue requirements last night I turned the page in the personal progress booklet and read this quote from President Ezra Taft Benson:
He says, "Give me a young woman who loves home and family, who reads and ponders the scriptures daily, who has a burning testimony of the Book of Mormon. Give me a young woman who faithfully attends her church meetings, who is a seminary graduate, who has earned her Young Womanhood Recognition Award and wears it with pride! Give me a young woman who is virtuous and who has maintained her personal purity, who will not settle for less than a temple marriage, and I will give you a young woman who will perform miracles for the Lord now and throughout eternity."
I know that each requirement on this list is worth it and the blessings, oh, so real, because I have lived it.
Each line I read makes my eyes burn with tears. The emotions are so strong, because I know what it took to walk that line. The memories of each decision are very clear.
It was not easy. Sometimes it was a rough and treacherous journey--this journey from Young Womanhood to Womanhood, from baptismal covenants to temple covenants--but it was a journey that I made with one hand in the Lord's and with the help of parents and leaders.
And when President Benson says, "I will give you a young woman who will perform miracles for the Lord," I know that this is true.
I am His miracle. I am His daughter. Just having this knowledge deep down inside of me is a miracle in and of itself and has allowed me to do amazing things in my brief lifetime and to live a life of virtually no regrets.
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love Him. I love His church and the programs of the church which, if utilized, can take an ordinary life and make it extraordinary.
I hope that any Young Woman reading this will take the time to work on her Personal Progress, even if there is little hope of actually achieving the Award before turning 18, please just work on it as much as you can. It will make a huge difference in your life, as it has in mine!
If you are obedient in this one thing, HE WILL perform miracles in your life...and in turn you will do great things too--you will be a Young Woman who will perform miracles! I promise!
Click here to read more about or work on your Personal Progress!