This talk is taken from the April 2010 General Conference
Never, Never Give Up
By By Mary N. Cook First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency
Have you ever been afraid and discouraged as you’ve faced a challenge that seemed far beyond your ability? Have you ever wanted to give up?
Imagine how Joshua, the successor to the great prophet Moses, must have felt, knowing that he was to lead the children of Israel to the promised land. At times I’m sure he wanted to give up. But the Lord comforted him by reminding him three times to be strong and courageous (see Joshua 1:6–9). With faith that God would be with them, the children of Israel committed, “All that thou commandest … we will do” (Joshua 1:16).
The scriptures are full of accounts of men and women who showed great courage to do whatever the Lord commanded, even when the tasks seemed impossible, even when they may have wanted to give up.
What does the Lord want you to do? He wants you to be a valiant and virtuous [child] of God, dedicated to living each day so that you can be worthy to receive the blessings of the temple and return to Him. In today’s world that will take courage. You have the plan of salvation, which makes it possible to do this. Moral agency, the ability to choose, is an essential part of this plan. You’ve already made some good choices. Before you were born, you made the choice to come to earth to receive a body and to prove yourself. You’ve made the choice to be baptized … You are now experiencing mortal life, where you continue to make choices, to learn, and to grow. Making sacred covenants and receiving the ordinances of the temple is another important step in the plan.
As you are growing older, … the path is becoming steeper, and you may want to give up. Life is more challenging, filled with decisions and temptations at every turn. Satan will blow winds of confusion that may cause you to question if this is the path you want to take. You may be tempted to try another route, even when signs of danger are posted. You may doubt your abilities, and you may wonder as one young woman did, “Is it really possible to remain virtuous in today’s world?” The answer, my young friends, is “Yes!” And my counsel to you is similar to that given by Winston Churchill during World War II: never, never, never give up! (see “Never Give In” [speech, Harrow School, London, England, Oct. 29, 1941]).
… We each need the help of the Savior to follow the plan and return to our Father in Heaven. … “Because the Savior loves you and has given His life for you, you can repent. … The Savior’s atoning sacrifice has made it possible for you to be forgiven of your sins” (Young Women Personal Progress [booklet, 2009], 71).