You Have Much to Give

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“You Have Much to Give,” Tambuli, Nov. 1988, 49

You Have Much to Give

Young women need to live by gospel standards so that they might be prepared to better serve the Lord, said Sister Ardeth G. Kapp, Young Women general president, in a special interview.

Using her own life as an example, Sister Kapp said, “I grew up in a small farming community in Alberta, Canada. I had no way of knowing that the day would come when I would be called to serve the young women of the Church throughout the world. I just knew that I loved the Lord, and wanted to serve him the best I could. In the same way the Lord has called me, he could call any of the young women of the Church to serve him.”

Sister Kapp has had the opportunity to travel and meet many young women, “and I’m impressed with the growing maturity of their testimonies,” she said. “They’re gaining a better sense of purpose and direction. They are developing a feeling of being part of a larger, significant organization no matter how isolated they may be as members of the Church.”

What would she like to say if she could meet with each individual young woman?

“First of all, I would like to put my arms around each girl, and let each of them know that I love them.

“Then I would want them to understand that no matter where they are from, they could have a great influence for good in this world. It might be that they’re from a small and remote branch in South America, or Europe, or Japan. They might be the only Latter-day Saint in their family, in their school, in their town or village. And they might think that they don’t matter very much—but they do. If they keep the Young Women values, they could be a great example to those around them.

“I would ask them if they remember the story in the Bible about the little boy who had a basket with five loaves of bread and two fishes. (John 6:3–13.) It was a time when five thousand people came to hear the Savior. He asked if there was any food for them. One of his disciples, Andrew, told him of the boy with the bread and fishes. The Savior took that small amount of food, blessed it, and shared it among the people. Not only was there enough to feed them all, but there was a lot left over.

“I have wondered what the small boy thought when the Savior asked him for the bread and fishes. Did he think, as perhaps we do, ‘What good can I do; I don’t have much to give.’ But the boy gave what he had, and with the Lord’s blessing, his offering reached thousands of people.

“If each young woman in the Church would give of her righteous example to the Lord, he can take that and use it in ways we might not even dream of.

“I would urge each young woman to please remember to keep praying, to study the scriptures, to be active in the Church, and to keep promises made with the Lord. Then, like the little boy with his offering, they’ll be ready when the Lord wants to use them to bless the lives of others. They might be called to serve as an advisor to a Beehive class, or to serve a full-time mission, or, like me, to serve all the young women of the Church.

“I strongly believe in something President Ezra Taft Benson once wrote. He said that people ‘who turn their lives over to God will find out that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace.’ (Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations, Tambuli, April 1977.)”

Portrait by Saans Photography

Photography by Philip S. Shurtleff