The key to surviving teenage woes is to know who you are, according to the new president of the LDS Church's Young Women General Presidency.
Speaking during a press conference Sunday between sessions of the 178th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sister Elaine S. Dalton said she will work with her counselors to help young women across the world "understand that they are daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves them."
"I don't know of any situation or any difficulty that we have to face alone when we know who we are," Sister Dalton said.
Sister Dalton knows the church's outreach to teenage girls well, having served as both second and first counselor before she was sustained as Young Women General president during conference proceedings on Saturday.
Her new first counselor, Sister Mary N. Cook, was moved up from her former position as second counselor. Sister Ann M. Dibb, a former Young Women General Board member, was called Saturday as Sister Dalton's second counselor. Sister Dibb is President Thomas S. Monson's daughter and previously served as a member of the Young Women General Board.
Sister Cook has traveled across the world in various church callings with her husband and said despite the many differences among young women globally, they face common challenges.
"They get such confusing messages from the world about really who they aren't," Sister Cook said. "And the gospel can really help them to know that they are a daughter of our Heavenly Father. When they know that he loves them and that they can do all things with his help, they become new people."
Sister Dibb said young women can "be a beacon to those who want to find a better way. But it's going to require that these young women step up and do their part."
"They have to exercise obedience as they strive to build their own testimonies. Because that is what the Lord wants for each one of them, that they know that they are daughters of God."
The new presidency will also urge young women to get an education and to be virtuous in a world that doesn't value virtue or modesty.
When asked how to combat the growing problem of inactivity of women between the ages of 18 and 30, Sister Dalton said both the church's Young Women and Relief Society leaders are well aware of the problem and have been pondering a solution for the past five to 10 years."You will see a great outreach in the future toward that segment of young women," Sister Dalton said. "We'll prepare the foundation and Relief Society will take them across the bridge and into this next phase of their life."
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