Hugh Pinnock, Megan Rasmussen, Elizabeth D. Rose and Mary Teichert spoke to a BYU Women’s Conference audience about the joys, challenges and standards that encompass the life of a young adult in the church today.
The panel discussion titled “Young Adults: What Manner of Living Will You Choose?” focused on ways young adults of the church can find true happiness and success.
Moderator Elizabeth Rose began the presentation by comparing a fairly typical university experience to the way some young adults may live their lives. A room full of nostalgic women chuckled as Rose described the experiences of a young girl who anticipated total success during her four-year education at a university but was sorely disappointed when graduation came and she discovered she had enjoyed the college life a little bit too much and was not qualified to graduate. Rose then compared this to each individual’s mortal experience, posing the question, “Will we get to the end of our lives and realize that we are not on track to ‘graduate’?”
Mary Teichert urged the audience to trust in Jesus Christ. Through personal experiences, Teichert illustrated the importance of following whisperings of the Spirit each day. “So many times we just have to keep walking straight, even if we don’t know why or where we are going,” Teichert said.
Hugh Pinnock then urged women to look out for those around them who may need help progressing spiritually, especially referring to those young adults recently returned from mission service.
Pinnock spoke of signs that parents should look for when assessing the spiritual progress of their young adult children. This list included falling into old habits, lack of desire to move forward, no progress in work or school and the absence of faith in their future. He urged these women to pray for their children and promised them guidance as they worked toward becoming like Jesus Christ.
Megan Rasmussen spoke of dealing with young adult children who may have strayed from the church and its teachings. She listed three principles related to this concept, consisting of cause, control and change.
Rasmussen expressed concern for parents who feel that the actions of children reflect their own parenting. “It’s easy to look at the mistakes of your children and think that you are at fault,” Rasmussen said. “This is ridiculous.” She said there is a limit to how long one can blame his or her parents for their own personal mistakes in order to avoid responsibility. Until that point comes, however, parents may feel they are to blame for their child’s behavior; but, as Rasmussen stated, that is not the truth.
Finally, Rasmussen spoke of the peace that comes from realizing that, no matter the extensiveness of a child’s struggles, he or she already has a Savior who is aware of them and their problems individually; through turning to Him, one’s burdens will be lightened.
As Rose concluded the session, she urged women to turn to Jesus Christ. “If we understand the Atonement,” she said, “we can do anything.”