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Mother of the Year Goes to.... Not Me

Every morning I go to the gym to exercise. I love it because I have a lot of friends there (it's my adult interaction for the day...hahah...but seriously...), endorphins are released, I feel powerful and strong....etc. Fast forward to about 10 minutes after I arrive home.

Kids are fighting over who grabbed the box of cereal first.

Tears are rolling down cheeks from, "Cameron looked at me in a mean way."

Fights are breaking out between who has to be the flippin' monkey in the middle...

You get the idea.

So pretty much all the good I do at 5:30 in the wee early morning hours gets completely undone. (Perhaps I should schedule my workouts to after the kids leave for school instead?)

Anyway, today was no different. The kids actually all got ready on their own really well without any fights. They had a good 20 minutes to kill before we had to leave for school. They decided to play a game (but not the blasted Monkey in the Middle game...No! No! I banned that game [and 'jinx&#…

Tati's Talk, "YW Role in Gathering Israel"

I recently spoke again in church for Stake Conference. I spoke at the general session a couple of years ago in Tooele when I was the Stake YW President, but this time I spoke at the Ward Council Training early morning on Sunday.

My talk went well. I remember when Pres. Allred had messaged me the week prior asking me to meet with him that I starting freaking out thinking I was getting a new calling. When I looked at the church calendar, however, I saw Stake Conference on the agenda and knew it had to be related. I felt relieved (ironically considering most people are scared to speak in church, let alone Stake Conference). I feel really grateful for the way Heavenly Father has molded and shaped me into who I am today. Most people are surprised to learn that I used to be a very shy kid. It's true. It wasn't until I was in the 4th grade that I learned I could gain good attention by my sarcasm and quick-witted remarks. Since then, I've loved the spotlight. (Okay, maybe "love" isnt the right word for it, but I'm definitely more comfortable getting up in front of people).

I've spoken in public places countless times in my life. In fact, I remember taking a public speaking course in college to help me. I actually enjoyed it and still try to apply some of those principles every time I speak (ie. limiting my "ummmm...", not speaking too quickly, keeping good eye contact, being confident, and know my information beforehand so I don't stumble over writing everything word for word.).

Every time I write a new talk I reflect on those tips from college. I try really hard to not write out my talk word-for-word, but inevitably I always do. But after my talk in Stake Conference, I'm glad I did. Here's why:

After the meeting, the stake presidency came over and shook each of our (each speaker's) hands and spoke with us for a little bit. President Swink (one of the counselors here in the Providence UT stake) congratulated me on a well-prepared, and useful talk. He said rarely do speakers deliver a talk in the manner I did--that was outlined well, and easy to follow. He advised me to keep all of my talks so my kids can one day read them. I thought that was pretty neat.

So that's ultimately what brings me here. I considered starting a new blog for all my talks, but I figured I may as well add them to this blog. I have several other blogs that I still need to catch up on anyways.

The only problem with  me posting my talks, is they're going to be completely out of chronological order as I'm too lazy to go through and organize them like that. Heck, I'm just hoping I can actually locate most of my talks.

Anyway, here it is:

YW Role in Gathering Israel & How it Prepares them for Life. (6min)
Tatiana Southam
Stake Conference, 1/19/2020

One of the most important things someone can learn for herself besides who she is, is what her purpose is here on earth. President Nelson has been very forthright in his instruction to the youth today that they were sent here specifically to gather Israel. This gathering is “the greatest challenge, the greatest cause, and the greatest work on earth today”! Pres. Nelson

Gathering Israel is a term used a lot in the Church. And to be honest, I don’t even know if I myself quite understood what this really meant until recently. All people can be gathered to Israel, either by direct descent or by adoption to one of the tribes of Israel, which happens when they are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. The gathering was foretold by ancient prophets and is a prelude to the Lord’s Second Coming. People today are considered gathered when they accept the gospel, receive ordinances, and make sacred covenants.

