Quotes and Stories from the Old Testament


“You are set apart. You distinguished yourselves in the premortal existence. Your lineage carries with it a covenant and promises. You have inherited the spiritual attributes of the faithful—even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Your very nature reflects your divine heritage and destiny. The fact that you were born a girl is not by chance. Your divine characteristics will be magnified as you lead others and arise to your divine potential. Draw close to the Savior. He lives! He is the light, life, and hope of the world. He will lead you and give you courage to share your light.”

Elaine S. Dalton, Second Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
It Shows in Your Face,” April 2006 General Conference


“The Lord has promised us that He will not forget us because He has ‘graven [us] upon the palms of [His] hands’ (Isa. 49:16). And our promise to Him is that we will not forget Him, for we have engraven Him in our hearts.”

Susan W. Tanner, Young Women General President
Steadfast in Our Covenants,” April 2003 General Conference


“…don’t be paralyzed from fear of making mistakes. Thrust your hands into the clay of your lives and begin. I love how Rebekah of old responded to Abraham’s servant who came in search of a wife for Isaac. Her answer was simple and direct, ‘I will go,’ she said.

“Rebekah could have refused. She could have told the servant to wait until she had the proper send-off, a new wardrobe, until she lost a few pounds, or until the weather was more promising. She could have said, ‘What’s wrong with Isaac that he can’t find a wife in all of Canaan?’ But she didn’t. She acted, and so should we.

“The time for procrastination is over. Begin! Don’t be afraid. Do the best you can. Of course you will make mistakes. Everyone does. Learn from them and move forward.”

Mary Ellen Smoot, Relief Society General President
We Are Creators,” April 2000 General Conference


“…the Israelites of ancient times are your people. The miracles God provided them are part of your spiritual heritage. The pioneers are your people. It makes no difference whether their names appear on your pedigree chart. The miracles God provided them are a part of your personal spiritual heritage. If God did it for Moses by the Red Sea…he will do it for you!”

Virginia H. Pearce, First Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Faith Is the Answer,” April 1994 General Conference


“I can imagine how frightening it must have been for Adam and Eve, who had lived with complete security—friendly animals, plenty to eat, no opposition from nature—to suddenly be cast into a world where survival itself must have been a constant fear.

“Why is fear part of earth life?

“Perhaps our Heavenly Father’s greatest hope is that through our fears we may choose to turn to him. The uncertainties of earth life can help to remind each of us that we are dependent on him. But that reminder is not automatic. It involves our agency. We must choose to take our fears to him, choose to trust him, and choose to allow him to direct us. We must make these choices when what we feel most inclined to do is to rely more and more on our own frantic and often distorted thinking.”

Virginia H. Pearce, First Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Fear,” October 1992 General Conference


“I have thought about the emergency preparation necessary when Noah’s ark was made ready. Noah must have achieved the most effective welfare planning in the history of mankind when he very carefully followed the Lord’s counsel and built the ark. His wife and their sons undoubtedly worked and planned with him so that the blessings of the Lord might be theirs. Just think of preparing a year’s supply for those multitudes of animals which were brought into the ark. Noah and his family must have been able to plan and provide in such a way that they could find pleasure in their efforts (selecting just the right two of each animal), adventure in their voyage (surely there were new little furry creatures almost weekly), and joy as the splendor of the very first rainbow filled the sky, and the Lord’s promise was fulfilled.

“Could we be as diligent today? Can we as women be accountable and help meet the great challenge of economic stress by our wise stewardship over that with which the Lord has blessed us?”

Barbara B. Smith, Relief Society General President
Reach for the Stars,” April 1981 General Conference


“…As I have read the story of Joseph, I have been impressed with his great qualities of mind and spirit that made his experience one of the greatest welfare sagas of ecclesiastical history.

“Recall the circumstances of Joseph’s Egyptian servitude, his time in the household of Potiphar as overseer of the house (see Gen. 39). Remember the test of faith during his unjust imprisonment. Consider his interpretation of dreams that ultimately led to his elevation to the highest office in Pharaoh’s government.

“Note Joseph’s obedience to the Lord’s warning of impending famine, that ‘the land perish not through the famine’ (Gen. 41:36). ‘Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea’ (Gen. 41:49) during the seven plenteous years against the seven years of famine.

“Observe the drama unfold which brought Joseph’s brothers to him to plead for food. Joseph was the agent of their deliverance. Feel the emotion as Joseph revealed his true identity to his family.

“Finally, recognize the discipline of Joseph’s life that brought to fruition his absolute faith in the Lord, his endurance, his deep affection for his kindred.

“We, as women in the Church, can be Joseph-like in faith and in obedience and in following the direction of the Lord given us through his chosen leaders.”

Barbara B. Smith, Relief Society General President
Follow Joyously,” October 1980 General Conference


“Ruth gleaned from the fields to sustain herself and Naomi. But more than what she gleaned from the fields were the experiences that came as she worked to thresh out the wheat from the chaff. At the end of her day she had great blessings because of her effort. This is the challenge we all face in our own lives. We too must glean from life’s circumstances and experiences that which will give us growth and faith and peace of mind.

“There is no way that we can, or should want to, escape the challenges and struggles of mortality. How we struggle with them is our choice. The gospel plan gives us an eternal perspective that should help us have courage to be about our gleaning.”

Barbara B. Smith, Relief Society General President
The Bond of Charity,” October 1980 General Conference




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