“Join the Battalion, Help Gather Israel,” Ensign, July 2018
As they enlist in the Lord’s battalion and help gather Israel, youth of the Church have the opportunity to be “part of something big, something grand, something majestic,” President Russell M. Nelson said during a special worldwide youth devotional on June 3, 2018.
“You were sent to earth at this precise time, the most crucial time in the history of the world, to help gather Israel,” President Nelson said. “There is nothing happening on this earth right now that is more important than that. … This is the mission for which you were sent to earth.”
And so, he said, “I am inviting every young woman and every young man between the ages of 12 and 18 in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to enlist in the youth battalion of the Lord to help gather Israel.”
Speaking with what he called boldness and clarity, he suggested five specific things for youth to do to change themselves and change the world:
Disengage from a constant reliance on social media. He encouraged a seven-day fast from social media.
Sacrifice some time to the Lord. “For three weeks give up something you like to do and use that time to help gather Israel,” he said.
Do a thorough life assessment with the Lord. He encouraged those who have wandered off the gospel path or who need to repent to “please come back through true repentance, now.”
Pray daily that all of God’s children might receive the gospel. “You can be part of the power behind [the] gathering,” he said.
Be a light to the world. “The Lord needs you to look like, sound like, act like, and dress like a true disciple of Jesus Christ,” he said.
President Nelson also encouraged youth to study and to share the values in For the Strength of Youth.
President Nelson’s wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, also spoke at the devotional. “It’s time to stop comparing ourselves with others,” she said. “… The truth is that we are not as hopelessly flawed as we may think, and others are not as perfect as they may appear—all except, of course, our Savior, Jesus Christ.”
The only thing that really matters, she said, is that individuals do what they have covenanted with their Heavenly Father to do.