“A Great Work,” For the Strength of Youth, Jan. 2021, 20–21.
You marvelous young women and young men are part of something wonderful—you are “laying the foundation of a great work” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33). That work helps the Lord, Jesus Christ, carry out His mission as we participate in the gathering of Israel on both sides of the veil and the building of Zion.
President Russell M. Nelson has invited each of you to join in that work as part of “the youth battalion of the Lord.”2 But what is a battalion? A battalion is a specialized unit designed to accomplish specific tasks together. That means you are part of a specialized unit to find and accomplish your part in the Lord’s great work.
When the prophet invited you to see the purpose of your lives with a focus on the gathering of Israel, your life started to look like Moses’s life. Moses, who was raised as a prince of Egypt, had to flee for his life and later became content with his simple life tending sheep. But the Lord called on him and declared, “I have a work for thee” (Moses 1:6). Our Father in Heaven knew what Moses did not: that with God’s help, Moses could be instrumental in rescuing a great nation—he could do anything.
You might wonder, “I am not Moses. Can I even make a difference in this world?” We have felt the same way at times, but we have been around long enough to know the answer is yes. We see ordinary youth every day who are choosing not to live ordinary lives. They are having a powerful influence on those around them by just quietly being true disciples of Jesus Christ. They are developing their talents and helping their families succeed. You are called by a prophet to “lay the foundation of a great work.” As we trust in Jesus Christ and seek to do His will, we make a difference!
You are not alone in this. As you join in the Lord’s battalion, you join a vast group of youth across the world. We stand beside you shoulder to shoulder along with your parents, leaders, and friends, apostles and prophets, and the very angels of heaven, all striving to accomplish the work of the Lord together (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:88).
We will take it a little at a time. The Lord invites us to take small and simple steps as we embark in this great work (see Doctrine and Covenants 64:33). Consistent, faithful actions will move us forward and invite us to reach out and help those around us. Some of these simple things can be tailored personally to you since everyone’s journey is not going to be exactly the same.
Pray to know who you are and understand your personal role in God’s plan. Pray to know what small and simple things you should do each day. You will likely have to get out of your comfort zone, but as you are willing to act on promptings you receive, you will be given more.
As President Nelson recently taught: “As we seek to be disciples of Jesus Christ, our efforts to hear Him need to be ever more intentional. It takes conscious and consistent effort to fill our daily lives with His words, His teachings, His truths.”3
As you seek revelation, the Lord will guide you to know how to use your individual talents and personality to serve and live the gospel. He will stretch your imagination, creativity, and capacity in ways you never would have thought possible.
As you offer your willing heart and mind to the Lord, you will discover more friends and increased opportunities to serve. Your sense of identity and purpose will be strengthened, and you will find joy.
We may sometimes feel content to settle and coast, but God has something else in store. Just as He had a great work for Moses, He has a great work for you. Be not weary! We have complete confidence in you—the youth battalion of the Lord.