“A Remarkable Future Is Before You!” New Era, Oct. 2019, 2–5.
My dear young brothers and sisters, I want you to know that the Lord loves you and trusts you. The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles believe in you and pray for you often. You are the future of the Church, and the Lord has many wonderful blessings for you as you live your life.
Today, you do not know what a remarkable future is before you! To help you prepare for your future, I will discuss five very important issues we are faced with today.
It is important to be still and listen and follow the Spirit. We simply have too many distractions to capture our attention, unlike any time in the history of the world. We are often so busy and the world is so loud that it is difficult to hear the heavenly words “be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10; see also Doctrine and Covenants 101:16).
As an Apostle, I now ask you a question: Do you have any personal quiet time? As our world gets brighter, louder, and busier, we have a greater challenge feeling the Spirit in our lives. If your life is void of quiet time, would you begin to seek for some?
Remember what Elijah learned: “The Lord was not in the wind: … the Lord was not in the earthquake: … the Lord was not in the fire,” but the Lord spoke in the “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11–12). If we are not careful, we can become distracted from hearing the “still, small voice.”
Our use of technology is often appropriate and it can be a blessing, but when it begins to interfere with our relationships with friends and family—and even more importantly, with God—we need to make a change. For some, the adjustment will be slight; for others, it may be significant.
I worry that some of you check your smartphones during the most important gathering in the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—our sacred sacrament meeting. In this important meeting we should be focusing on the Lord through praying, singing hymns, and partaking the emblems of His body and blood. You cannot connect to the Spirit during the presentation of the sacrament while looking at or sending a message on your smartphone. Surely, during those few minutes you can focus on the Atonement of the Savior as you seek the Spirit of the Lord to bless you for the coming week.
One of the best places to connect with the Spirit is in the temple—the house of the Lord. I invite you to go to the temple. Go as often as you can. If you do not qualify for a limited-use temple recommend right now, visit the temple grounds. Nothing prevents you or anyone else from visiting the temple grounds. The Lord wants you to prepare yourself to be worthy of a temple recommend and come to the temple as soon as you can. Walking the grounds will plant in your heart a desire to get a recommend and attend the temple regularly.
If you choose, you can hear the still, small voice of the Spirit in the temple or on its sacred grounds in ways you never will at the mall, in restaurants, and in public places. In fact, you will find that the temple is a wonderful place to receive answers to your prayers.
The world in which we now live is moving very rapidly away from the teachings of
Christ in its laws and its customs. As a result, Satan is working overtime to confuse God’s sons and daughters and to divert the very elect from fulfilling their duty and receiving a fulness of the Lord’s blessings.
Satan wants you to stop practicing the good habits you are learning at home, in seminary, and at church—such as having daily scripture study, praying daily, worthily partaking of the sacrament weekly, and giving genuine, heartfelt service. He also wants you to stand on the sidelines in today’s important and crucial battles.
Paul invited us to “put on the whole armour of God.” He said, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11–12).
As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I invite you to “put on the whole armour of God” and join the battle today, like the sons of Helaman did so many years ago. Don’t wait until you get married or start your lifelong career or get older. The Church needs our youth now. The Lord needs you now!
You will recall that 2,000 stripling warriors “entered into a covenant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites” (Alma 53:17). The Church needs modern stripling warriors who have made a covenant “to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9).
The Book of Mormon describes these stripling warriors as follows:
“They were all young … , and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were … true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.
“… For they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him” (Alma 53:20–21).
These are challenging days—but no more challenging than the days of Helaman and his stripling warriors when they stood to defend their families and the Church. This is your time to step forward and join the ranks of other righteous and dedicated young men and young women to stand and fight as modern sons and daughters of Helaman in the great battles of the last days.
The Lord wants you to become the modern stripling warriors who stand strong and united to defend the truth. Through various social media platforms, you can have gospel conversations with family and friends. You can be courageous and stalwart in sharing your thoughts and testimony of the things you are learning and feeling. As you do so, you stand as witnesses to the truth.
You are a great and important generation, and this is a great time to be alive! The future is bright. Say to yourself, “I am helping the Lord as I reach out to share my testimony and to teach the truths God has revealed in these last days.”
May you never forget, in this journey you are on, you are precious, every one of you, to the future of preparing the world for that day when Jesus Christ will say, “It is enough,” and will return and rule and reign as the Savior, the Lord of lords, the King of kings, the Redeemer
of the world, who I testify lives.