Last week I was visiting Utah to meet with and provide direction to the public relations department of the Church in preparation for the possibility of Mitt Romney becoming President of the United States and the influx of new members this will cause. I was absolutely delighted when Elder Nelson explained that an opening had come up and that he would be honoured if I were to address the sisters at the MTC.
Below is an excerpt of my address (for the full address I understand that some of the sisters may be uploading my talk to YouTube):
Thank you Elder Nelson for that long and wonderful introduction. Surely the spirit of the Lord is pleased when at such events we highlight each other’s academic and business achievements. While the early apostles were nothing but fishermen and young Joseph was a poor farmer we the modern day leaders of the Lord’s kingdom, yea, we who will be present to usher in the millennial reign of our Lord and Saviour, rarely miss an opportunity to let the members know just how highly educated, successful and humble we are. This is most pleasing unto our father in heaven.
Elder Nelson I am glad that you and the rest of The Twelve have also noticed the strong correlation between my blog posts and Church attendance. I trust in the Lord that this trend will continue. While those who oppose this work may gain small victories (such as getting me banned from Facebook) my blog is still alive and well and is influencing many to come unto Christ and be saved.
My dear sister missionaries, it is wonderful to be amongst you today.
My thoughts and counsel today will be based on a wonderful article found at lds.org that was specifically written for you. http://www.lds.org/new-era/1972/10/a-letter-to-girls-about-lady-missionaries
As I look upon you today I feel impressed to discuss the important and delicate issue of physical appearance. As representatives of the Lord you must always look your best, for the Holy Ghost works at its greatest strength through a person who is in all things pure and clean.
As you work alongside the elders please carefully consider their feelings. The article brings up an important issue that should concern you each and every day of your mission. It points out that “Elders’ most frequent complaints are about sisters’ hair .“ Please follow the counsel to “Have a neat and easy style—not too short or it will look like the elders’, and long enough so that it can be curled on Sundays.”
Be sure to “Sleep on a satin pillowcase” to preserve not only your hair style but also your divine femininity.
In my Stake I labour constantly to get the sisters to wear make-up when they are out in public. The article on lds.org confirms this requirement for sister missionaries. I have observed that some in this very room could use a little more. Please seek out and follow the counsel of your wise and loving district leader in this matter.
Remember always that as sisters you have pledged to “honor and support the priesthood authority over you (even though this authority be administered by an elder who is younger and less experienced). This is an important lesson to learn, for the line of authority is an eternal principle of the gospel and of the home.”
Sisters, always make sure that you are on a diet. No elder wants to have to work with sisters who are overweight. The article counsels that sisters should exercise and warns that at dinner appointments they should “take small helpings, no seconds, and cut down the next day”.
A word of caution is given to, “Never, never eat late at night! When you come home late after a discussion and you have not had time for dinner, eat a little salad or fruit and then go straight to bed and think how much skinnier you will be by not eating a large meal until morning.”
The article confirms what I have been saying to Sister Paternoster for years in our weekly Personal Priesthood Interviews that, “If you are one pound overweight, it is too much. Take it off”
One suggestion that I hope you will all implement in your various missions is that of having a “BNTE Week (Be Nice to Elders Week) where you either cook something good or do something nice for the elders in your district. If you do this, remember that this week especially you must work like a whirlwind so no one can say that you borrowed the Lord’s time. Make it a top week in service and in work also.”
Something that sisters often forget is that rather than going shopping they should “Always participate with the elders on preparation day. If it is something you cannot do (for example if the elders are playing soccer or cricket), then at least be there to watch or cheer. This does wonders for mutual respect between elders and sisters.” Honestly I can’t think of a better activity for Sisters on P-day than watching and cheering the elders on as they play sports. You may consider going the extra mile by supplying the food and cleaning up after them too.
Now as a word of warning; As Brethren we understand that Sisters often like to get worked up and depressed about things. When you get depressed, as I’m sure you will, set aside a little time that day to do something that raises your spirits. The article gives a great suggestion of “spending extra time on your hair and then praying earnestly for help from the Lord.”
Sisters I know that as you do these things, you will find emerging within yourself a strength that will help you bear up under many hardships. You will gain an insight into the gospel that will bring peace to your heart. And as the article confirms “you will have an aura of femininity and a serenity about you that no time spent before the mirror could ever produce”. All this because you will be acquiring qualities that will help you to fulfill your mission in this life as well as in the eternities.
May the Lord bless you as you embark on your missions, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.