The discussion this week at church was all about how we, as adults, can help strengthen the youth around us. As I listened, the thought came to me that we are strength all youth, not just church youth. Youth are under a massive, strategic attack. The adversary would like them to lose their identity, forget who they are and what they could possibly achieve. Most of the discuss revolved around giving youth service and work opportunities. Although I agree that we need to do a better job teaching youth to serve and to work, I also believe we need need to do a better job of teaching and leading through example. We need to do a better job at listening. We need to do a better job at being present in their lives. They won’t learn to serve and to work unless we serve and work along side them. They won’t learn to listen and obey and to follow through unless we are listening, obeying and following through. They won’t learn to be present in the Lord’s army unless we too are present and enlist in the Lord’s battalion.
The day ended listening to President Russell M. Nelson and his lovely wife teach and lead by example with my teen. President Nelson made it clear that we all have the opportunity to “be a part of something big, something grand, something majestic.” The adversary would like us all to believe this “something big” doesn’t include us, especially the youth. In fact, the adversary would like people to believe in many different “something big”s. The adversary’s “something big” is for lemmings. In this day “something big” includes sacrifice of time, repentance, pray, and standing out from the crowd. President Nelson stated that the youth of today can choose to be a part of the “finest team” for “this final phase.” The adversary would like them to join the opposing team, believing they can not be heroes in this spiritual war.
It is real.
How does one enlist? President Nelson gave 5 specific things for youth to do… and I think it applies to the young at heart too!
- Disengage from a constant reliance on social media by holding a 7 day social media fast to decrease its worldly influence. The idea is to increase our sensitivities to the whispering of the Spirit. President Nelson said, “… if you are paying more attention to feeds from social media than you are to the whispering of the Spirit, then you are putting yourself at spiritual risk, as well as the risk of experiencing intense loneliness and depression.” He even warned of the “false reality” portrayed on line. Really. Could anyone’s life be as fun, adventurous and exciting pictures as are usually posted. So… I started today. No Facebook or Instagram for 7 days. Those are the only social media things I have.
- Make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord, for three weeks. The idea is to give up something I like once a week and spend that time serving the Lord and help gather Israel. I decided to schedule time to do family history… recording stories and looking for names. So many of my relatives have been found and the work has been done. However, I think it would be good to connect the younger generations to the people that came before them. So I will record the stories I have and share the pictures I have collected.
- Do a thorough life assessment with the Lord, perhaps with parents and a bishop, to ensure I am firmly planted on the gospel path. Well… it might be necessary to chat with my parents… I am over 50, but I can ponder and chat with the Lord. I can look for ways to stay pure. I am not too old for that. I will never be too old to repent and to strengthen my grip on the iron rod.
- Pray daily that all God’s children might receive the blessings of the gospel. I was thinking about that today. I can pray for that. But I can also pray for what I can do to help bring the gospel message more effectively.
- Stand out and be different. I realize that I am trying to do that daily. I really started this when I started my #bethelight thing. We are the light to a world that is growing darker. I need to do better at looking like, sounding like, acting like, and dressing like a follower of Jesus Christ. It is okay to be “weird!”
- Study the For the Strength of Youth booklet. I can do that. I plan on doing that over the summer with my teen.
It is time to stop comparing ourselves to others in the world. It is time to care more what Heavenly Father thinks.