How to Prepare for Your Future
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“How to Prepare for Your Future,” New Era, Aug. 2013, 48

From Church Leaders

How to Prepare for Your Future

From a BYU–Hawaii commencement address given on April 9, 2011.

May I offer my vision of you and your future. You enter a world caught in a steep slippery slide of diminishing moral values. Against that backdrop, your character and integrity will let you stand out and shine like a lighthouse. You, your families, and your homes will become beacons of hope in a darkened world. Your faith and optimism will make you leaders in your communities, in your countries, and in the kingdom of God on earth.

Photograph by Church Publishing Services

It will be your privilege to proclaim the gospel to the world.

You will place a high priority on those two great commandments: to love God with all your heart, and to love your neighbor as yourself (see Matthew 22:37–39). You will continue to learn and build in yourselves an ever-increasing capacity to serve others. As you do so, you will find that your own lives have been enlarged and enriched.

When you serve your fellow men and women, you serve God and help to establish His Church in those lands where you live.

You will be examples to all with whom you associate—examples of forbearance, of integrity, of controlling your tempers, appetites, and emotions, as you honor the priesthood and your sacred covenants.

As you adhere to the standards of the Church, you will be in great demand. And you will find true joy in total obedience to God’s laws. While some others choose which commandments they will keep, you know the fallacy and danger of this approach. It will only lead to misery. You will gain protection and spiritual strength in complete obedience. After all, he or she who does not stand for something will likely fall for anything.

What will keep you joyful and safe, physically and spiritually? Obedience! Obedience to all of God’s commandments will allow the Holy Ghost to be your constant companion. Such obedience will prepare you to be great leaders, great wives and husbands, great mothers and fathers. Such obedience will allow you to become more like the Lord (see 3 Nephi 27:27).

Prophets fervently warn that pornography, infidelity, and immorality are all tools of the adversary. They will destroy you, physically and spiritually. Satan’s objective is to hook you and make you miserable, even as he is. Shun these traps now and your future will be brighter.

Remember, your goal is exaltation and eternal life. That goal is God’s glory.

The Lord’s vision for you as His elect children requires that you be clean, virtuous, and qualified for eternal life.