I, too, think it is very important that young women should early form some design, some definite purpose in life. Let that resolve be a noble one, a good one; something with a view of benefiting others as well as one’s self. Perhaps your sphere may be in the household; if so, let every member feel that you are indispensable to the comfort of home, by your good works and your love and patience. You may be a stay and a comfort and a help to your mother, though you may not be called to herculean tasks or heroic sacrifices. Fix in your minds noble thoughts, cultivate elevated themes, let your aims and aspirations be high. Be in a certain degree independent; to the degree of usefulness, helpfulness and self-reliance, though no human beings can be said truly to be independent of their fellow beings, and there is no one reckless enough to deny our utter dependence on our heavenly Father. Seek to be educated in the highest meaning of the term; get the most possible service out of your time, your body and brains, and let all your efforts be directed into honorable channels, that no effort shall be wasted, and no labor result in loss or evil.
Seek the very best society; be kind, polite, agreeable, seeking to learn whatever is good, and comprehend the duties of life that you may be a blessing to all those with whom you associate, making the very most and best of your lot in life. . . .
I cannot tolerate the young lady who appears well in society at the expense of the comfort of her mother at home. Do not fear to divide the burdens, and to do all in your power to brighten the lot of your mother, and you will find blessings that are never discovered in the path of selfishness.
And I exhort you young sisters to sustain those who are placed over you, to improve all your opportunities, and refrain from evil; and, mark me, you will attain to a high standard of character and the honors of life, and become potent factors in forming your communities. Maintain your dignity, integrity, and virtue at the sacrifice of life. Take this course, and although you may be ignorant of many things, you will be esteemed as of the noblest types of womanhood. With such virtues for her adornment, no man could help loving such a young lady. 1
Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, pp. 351-53; Young Woman’s Journal, Vol. 3, 1891-1892, pp. 142-144