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“Fear,” New Era, July 1981, 12


Being a young woman today is exciting but also disturbing. It seems that so many of the things we see in the world today—its newspapers, magazines, movies, advertisements, fashions, and even many of the people we see in the world—are not helpful to a girl growing up. We have decisions to make that will affect the rest of our lives. We are building new relationships, not only at work and school, out also with our family members who are finally realizing that we are growing up. We have challenges and even temptations to deal with, too. We want to do what is right, but sometimes it’s hard to have the courage to speak and act as we should among strangers and peers.

You probably remember, as I do, the first talk you ever gave in church. It was frightening, wasn’t it? It’s always been a hard thing for me to speak in front of a large group of people. But the Church gives us so many Opportunities to learn. I can remember when our Primary class was giving a special presentation in sacrament meeting on Mother’s Day. Mom had to hold my hand while I stepped up on the platform. I said the first two words. Then, to her surprise, I jumped into her arms and cried, “You say it.” Everyone else laughed, but I didn’t.

But now that we’re in harder situations than just giving a talk in church, our mothers won’t always be there to say it for us or to give us the confidence we need to be what we ought to be when we ought to be it. So we need to find the courage and confidence ourselves.

I remember hearing the story of Elmina Taylor when she was being called to be the very first president over all the Young Women of the Church in 1880. She was frightened of the responsibility and said, “I will not, I cannot serve.” But she was persuaded that with the help of the Lord, she could serve, and for the next 24 years she served the Young Women of the Church very well.

I guess all of us have a fear of life at times, especially now that we are old enough to be aware of the temptations, influences, and pressures of a growing-up world.