March 2023

“Connect,” For the Strength of Youth, Mar. 2023.


Rikuto I.,

16, Japan

young man

Photograph by Sayaka Okubo

My name is Rikuto, and I’m from Matsudo City, Japan.

During a family home evening activity, I used the Family Tree app to learn who my ancestors were and what their lives were like. I was surprised to learn that one of my ancestors had been a cavalryman who had guarded a Japanese emperor who lived long ago.

I love to play soccer, but because I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I didn’t want to play on Sundays. It was hard for me to tell my coach that I wouldn’t be able to practice on Sunday, but when I explained that I attend church, he still let me join the team.

Since I missed Sunday practices, my teammates wouldn’t always trust my skill level. I prayed that I would be focused and play well during practice, since I didn’t have as much practice time as the rest of the team. When the final tournament came around, I was invited to participate in the game. I know God helped me to achieve that goal.