- As men of the priesthood, we have an essential role to play in society, at home, and in the Church. But we must be men that women can trust, that children can trust, and that God can trust. In the Church and kingdom of God in these latter days, we cannot afford to have boys and men who are drifting. We cannot afford young men who lack self-discipline and live only to be entertained. We cannot afford young adult men who are going nowhere in life, who are not serious about forming families and making a real contribution in this world. We cannot afford husbands and fathers who fail to provide spiritual leadership in the home. We cannot afford to have those who exercise the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God, waste their strength in pornography or spend their lives in cyberspace (ironically being of the world while not being in the world).
Elder Christofferson offers advice to young men about their schooling and the need to education.
- Young men, you need to do well in school and then continue your education beyond high school. In whatever you choose, it is essential that you become proficient so that you can support a family and make a contribution for good in your community and your country.
- You adult men—fathers, single adults, leaders, home teachers—be worthy models and help the rising generation of boys become men. Teach them social and other skills: how to participate in a conversation, how to get acquainted and interact with others, how to relate to women and girls, how to serve, how to be active and enjoy recreation, how to pursue hobbies without becoming addicted, how to correct mistakes and make better choices.
- Take heart and prepare the best you can, whatever your circumstances. Prepare to be a good husband and father; prepare to be a good and productive citizen; prepare to serve the Lord, whose priesthood you hold. Wherever you are, your Heavenly Father is mindful of you. You are not alone, and you have the priesthood and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Consider missionary work.
- Young men, you have no time to waste. You can’t wait to get serious about preparing until you are 17 or 18. Aaronic Priesthood quorums can help their members understand the oath and covenant of the priesthood and get ready for ordination as elders, they can help them understand and prepare for the ordinances of the temple, and they can help them get ready for successful missions. Melchizedek Priesthood quorums and the Relief Society can help parents prepare missionaries who know the Book of Mormon and who will go into the field fully committed. And in each ward and branch, these same quorums can lead out in an effective collaboration with the full-time missionaries who are serving there.
Other areas where men and young men need to be involved are these:
- A related work that rests primarily on priesthood shoulders is the Savior’s call, echoed by President Thomas S. Monson, to rescue those who have drifted from the gospel or who have become disaffected for any reason.
- Another challenging but stimulating priesthood work is that of family history and the temple.
- Our quorums also form a brotherhood of mutual support.
- A particular “wind of adversity” that can come into a man’s life is unemployment.
Finally he concludes with these comments:
- The Church and the world and women are crying for men, men who are developing their capacity and talents, who are willing to work and make sacrifices, who will help others achieve happiness and salvation. They are crying, “Rise up, O men of God!” God help us to do it.
How grateful I am to have an apostle of Jesus Christ encourage me to be a better dad, husband, brother, quorum member, member of society, etc. There are some great points made in this talk that teach specifically what it means to be a real man in our society. I will take these comments and incorporate them into my monthly personal time with my son where we talk about him growing up and becoming better people. How great it is to have direction and an understanding of the man that the Lord expects me to be and expects me to raise my son to be.