- We help God’s children best by providing ways to build faith in Jesus Christ and His restored gospel when they are young. And then we must help rekindle that faith quickly before it dims as they wander off the path.
He reminds us that the best way to help someone in need is to help them realize the stoung foundation that they have had in their life as they have grown up.
- A strong spiritual foundation can make the difference for a lifetime.
President Eyring speaks of the Personal Progress program and the Duty To God program that our youth participate in today.
- The Personal Progress booklet for young women makes the purpose clear for them: “The Personal Progress program uses the eight Young Women values to help you understand more fully who you are, why you are here on the earth, and what you should be doing as a daughter of God to prepare for the day you go to the temple to make sacred covenants.” It goes on to say that young women will “make commitments, carry them out, and report your progress to a parent or leader.” It also promises that “the patterns you establish as you work on Personal Progress—such as prayer, scripture study, service, and journal keeping—will become personal daily habits. These habits will strengthen your testimony and help you learn and improve throughout your life.”
- The Duty to God program for young men in the Aaronic Priesthood has been strengthened and focused. It will be contained in one simple book for all three Aaronic Priesthood offices. The young men and their leaders will receive a copy of this new book. It is a powerful tool. It will strengthen the testimonies of young men and their relationship with God. It will help them learn and want to fulfill their priesthood duties. It will strengthen their relationships with their parents, among quorum members, and with their leaders.
Of these two programs he says:
- These programs expect consistency, great effort, and the accumulation of learning and spiritual experiences over years. On reflection I realized that the contents of these booklets are a physical representation of the Lord’s trust in the rising generation and in all of us who love them. And I have seen evidence that the trust is well placed.
President Eyring speaks specifically to those who are leaders and teachers of our young people. He gives us ideas that will help our young people.
- Of all the help we can give these young people, the greatest will be to let them feel our confidence that they are on the path home to God and that they can make it. And we do that best by going with them. Because the path is steep and sometimes rocky, they will at times feel discouraged and even stumble. They may at times become confused about their destination and wander after less eternally important goals. These inspired programs make that less likely because they will lead the young person to invite and receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
- The best counsel for us to give young people is that they can arrive back to Heavenly Father only as they are guided and corrected by the Spirit of God. So if we are wise, we will encourage, praise, and exemplify everything which invites the companionship of the Holy Ghost. When they share with us what they are doing and feeling, we must ourselves have qualified for the Spirit. Then they will feel in our praise and our smiles the approval of God. And should we feel the need to give corrective counsel, they will feel our love and the love of God in it, not rebuke and rejection, which can permit Satan to lead them further away.
- The example they most need from us is to do what they must do. We need to pray for the gifts of the Spirit. We need to ponder in the scriptures and in the words of living prophets. We need to make plans which are not only wishes but covenants. And then we need to keep our promises to the Lord. And we need to lift others by sharing with them the blessings of the Atonement which have come in our lives.
- And we need to exemplify in our own lives the steady and prolonged faithfulness that the Lord expects of them. As we do, we will help them feel from the Spirit an assurance that if they will persist, they will hear the words from a loving Savior and Heavenly Father: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”4 And we who help them along the way will hear those words with joy.
President Eyring details out why great influences in our lives are needed. My daughters have been helped throughout their young women's experiences by people who I call angels. These sisters are inspired, motivated, and act upon the prompting of the spirit about how to reach these girls on a personal level. The examples they set are inspiring to my daughters and they on more than one occasion talk about how they want to live their lives to have the same type of life and blessings that they see their young women leaders blessed with. I share with them that their lives are the way they are because they gave their lives to God as a youth and they can make those same decisions as they follow the path to be true disciples of Jesus Christ in all that they say and do. I am grateful for wonderful and inspiring leaders of our youth that take the time to truly learn how to touch each person's soul.