“Walk in God’s light,” For the Strength of Youth: A Guide for Making Choices (2022)
“Walk in God’s light,” For the Strength of Youth
You make better choices when you can see things clearly. That’s why light is so important: light makes it easier to see the right path. Heavenly Father has given you access to heavenly light—the gift of the Holy Ghost—to help you see clearly what is good and bad, right and wrong.
At baptism you enter a joyful covenant relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. In the temple, you will make additional covenants that can strengthen that relationship. Each week during the sacrament, you renew your covenants. You express your willingness to keep the commandments, and the Lord blesses you with the opportunity to have the Holy Spirit as your constant companion. It is one of His greatest gifts to you.
Making good choices improves your ability to feel the Spirit. There are many good and wholesome things in this world. Just as your body is affected by what you eat and drink, your mind and spirit are profoundly affected by what you read, watch, and listen to.
Make time for the Lord every day. Learn of Him. Always remember Him. Pray to your Heavenly Father. Study the holy scriptures and the words of living prophets. Then strive to live by what you learn.
Seek that which uplifts, inspires, and invites the Spirit. As you make choices about what to watch, read, listen to, or participate in, think about how it makes you feel. Does it invite good thoughts? Stay away from anything that mocks sacred things or that is immoral. Don’t participate in anything that dulls your judgment or sensitivity to the Spirit, such as violence, alcohol, and harmful drugs. Have the courage to turn off a video or game, walk out of a movie or a dance, change your music, or turn away from anything that is not consistent with the Spirit.
Use social media to uplift. Social media can be a powerful communication tool. If you use it, focus on light, faith, and truth. Don’t compare your life to what other people seem to be experiencing. Remember that your worth comes from being a child of heavenly parents, not from social media.
Seek wholesome experiences and real and lasting relationships. Be careful that your use of technology and media does not replace spending in-person time with family and friends. Social media and other technology can take much of your time without giving a lot of value in return. Take a break from the virtual world, and connect with people in real life.
You can have the Spirit with you always. The Holy Ghost will bear witness to you of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He will comfort, guide, warn, and sanctify you. He will help you recognize truth and see the good in the world.
How can I know if I’m feeling the Holy Ghost? Learning to be aware of the Spirit takes time, practice, and patience. He speaks to different people in different ways. Don’t overlook simple things—the peaceful feeling you get hearing someone’s testimony or the unsettled feeling you get after making a wrong choice. Search the scriptures for different ways the Spirit communicates, pray about it, and keep looking for opportunities to feel the Spirit.
What is pornography? Why should I avoid it? Pornography is a representation, in pictures or words, that is designed to arouse sexual feelings. Pornography comes in many forms, including videos, pictures, books, and music. It can also be messages or images sent between friends. Pornography treats things that are sacred—our physical bodies and sexual feelings—with disrespect. You may come across pornography without meaning to. Whether you come across pornography intentionally or not, turn away immediately. You may also want to talk with a parent or other trusted adult. Intentionally viewing pornography is sinful and harms your ability to feel the Spirit. It weakens your self-control and distorts the way you see yourself and others. Jesus Christ has the power to help you resist pornography and repent. Turn toward Him; turn away from darkness. Your bishop can help you receive strength and forgiveness through the Savior.
The Lord has said that all things are to be “done in cleanliness” before Him (Doctrine and Covenants 42:41). Do you strive for moral cleanliness in your thoughts and behavior? Do you obey the law of chastity?
Do you strive to keep the Sabbath day holy, both at home and at church; attend your meetings; prepare for and worthily partake of the sacrament; and live your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?