Since I turned 12 and went into my church's young women's organization, I have looked up to Sister Elaine S. Dalton. Her talks in general conference touched my heart year after year and many of the words she spoke evolved into the foundation of my testimony (one of my favorites can be read/listened to here). A few years ago, she was released as the General Young Women's President of the Restored Church & World. Though I sustained and knew that the woman filling her (red) shoes was inspired, I knew I would always miss hearing her during conference. Little did I know I would have the pleasure of hearing her speak directly to me in an intimate setting.

This weekend, the women of my church in Las Vegas gathered to hear the keynote speaker, Sister Dalton. Her talk was incredible- I wish that I could play it over and over in my head so that I could eloquently write the words on this little post. A few of the best parts of my notes said this:
-in these last days, both opposition and opportunity is great
-we need women who are able to make things happen to raise a sin resistant generation, everything depends on this
-we made covenants in our pre mortal experience as well as Earthly life
-when we meet someone on Earth we may only be renewing our acquaintanceship with them. Many people we are now associating with are familiar spirits
-we will be endowed with power and accompanied by angels on high if we honor and keep our covenants
-the absolute power we have lies in our testimony and power to bring spirits into the world (we partner with God and the Priesthood to do so)
-pray for the gift of discernment
-your path is beautifully outlined for you
-there is no greater compliment somebody can say about you than "she was a covenant keeper"
-remaining virtuous will allow us to have a member of the godhead with us at all times

After her talk to all of the women (at least 75+) she announced that for the next half of the meeting, she wanted to speak to the 16 & 17 year olds personally. About 10 of us gathered in a room in anticipation and when she entered the room, it was like an angel had just come in. We were able to ask her questions and have a discussion with her. The question I asked her, something I've been struggling a ton with these past few weeks, was how to know that our next steps in life (college, mission, marriage) are right and what Heavenly Father wants for us. The answer she gave me was almost exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. That in order to receive revelation, we must always be moving forward. The spirit will not come to us when we are idle. When we make a tentative decision, the Lord will be very clear about if it is right or not. There will be hurdles in our path that will prevent us from moving forward if it isn't what He wants for us. She also counseled us to memorize our patriarchal blessings, and to remember that there is no limit on the amount of prayers you can say in one day- to remember that just because you are lonely, doesn’t mean you are making the wrong decision, it might just mean that you are transitioning. Life will become bright as you stay on the straight and narrow. Be mindful that faith comes before the miracle.  
The last thing she told us all to do was pray every day, read the Book of Mormon every day, obey our parents, and smile. If we do those 4 things her personal promise to the few of us is that we will be blessed. At the end of our discussion, she gave each of us girls a hug and gave us unique compliments.

I am so grateful for this opportunity and I know that it strengthened my testimony in incomparable ways. I hope that I was able to do her divine wisdom justice in this little blog post.

you can learn more about what she testified of here>
you can watch a little vlog about that day here>

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