I recently received a letter from an inquisitive young woman. She wrote: “I am stuck. … I’m not sure who I am, but I feel I’m here for something grand.”
Have you ever had that searching feeling, wondering if Heavenly Father knows who you are and if He needs you? My dear youth, and to all, I testify the answer is yes! The Lord has a plan for you. He has prepared you for this day, right now, to be a strength and force for good in His mighty work. We need you! It simply will not be as grand without you!
Under sacred circumstances, our beloved prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, once reminded me of two simple truths that are foundational to your grand and glorious work.
As I sat on the couch with my husband, our prophet pulled his chair over, almost knee to knee with us, and looked at me with his piercing blue eyes. I wasn’t sure if my heart was racing or had completely stopped as he called me to serve as the Young Women General President. He asked a question that still echoes in my heart, “Bonnie, what’s the most important thing the [youth] need to know?”
I pondered for a moment and said, “They need to know who they are.”
“YES!” he exclaimed, “and they need to know their purpose.”
You are a cherished, beloved child of Heavenly Father. He loves you so perfectly that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for you and for me.1 The Savior’s love for us is unfailing—even when we fail! Nothing can separate us from the love of God.2 Remembering this love can help you push back the confusion of the world that tries to weaken your confidence in your divine identity and blind you of your potential.
At an FSY conference, I met two young women who had been struggling. Both young women mentioned turning to her patriarchal blessing to rediscover the Lord’s love and guidance for her personally. Find your patriarchal blessing, blow off the dust if you must, but study it often. If you don’t have one, get one—soon. Don’t delay finding out what the Lord wants to tell you now about who you are.
President Nelson’s second truth spoken to us that day is to know our purpose. This is our grand and noble charge.
Many years ago, my son Tanner was about five years old when he played his first soccer game. He was thrilled!
When we arrived at the game, we realized that his team was using a regulation-size soccer goal—not some little pop-up goal but a very large net that seemed way too big for five-year-olds.
The game took on mythic proportions as I saw Tanner take the goalie position. I was so surprised. Did he really understand his purpose in guarding the net?
The whistle blew, and we became so caught up in the game we forgot all about Tanner. Suddenly one of the opposing team members got the ball and dribbled it swiftly toward him. I looked in Tanner’s direction to make certain he was ready to stand his ground and defend the goal. I saw something I was not expecting.
At some point in the game, Tanner had become distracted and began weaving his left arm through the various holes in the net. Then he did the same with his right arm. Next, his left foot. Finally, his right foot. Tanner was fully entangled in the net. He had forgotten his purpose and what he had been entrusted to do.
While Tanner’s soccer career didn’t last long, his lesson to me that day will never fade. We all occasionally get distracted from why we are here and divert our energies somewhere else. One of Satan’s most powerful weapons is to distract us with good and better causes which, in times of need, may blind and bind us away from the best cause—the very work that called us into this world.3
Our eternal purpose is to come unto Christ and actively join Him in His great work. It is as simple as doing what President Nelson taught: “Anytime we do anything that helps anyone … make and keep their covenants with God, we are helping to gather Israel.”4 And when we do His work together with Him, we come to know and love Him more.
We continually seek to draw closer to the Savior through faith, cherished repentance, and keeping the commandments. As we bind ourselves to Him through covenants and ordinances, our lives are filled with confidence,5 protection,6 and deep and lasting joy.7
The gospel of Jesus Christ is not just nice; it is essential for all. “There is no other way or means whereby [we] can be saved, only in and through Christ.”10 We need Jesus Christ! The world needs Jesus Christ.11
Remember, the best way for you to improve the world is to prepare the world for Christ by inviting all to follow Him.
There is a story in the Book of Mormon that speaks powerfully of the resurrected Savior spending time with the Nephites. Can you imagine what that would be like?
As Christ announced that He must return to the Father, “he cast his eyes round about again.”12 Seeing tears in the people’s eyes, He knew their hearts were longing for Him to linger.
He asked: “Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, … deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them.”13
Having great compassion, He set no limits and called for all “that are afflicted in any manner.” I love that nothing is too big or too small for Jesus Christ to heal.
He knows our suffering as well and calls, Bring forth the anxious and depressed, the weary, the prideful and misunderstood, the lonely, or those who “are afflicted in any manner.”
And all “did go forth … ; and he did heal them every one. …
“… Both they who had been healed and they who were whole, [did] bow down at his feet, and did worship him.”14
Every time I read this, I ask myself: Who will I bring to Christ? Who will you bring?
Can we look round about again, as Jesus did, to make sure no one is missed and everyone is invited to come to know Him?
Let me share an example of how simple it can be. My 15-year-old friend Peyton had a goal to read five verses of scripture at breakfast each day, but she didn’t do it alone. Looking again, Peyton invited her parents and siblings, even her five-year-old brother. This seemingly small act is what Christ was teaching when He invited, “Bring them hither.”
This invitation from the Lord is still extended today. Young women and young men, start now, in your own home. Will you pray and ask Heavenly Father how you can support your parents as they continue to come unto Christ? They need you just as much as you need them.
Then look again at your siblings, friends, and neighbors. Who will you bring to Christ?
Our Savior declared, “Behold I am the light; I have set an example for you.”15 We will feel the love and peace of the Savior as we join Him in saving God’s family, for He has promised, “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”16
What a glorious time to be engaged in the cause of Christ!
Yes, you are here for something grand. I join with President Nelson, who said: “The Lord needs you to change the world. As you accept and follow His will for you, you will find yourself accomplishing the impossible!”17
I boldly testify that the Lord knows who you are and He loves you! Together, we will advance His purpose until that great day when Christ Himself returns to this earth and calls each of us to come “hither.” We will joyfully gather together, for we are those who come unto Christ, and we do not come alone. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.