“Speaking Today,” Liahona, Mar. 2006, N9–N10
President Monson Urges Caution, Faith in Navigating Life’s Course
Speaking at a Church Educational System fireside on November 6, 2005, President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, encouraged young adults who are making choices to consider who they are, where they came from, and what destinations they seek.
Addressing an audience of thousands of college-age adults in the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and many more watching the worldwide broadcast of the fireside, President Monson said futures and destinies are determined by everyday choices. He encouraged the audience to seek improved ways of living while developing a spirit of exploration. “The principles of living greatly include the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and trial with humility,” he said.
President Monson referred to a passage in Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.”
“This is you, my young brothers and sisters,” President Monson said. “The future is in your hands. The outcome is up to you.”
Although life’s path may be challenging to navigate, President Monson said, the Lord has provided “markers” such as His commandments to guide His children to the ultimate destination, eternal life.
“My young friends,” he said, “each heartfelt prayer, each Church meeting attended, each worthy friend, each righteous decision, each act of service performed all precede that goal of eternal life. The reward of eternal life requires effort.”
President Monson provided three “ideals” to help guide young adults toward their destinations: “Choose your friends with caution, plan your future with purpose, and frame your life with faith,” he said.
He said friends are an important factor in shaping lives.
“We tend to become like those whom we admire,” he said. He also said those who are most admired tend to be one’s friends. He urged the audience to find friends who share the same goals and who can help them toward the destination of eternal life.
Beyond the bounds of earthly friendship, President Monson said, Heavenly Father stands ready to guide, and He also extends guidance through His servants who are set apart as bishops.
President Monson encouraged young adults searching for an eternal companion to remember their purpose and maintain their standards in action and in selection.
“We must not let our passions destroy our dreams,” he said, quoting King Arthur from the musical Camelot. “May you follow this most essential counsel. I urge you to hold fast to your standards. I plead with you not to waver.”
President Monson said genuine faith is a product of dedication.
“Amidst the confusion of the times, the conflicts of conscience, and the turmoil of daily living, an abiding faith becomes an anchor to our lives,” he said, adding that “faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other. Be firm in your faith.”
He told the story of a pioneer woman, Catherine Curtis Spencer, who died on the plains because of her refusal to renounce her faith.
“Though we may not necessarily forfeit our lives in service to our God, we can certainly demonstrate our love for Him by how well we serve Him,” President Monson said.
He said the Holy Ghost will bless the lives of those who turn to the Lord as they choose friends with caution, plan for the future with purpose, and frame their lives with faith.