We are....

....daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us.

I spent last week at girls' camp. I love girls camp, always have. I went every year as a young woman and have great memories. (Well, except my the year where I was the only first-year beehive and the other beehives decided to initiate me by scaring the pants off me in a way that literally gave me nightmares for years.) I love going as a leader and taking my daughter was the icing on the cake. The thing that really struck me this week was this- Knowledge is Power. The week at girls camp gave these girls so much knowledge.

The world these young women live in is brutal. There are so many out there, that 'evil one' included, who are bombarding them with the messages that they aren't thin, pretty, smart or good enough. The young women's theme is so influential. When I was that age, there was no theme. (Yes, I was a pioneer.) I see what a powerful thing it is for them to memorize that first sentence- "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us and we love Him." It's important that that's the first sentence, it's the first thing they learn. With all the stuff out there, it's essential for them to know this simple truth.

They found out that they have friends. The bonds they make during this time are so strong. Girls who didn't know each other became 'secret sisters' doing small acts of kindness for each other. They spent time talking, laughing and squealing (lots of squealing) together. Hopefully, when they see each other at school and around the neighborhood, they'll wave and say 'hi'.

They also learned that they can do hard things. Everyone went on a hike, 3 or 5 miles. I'm willing to bet that most of them had never hiked that far. They learned to follow a GPS and find geochache treasures. They did a copes course (an obstacle course on steroids). Ah, the look on their faces when you asked if they finished it. *big smile* "I did it!" They put on skits that they made up, they swam in a 39 degree river at 7 am (Polar Bear Club), and canoed around a lake.

Most importantly, they learned what it feels like to feel the spirit. Our theme was "got roots? Are you spiritually rooted in Christ?" That, along with the church wide youth theme of "Be thou an example of the believers" was emphasized all week. Many of our girls are inactive and a couple are non-members. They don't have spiritual experiences often. This week was a saturation of them. They read scriptures, wrote in journals, and passed off Personal Progress requirements. We had the most amazing speaker on Friday night that had everyone crying, but also, had everyone feeling the spirit.

I think the timing of camp was no coincidence this year. They start school next week, and they will all be in jr. high or high school. You remember jr. high, right? What better way to go into that pit of despair than infused with the power that comes from knowledge? They must be powerful, they are the future mothers and leaders of youth. They are so much better prepared because they know that they can do hard things, they have friends, they have leaders who would do just about anything for them (including jumping into a freezing river). They know that they have roots that will support them when the winds of life come and try to beat them down. They know the Holy Ghost and how he speaks to them. And, most of all, they know that they are daughters of their Heavenly Father and that's the most powerful knowledge of all.


  1. I have tears of joy -- these were all things that I had hoped to accomplish this year. Wow!:)


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