“Amazing Young Men and Young Women in the Scriptures,” New Era, October 2015, 8–9
The Lord loves the youth of the Church. He has a great amount of trust in you. In every age, the Lord has inspired valiant young men and young women to lead and bless His people. He needs their creativity, courage, and originality. It has always been so and will continue to be so.
The many examples of young heroes run like a golden thread through the scriptures. Even though they lived long ago, you can follow their examples and relate to their lives. They had family problems; they lived among unrighteous people; they faced “Goliaths,” but their courage, obedience, and faith in Jesus Christ got them through their challenges—just as these qualities can for you too.
Abraham’s determination, courage, and willingness to raise his voice against wickedness were amazing—even more amazing considering that his father worshipped idols. As a young man, he stood so strongly for righteousness that he was almost killed as a sacrifice. (See Abraham 1:2–7.)
He was 17 years old when his older brothers sold him into slavery, yet with the Lord’s blessings, Joseph was able to make something good from this difficult situation. He wasn’t defeated, because he never gave up. His trust in the Lord was continuous. Joseph’s inner greatness showed itself in the noble way he forgave the injustices that were done to him. (See Genesis 37; 45.)
As a teenager David was a shepherd, and he fought against a bear and a lion to protect his father’s sheep. His self-confidence didn’t come from his abilities as a shepherd; it came from his faith in Heavenly Father, as shown in his fight against Goliath. (See 1 Samuel 17:32–54.)
She had the determination to place her own life in jeopardy in order to save her people. It was not Esther’s beauty but her spiritual characteristics that made her a great person. (See Esther 4–5.)
He obeyed the Lord’s law of health despite others around him not doing so. He prayed, even though praying to Heavenly Father was against the king’s commands. Due to his righteousness and openness to inspiration of the Spirit, Daniel was blessed by the Lord with the gift of interpreting dreams and visions. He received power and wisdom from Heavenly Father to the extent that in times of danger, the powers of heaven were at his disposal. (See Daniel 1; 6.)
Nephi was an incredible example when he said, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded” (1 Nephi 3:7). He had the courage to do what he was asked to do. Did he live in a comfortable home? No, he lived in the wilderness for many years. Were things going well for him? No, his brothers were often angry at him and sometimes tried to kill him. Through it all, he obeyed the Lord’s commands.
These young men were raised by faithful parents, and their faith in their mothers’ words blessed them. They learned to listen and obey with exactness, and in their battles they did not doubt that their Father in Heaven would protect them. (See Alma 56:45–48.)
When he was 15 years old, the Lord visited him because he was humble, clean, and pure, despite the filthiness of the people around him. Also at age 15, Mormon was made a leader of the army. Later he was entrusted with keeping the scriptures. (See Mormon 1–2.)
At age 14 he searched the scriptures and prayed to know which church to join. The Lord called him to restore the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ. Joseph dedicated his entire life to fulfilling that assignment, despite many obstacles and difficulties. At age 17 he was visited by the angel Moroni, who showed him the golden plates. Even at a young age, Joseph Smith was a powerful teacher and a great example to those around him. (See Joseph Smith—History 1.)
Have the days of amazing young men and women passed? No! The angel Moroni told Joseph Smith that Joel’s prophecy was about to be fulfilled:
“I [the Lord] will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: