~ Arise and Shine ~

Butterfly Impressions

Young Women Values Symbols

on March 19, 2014

I had been thinking lately about the Young Women Values and how awesome it would be to have a visual symbol for each.  The Young Women Values already have their respective symbolic colors assigned to them, as well as a scripture and motto. (see the Young Women Personal Progress book)  In an effort to appropriately magnify these wonderful values, continue reading to learn about the symbols I suggest for each, as well as the reasons why – with scripture references 🙂  (Feel free to use these ideas for personal, family, and church use.)

For the Young Women Value of Faith, a seed was the first thing that came to my mind.  It came through the lyrics of the song “Faith” in the Children’s Songbook (page 96).
“Faith is knowing the sun will rise, lighting each new day.
Faith is knowing the Lord will hear my prayers each time I pray.
Faith is like a little seed:
If planted, it will grow.
Faith is a swelling within my heart.
When I do right, I know.”
In Matthew 17:20, Jesus teaches his disciples, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say
unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and
nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
We learn more about the significance of Christ comparing a mustard seed to the value of faith in a parable he told to his disciples.  “The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed,
which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the
greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air
come and lodge in the branches thereof” (Matthew 13:31-32).
Further reference of faith compared to a seed was taught by Alma:
“Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place,
that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a
true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that
ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within
your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say
within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word
is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding,
yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
“Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea;
nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.
“But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow,
then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and
sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen
your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that
this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow” (Alma 32:28-30).
So, the symbol I chose for faith was a white rose – a symbol of purity and beauty – that has grown and blossomed from a seed.
Divine Nature
“I have inherited divine qualities, which I will strive to develop” (Young Women Personal Progress Book).
The Young Women Theme reminds us that “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father”.  Through him, we have a divine nature.  We have the potential to change from imperfect mortals and become as he is – spiritually enabled, completely pure, and infinitely beautiful.  So, the symbol for the Young Women Value of Divine Nature is a butterfly.
“Be partakers of the divine nature. … Giving all diligence, add to your
faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to
temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly
kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (2 Peter 1:4–7).  Growing into our divine nature is a process of change.  It takes time and struggle, but we are all equipped with the strength within us to become spiritual butterflies!
Individual Worth
We are each so important in Heavenly Father’s plan.  “I am of infinite worth with my own divine mission, which I will strive
to fulfill” (Young Women Personal Progress Book).  But, sometimes, it’s difficult to see the worth that we have.  So often, we look at others and compare ourselves to how they appear to be.  However, looking at the outside is always shortsighted and restricted.

“The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).  As we diligently and prayerfully seek to discover our own individual worth, the Lord will help us to see what he sees in our hearts.

Before we can gain a testimony of something, we must first develop our knowledge.  Then, as we “search, ponder, and pray” about that knowledge, we can come to know if it is true. (Children’s Songbook, p.109)
“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye
would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these
things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real
intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of
it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of
all things” (Moroni 10:4-5).
And, as we act on the truth we receive into our hearts through the Holy Ghost, knowledge becomes wisdom.  “Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118).
Through books – especially the scriptures – we can learn knowledge and develop a deeper wisdom within ourselves!
Choice and Accountability
This was one of the more difficult Young Women Value symbols for me to settle on.  But, there are several things that helped me to be reconciled to my decision to represent the value of Choice and Accountability with a fruit.
The Young Women Motto for Choice and Accountability is, “I will choose good over evil and will accept responsibility for my decisions” (Young Women Personal Progress Book).  Reading this motto reminded me of a set of verses in 2 Nephi:
“And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have
fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which
were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they
were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
“And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have
remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery;
doing no good, for they knew no sin.
“But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all

“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

“And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil” (2 Nephi 2:22-26).

So, the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil comes to represent Choice and Accountability.  But, there is also the fruit from the Tree of Life in Lehi’s dream – which dream represents the choices we make in life and the consequences of those choices. (see 1 Nephi 8)  Thus, the fruit not only reminds us of the fruit eaten by Adam and Eve to enable free agency, but also the hope of returning to Heavenly Father’s presence through the power of Christ’s Atonement.
Good Works
“For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth
is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus
Christ.  And the Spirit giveth light to every
man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man
through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit” (Doctrine and
Covenants 84:45-46).
As we seek the Spirit and follow his promptings, we will know in what ways we can best serve others and our savior, Jesus Christ.  For he said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of
these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).

We perform good works – the best works, even – in our lives as we share our light with those around us. 

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house; Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (3 Nephi 12:14-16).

Besides Choice and Accountability, the Young Women Value of Integrity was the most difficult for me to settle on.  Integrity is such a powerful virtue to value in our lives!  It encompasses so many other virtues as well.  In fact, every virtue we value and act in accordance with requires that we honor our integrity in order to do so!

To live with integrity requires great courage on our part.  Standing up for what we believe requires great strength.  We must “put on the whole Armor of God” in order to be true to who we are inside.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the
power of his might.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but
against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of
this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able
to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able
to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God:
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all
saints” (Ephesians 6:10-18).
In order “to withstand in the evil day”, we must have the Young Women Value of Integrity as symbolized by the shield of faith and sword of the Spirit.
When I read the Young Women Value Scripture for Virtue, it suggested a symbol to me. “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10). But, if her price is considered greater than rubies, how could virtue be symbolized?

The Young Women Motto for Integrity, “I will prepare to enter the temple and remain pure and worthy”, is what led me in the direction I needed. (Young Women Personal Progress Book)

In our Holy Temples we have the opportunity to be “endow[ed] with power from on high” (Doctrine and Covenants 95:8).  To receive all ordinances requisite to becoming like our Heavenly Father, we must do as Christ directed Emma Smith in Doctrine and Covenants 25:15: 

“Keep my commandments continually, and a crown of righteousness thou shalt receive. And except thou do this, where I am you cannot come.”

In order to return to live with our Heavenly Father, receiving “a crown of righteousness”, we must live a life of virtue.

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