“Youth of the Noble Birthright”
April 1984

“Youth of the Noble Birthright”

My brothers and sisters, my heart is full of joy today, and I commend the great and noble leadership of those in the past who have done so much to put the foundation in place for the youth of today. My heart resounds to the heritage left us by those in years gone by, and now, on the threshold of today, I feel my heart saying, “O, youth of the noble birthright, Carry on, carry on, carry on!” (“Firm As the Mountains Around Us,” Hymns, no. 42.)

In times of great joy and struggle and disappointment, my great companion, Heber, and I have come to know the Lord and felt his Spirit in our home and in our lives. We have known that peace “which passeth all understanding” (Philip. 4:7) in times of disappointment and in times of great blessings. In our home, I think perhaps the phrase used most frequently by my husband is, “I want to know the Lord’s will, and I want to carry it out.” And I repeat that and add my commitment to what he has taught me by his example.

Today I reflect on my early ancestor, John P. Greene, who received the Book of Mormon from Samuel Smith, the Prophet Joseph Smith’s brother. John gave it to his wife, Rhoda Young, who then passed it on to her brothers, Phineas Young and Brigham Young. I remember that John was the marshal in Nauvoo, and I rejoice in the heritage of faithful Latter-day Saints down through the years.

I am grateful to my father and my mother, who, before passing on, wrote in their last will and testament not what you would expect—of material things, for they had few—rather, they left with us in their last will and testament a statement of their testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, their most precious possession. And now I think of the lines of that poem which says:

If ye break faith with us who die,

We shall not sleep,

though poppies grow

In Flander’s Fields.

(John McCrae, “In Flanders Fields.”)

We’ll not break faith, none of us. This is a generation of hope and faith and aspirations, and as leaders of young women throughout the world, our prayer is to live so that God’s divine intervention will be felt in our hearts, in our actions, in our attitudes, and in our deeds, and that our receptivity to the priesthood power and direction will be sensitive and responsive. The forces of evil are so real today, and the subtleties of deceit would strive to divert us from the promises and blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

To the young women of the Church, and to a little Beehive girl who came up today and shook my hand and said, “I’m twelve years old and I’m a Beehive,” to every young woman in every corner of the Church, I say, we love you, we need you, we care about you, we believe in you, and the goal of eternal life is not beyond our reach.

It has been my privilege to know of the power and strength of the Brethren who sit in the councils of the Church, guiding this great work in these latter days. And we’re part of that great work. We’ll work to have every young woman throughout the Church stand in the valiant ranks of loyalty, commitment, and dedication. Mothers, stand firm; and fathers, have courage to be strong. Leaders, support those great parents. And together in unity we’ll prepare a generation that will be prepared for the Lord’s commendation, that he may have a house of worthy members when he returns.

To this solemn and sacred trust, I commit all of my energies and my efforts. I rejoice in the opportunity to be a part of this great work, and bear my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.