The gathering has already begun, and the young men and young women play a vital role in it. As they participate in it actively, they are hastening the Lord’s work and preparing themselves for their future roles as well. 

So what is the role of a young woman in gathering? The new YW theme  makes it clear: “As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I strive to become like Him. I seek and act upon personal revelation and minister to others in His Holy name.” 

I’ve broke it down into three parts:
  1. Preparing Spiritually
  2. Participating in Family history/Temple Work
  3. Ministering

1. Preparing Spiritually

A couple of years ago when President Nelson spoke, something he said really struck me in regards to personal revelation: “In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, and comforting constant influence of the Holy Ghost.” 

We live in a world full of noise and distractions. When we are bombarded with those distractions, it can be really hard to hear the still, small whisperings of the Holy Ghost. I believe this is in part why Pres. Nelson challenged the youth to take a fast from social media-- to be better able to hear and recognize His voice.

Brother Stephen W. Owen, YM General President, counseled us to take time to deliberately disconnect from the world and take time to connect with heaven. I am impressed when I see the righteous examples of the young women I work with take this counsel to heart as they read their scriptures, attend the temple, and choose to abstain from worldly distractions. This past year at Girls Camp, none of our girls had the normal distractions they usually do at home because we were four hours from home without cell service or Wi-Fi. They joyfully engaged with one another, made new, lasting friendships, uplifted each other, and were more united as a whole. They learned new skills, gained new talents, and grew spiritually as they connected more with heaven. 

I know that as they continue doing this at home, they will grow closer to the Savior and be more apt to act on the promptings they receive. The companionship of the Holy Ghost will assist them in handling the mortal challenges and trials life places upon them. 

2. Participating in Family History/ Temple Work. 

I got really excited when the Church announced the age change for youth entering young women. Because of this, we had over 10 girls recently join us in young women’s, one of those being my daughter (who just barely turned 11 last month). 

One of the first questions I received as a Young Women leader from those incoming girls was, “When can I go to the temple?” Their excitement in doing temple work is contagious, and the light they have about them engaging in this sacred work is bright. 

I had the opportunity of sitting down with my own daughter and explained a little about the process of doing baptisms for the dead, and why it was so important. Pres. Nelson said, “Anytime you do anything that helps anyone—on either side of the veil—take a step toward making covenants with God and receiving their essential baptismal and temple ordinances, you are helping to gather Israel.” She was excited to have five of her very own family names to do baptisms for. 

Engaging the young women in temple work at a young age not only helps those beyond the grave, but it helps young women prepare to make and keep sacred temple covenants when they’re older. 

3. Ministering

As I attended my first Prepare to Share meeting last week, I came across these words from the Preach My Gospel manual, “You are called to represent Jesus Christ in helping people become clean from their sins and find greater happiness and joy.” It is evident that as we minister to others, we are indeed helping others find happiness and striving to be like our Savior. 

A couple of weeks ago for our 5th Sunday Lesson, we were combined with the young men and had a missionary panel of 5 recently returned elders and sister from our ward. One sister said missionary work IS basically ministering. 

After a few questions from the youth, one elder explained that missionary work wasn’t about the number of baptisms, but rather forgetting themselves, “putting off the natural man,” serving, and sharing the gospel. He said, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” We all need to be intentional talking about Christ, rejoicing in Christ, and preaching of Him with our friends and families. The  youth can share the gospel and their standards with those around them. President Nelson promised that as we do this, we draw closer to the Savior and “...changes, even miracles, will begin to happen.” 

As young women minister and serve in the Savior’s way, they are able to support friends and family who are struggling, feel the Savior’s love for them, and be powerful witnesses of Jesus Christ. 

The young women are special daughters of God with a divine purpose to gather Israel in these latter-days. As they prepare spiritually, participate in family history/temple work, and minister to others, they will gain confidence in their future roles as women, wives, mothers, career professionals, and serve faithfully in future callings. They will be better able to withstand the temptations of this world, and help take part in the “greatest cause and the greatest work on earth.”

Of this I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  


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