- Some of you may not understand our Heavenly Father’s plan well enough to appreciate how important living a morally clean life is if you want to enjoy peace, happiness, and self-esteem. When you understand, the truths of the gospel will give you the guidance you need to be worthy members of the Church. When you accept the basic principles of the gospel and commit to live them, you will have the spiritual insight that will help you to be young men and women of purity, integrity, and faith.
- Unfortunately, we live in a world that is awash in all kinds of moral pollution, including drugs, violence, filthy language, pornography in literature; and videotapes, films, and television shows that promote illicit sex and promiscuity as being normal. A national debate is raging to make elective abortion acceptable.
He shares that these struggles in life are not to be faced alone. There are people everywhere that understand the temptations and struggles of life and want to help and assist where possible. Turning to you parent, teachers, and priesthood leaders are great helps in handling the temptations and struggles of life.
- With challenges like these, you need to remember that you do not face them alone. There are people who love you and want you to be happy. We want the very best for you. Most especially, your Father in Heaven loves you and wants you to have joy and happiness. He has made marvelous promises to His faithful children who love Him, who are baptized, and who keep His commandments.
Elder Ballard reminds us that Satan wants us to be frustrated, to give into our worldly desires, and to not focus at all on our spiritual development. But Satan's plan leads us to misery and unhappiness. There is no other destination except spiritual death if we follow the temptations of Satan.
- Satan will seek to tempt us at times and in ways that exploit our greatest weaknesses or destroy our strengths. But his promises of pleasure are short-lived deceptions. His evil design is to tempt us into sinning, knowing that when we sin we separate ourselves from our Heavenly Father and the Savior, Jesus Christ. We begin to move away from Heavenly Father’s promised blessings toward the misery and anguish in which Satan and his followers languish. By sinning we put ourselves in Satan’s power.
The struggles to keep our covenants is real. But we have within each of us, a spirit born of heavenly parents. We have divine DNA and we can rely on that spiritual power to help us make and keep our sacred covenants. This is a battle that we each can win with the support of people that care about us.
- Now, my dear young friends, I understand the struggles you face every day in keeping the commandments of the Lord. The battle for your souls is increasingly fierce. The adversary is strong and cunning. However, you have within your physical body the powerful spirit of a son or daughter of God. Because He loves you and wants you to come home to Him, our Father in Heaven has given you a conscience that tells your spirit when you are keeping the Lord’s commandments and when you are not. If you will pay more attention to your spiritual self, which is eternal, than to your mortal self, which is temporary, you can always resist the temptations of Satan and conquer his efforts to take you into his power.
Elder Ballard concludes with great advice on how to reflect on our covenants and to keep ourselves focused on the goal of eternal life while spending our days having earthly experiences.
- I encourage you to take time each week to be by yourself, away from television and the crowd. Have your scriptures with you and as you read, ponder, and pray, take an honest look at your life. Evaluate where you stand with the promises you have made with Heavenly Father. If you have a problem, talk it over with the Lord in earnest and humble prayer. Counsel with your parents; they will help you. Your bishop and your Young Men and Young Women adult leaders will help. They love you and want you to be at peace with yourself so you can partake of the sacrament worthily each week. When all is said and done, however, only you know if you are living true to your covenants made with God.
Elder Ballard speaks simple truths to the youth of the church. I appreciate the straightforward nature of his talk. I got from this that making and keeping covenants will lead us to happiness and joy. Not keeping the covenants we have made will lead us to misery and pain. I have seen this in my life. When I am focused on doing the things that I should be, the Lord blesses me, He helps me, He gives me peace and joy. That peace that He provides will stay with me through trials and heartaches and His love is real. I know that keeping our covenants will lead us to happiness and eternal life. We should all take time to reflect on our spiritual lives daily and determine how we can be better disciples of our Savior Jesus Christ.