“Reflections on a Hymn,” New Era, Nov. 2008, 44–45
I attended the general Young Women broadcast in 2005 with my three sisters and our mom. Our family is from the Chicago area, and it was the first time we had been inside the Conference Center. I was amazed at how many young women were there together. I was used to watching the broadcast in a dark stake center with a few other young women and leaders.
This time, participating in the meeting, it felt different. When we sang the closing hymn, “As Zion’s Youth in Latter Days” (Hymns, no. 256), I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of young women singing with me. These were young women who had committed to make right choices, hold the same high standards, and continue through life in faith.
The words of the second verse especially struck me. “The truths and values we embrace / Are mocked on ev’ry hand.” Immediately I thought of my high school experience. I saw peers, coaches, and teachers snickering, giggling, and even laughing and making fun of the way I live my life, specifically the choices I made to attend early morning seminary, to behave and dress in a modest way, and not to play soccer on Sundays.
Sometimes I felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel, as if that stage of my life would continue indefinitely. But I realize Heavenly Father gave me those experiences because He loves me, and that is enough. He knows what is best for me, and though I look back on my high school years with very few fond memories, I know it was when I built my own testimony. I learned to pray about anything and everything and to trust in my Savior. I decided for myself that the Lord and His Church are worth anything I have to sacrifice in order to stand up and be counted as a disciple of Christ.