“Yes, You Are Old Enough, Girls,” New Era, May 1974, 14
“Can they really do it?”
“Aren’t they awfully young?”
“They’ve had so little experience.” While some question and wonder, those who have the privilege of seeing young people strive to do their best, express genuine confidence and trust in a chosen generation.
Yes, girls, you are old enough. According to his promise, the Lord is speaking to you young people directly as you prepare yourself to receive inspiration and revelation concerning your duties and responsibilities in the Aaronic Priesthood MIA.
Sandy, a young Laurel president (young in years but wise in understanding), explained it this way: “My prayers have changed because I have a lot of important decisions to make now. You’ve got to be close to your Heavenly Father. It’s an awesome responsibility because it is so important in my life and other girls’ lives. I’m making a stronger effort to get close to the Lord … it’s not a duty but a privilege. You’re not only praying for yourself but for other people too.”
And in another area of the Church the youth from several wards were meeting together; the hour was late; many sweet and moving testimonies had been shared that evening when Bishop Rogers signaled to the capable young priest conducting to bring the meeting to a close, even though the bench was still filled with youth eager to bear their testimonies. But having waited this long for courage to stand, and being next in line, Melany could not pass this opportunity to tell “how it works.” She moved quickly to the pulpit.
“You see,” she said, “I was called to be a class president of 17 girls, and the bishop said I was responsible for them. I was scared to death. I didn’t even know for sure where they were. Then he told me to decide on my counselors and reminded me of the need to pray and ask the Lord. I wondered how it worked—how would I know who the Lord wanted.”
At that moment this young class president stopped shifting from one foot to the other, stood erect, leaned forward, and with a tone of conviction through a choked voice, she related her experience.
“I wrote 17 names on a piece of paper. Then I prayed about those names. Each time I would finish my prayer, I felt right about crossing off one or two names from the list. I kept thinking and praying and trying to decide until the third day. With only two names remaining, I had a strong feeling that I knew who Heavenly Father wanted. That’s how it works.”
Seemingly relieved from an urgent need to bear testimony, she continued in an enthusiastic tone: “I love these girls, and we’re going to try to be good examples and reach every girl in our class so we won’t lose a single one.”
From where I sat I could look into the faces of the youth and I, too, could see who the Lord had desired to be counselors to Melany. Two girls sitting together, with smiles of confidence and eyes brimming with tears, convinced me they “won’t lose a single one.”
Yes, you’re old enough to witness the power of the Holy Ghost as you seek inspiration from a loving Father in heaven concerning the call you have received from him through your bishop.
“But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.” (D&C 9:8.)
With a witness and a confirmation in your soul, having received inspiration, you are able to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands in fulfilling your call as you seek to reach every single girl—every child of God for whom you have stewardship.
Ilene is a counselor in still another ward. She puts it this way: “As a counselor you need to be an example in all areas. If you’re not an example, you let yourself down as well as the girls. If Julie, our president, can’t make a decision, I can pray about it with her; it’s so much responsibility for one person.”
LeeAnn, blonde and bashful but willing to share her feelings, explains, “I’m a class member. I haven’t had too many assignments, but it makes a person feel needed to be involved. If you’re given responsibility, it tells you that they have confidence in you. When I get an assignment I can grow and rely on the Lord’s help. We had a couple of inactives, and now they’re coming. It really makes you feel good. I want them to grow as I grow. I genuinely want them to come.”
The telephone rang and another experience was shared.
“I know it’s late, but I couldn’t wait to tell you.”
It was the voice of Sister Byrn from a branch with few members.
“I knew it would be a good experience,” she said, “but I had no idea how wonderful. You see, Marty has been a girl with some serious problems and is now a class president. I was anxious to provide every opportunity possible for her to experience the gospel in action. We discussed matters of concern that we both shared and then kneeled in prayer together. We discussed the situation further, and before separating we kneeled again, and this time Marty spoke to the Lord in our behalf. Together we whispered amen. Marty’s eyes got big, and in a humble but excited whisper she said, ‘Sister Byrn, I’ve never felt like this before. I know that Heavenly Father listens to prayer.’
“Oh, I love these youth.” Sister Byrn’s voice showed evidence of this. “They are responsible, and the Lord is working through them as we, their leaders, help them to understand their responsibilities.”
So might every youth shouldering weighty responsibilities in this day say as did Nephi of old, “… I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” (1 Ne. 3:7.)
I bear testimony that the Lord has spoken through his prophet in this day concerning this chosen generation of youth. As you seek divine guidance concerning your responsibilities you will be used as instruments in the Lord’s hands to accomplish his purposes. Yes, girls, you are old enough.