My friend Misty sent this to me, and it was something that I really needed to hear. I thought I would post it because I thought of several of my family members as I read it.
Find joy now, President Monson urges
He encourages crowd at BYU to make each day special
By Amy K. Stewart
Published: Saturday, May 3, 2008 12:19 a.m. MDT
PROVO — Each day of life can be a special occasion for those who appreciate both the goodness of life and its challenges, President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told an audience of 17,016 women for the annual Brigham Young University Women's Conference on Friday.
"In my heart, I simply say to you, my dear sisters, what a lovely sight you are," he said. "It is a privilege to be with you."
President Monson was the culminating speaker after two days of classes at the annual Women's Conference, which is sponsored by BYU and the LDS Relief Society.
Friday afternoon, the women stood in respect to welcome President Monson as he entered the BYU Marriott Center.
The crowd spontaneously broke into song, "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet," as President Monson, along with his wife Frances, took the stand. Many women in the audience were overcome with emotion and snapped photos of the scene.
President Monson is the 16th president of the LDS Church, as of Feb. 4, 2008.
Congratulating the women for their giving and compassionate spirits, President Monson said, "You genuinely care about others. ... Your hearts are tender, sensitive to the needs of others. Thank you for the selfless service you give so willingly."
President Monson addressed women who are in many stages of life, including single women who are in school or working, mothers, single moms and grandmothers. Some women are caring for aging parents "who require the loving care only you can give," he said.
All these women have a bond, President Monson said. "Your individual tapestry is woven with thread common to you and to all women."
He encouraged the women not to let the important things of life pass them by, saying, "Instead, find joy in the journey now."
He told a story of a woman who had purchased a nice article of clothing but saved it for a special occasion. Nine years later she passed away, never having worn the item. President Monson advised not to procrastinate celebrating life's wonderful moments. "Every day in your life is a special occasion," he said.
"Tell a relative you love them. Write a letter to an old friend and make peace with old quarrels," he said.
President Monson noted that everyone has heartbreaks and sorrows. "Each one of us experiences dark days," he said. But without opposition, no one would learn and grow. Trials build patience, faith, fortitude and humility.
Life's challenges "build up our character, purify our hearts and expand our souls" he said.
With women doing so much service for others, President Monson told them to acknowledge their worth, especially during those times when they may be feeling inadequate or ineffective. "Pause occasionally and reflect on all that you do and have done," he said.
President Monson shared details about his favorite Sunday School teacher who influenced many children with her patience and good example. The mother of one of the children in the class died. Under the teacher's suggestion, the children decided to take the funds they had been saving for a Christmas party and donate it to the family in need.
After his talk, the women stood and waved good-bye as the church leader and his wife exited the Marriott Center.
Lynda Court, 63, Orem, said, "President Monson is the master storyteller."
Her daughter, Jennifer Clingo, 35, of Las Vegas, agreed, saying she thought President Monson's talk was wonderful. "He is so sweet and thoughtful," she said. "He always touches my heart," she said.