A Voice for Values
previous next

“A Voice for Values,” New Era, Aug. 2004, 12

A Voice for Values

When Liriel couldn’t talk about her values, her values spoke through the medallion she had earned for living them.

Raquel “Liriel” Domiciano was about to sing in front of millions of people. Was she worried about messing up? A little. Was she worried about what to wear? Naturally. But what worried her most?

Only 19 at the time, Liriel, a member of the Church for five years, wanted to stand as a witness “of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9).

Liriel was about to perform in Brazil’s largest televised talent competition, the Raul Gil Amateur Show. She had been told she couldn’t say anything about her religion. But she knew that many of Brazil’s Latter-day Saints would be watching, and she wanted everyone to know she wasn’t ashamed of the gospel. After praying in her room before her first performance, she looked up and saw her Young Women medallion. It was the answer she had been looking for.

Liriel wore her medallion during every level of the competition. Eventually she and her partner, tenor Rinaldo Viana, won the contest, signed a recording contract, and watched as their first CD became the second-highest classical best-seller in Brazil’s history, with more than one million copies sold.

Almost overnight, Liriel and Rinaldo were a huge hit. But Liriel’s success is based on years of preparation, during which she trained herself as a lyric soprano. She credits her participation in the Young Women program with preparing her for life.

Learning Spiritual Values

Liriel was baptized at age 14 after being introduced to the Church by her older sister, Patricia, who lived in another part of the country.

“She invited us to church while visiting home one time,” Liriel says. “The people were spiritual and neatly dressed. They all had standards that I liked. I was very happy. I felt the power of the Holy Ghost working in my heart. I was hungry for the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Not long after their introduction to the Church, Liriel and her younger sister Priscila were baptized. Their mother later followed. Liriel and Priscila jumped wholeheartedly into the Young Women program.

“Lots of times we were in the same class, and we were very united,” Liriel says. “We’d reach one Personal Progress goal and then talk about working toward our next goal.”

Before long, Liriel had earned the Young Womanhood Recognition—the medallion she would wear in front of millions. To her, the medallion represented her desire to follow the Savior.

“Earning my Young Women medallion was an accomplishment,” she says. “To me it means that I am spiritually prepared for temple marriage and a family.”

She wishes all young women would earn a medallion. “It doesn’t matter what age you are, as you look at your medallion you will always remember the goals you reached, what it represents to you, and the preparation it gave you for life,” she says.

Wearing the medallion as she performed was her way of letting people know she was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and willing to stand as a witness, even in front of millions.

Lifelong Value

Since joining the Church, Liriel, now 22, has learned a lot about the Young Women values—especially faith.

“Even when I was very small, I always read the scriptures,” she says. “I always wanted to know about God. I wanted to feel close to Him.”

As Liriel grew, her dream of becoming a singer took shape—but not as quickly as she would have liked, partly because of her family’s financial struggles. “I cried and I cried and I cried about this,” she says. “I was impatient. But a voice would come to my mind saying, ‘Be calm. It isn’t your time yet.’”

She continued to work toward her dream while working to help her family financially. It was a hard time. “God will try us, but all these things are for our growth,” she explains.

Through it all, Liriel has learned a lot—about herself and about her Heavenly Father. “I know Heavenly Father loves me,” she says. “As long as I am humble He will hear my prayers and will help me overcome my problems. I know that He hears our prayers, listens, and answers—not always as we would like, but I don’t have the least doubt that He does answer.”

She hopes her story inspires others and that she can be a good role model not only for Latter-day Saints, but also for young people all over Brazil. She’s off to a good start, having been featured on various Brazilian television shows.

Of Great Value

Liriel’s favorite scripture is Proverbs 31:10, 25–26, a scripture that has a lot to do with young women who live the Young Women theme:

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. …

“Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

As each young woman comes “to accept and act upon [the Young Women] values,” her capabilities will also be of far greater value than rubies—whether she’s standing as a witness in front of millions or in the quiet of her own room—because she “will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.1


  1. Young Women theme, in Young Women Personal Progress (2001), 5.

  • Jeannette N. Oakes is serving full time with her husband, George, in the Brazil South Area Office.

Photography by Matthew Reier, and courtesy of Samir Baptista, Antônio Chahestian, and the Domiciano family

Liriel stands as a witness as she performs (above and opposite page). With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, she sang in general conference (above, left). She was awarded the Troféu Imprensa (Brazilian Grammy) for her recent release, I Believe in Thee.

As Liriel (below) grew, she dreamed of singing. Now her greatest dream is that her family (right) will be together forever.