Sunday, June 14, 2009

April 2009 General Conference: Counsel to Young Men

President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke to the young men of the Aaronic Priesthood about the future.

The Aaronic Priesthood ordination was done by the hands of an angel, who announced himself as John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament. The angel explained that he was acting under the direction of Peter, James, and John, the ancient apostles, who held the keys of the higher priesthood, which was called the Priesthood of Melchizedek.The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments.

There are some things to understand.
The priesthood is something you cannot see nor hear nor touch, but it is a real authority and a real power.
When Packer was five years old, he had polio. It made him very self-conscious. He knew that he could never be an athlete.
He said it did not help a lot when he read about the man who went to a doctor to find a cure for his inferiority complex. After a careful examination, the doctor told him, “You don’t have a complex. You really are inferior!”
I learned that you should always take care of your body. Take nothing into your body that will harm it, such as we are counseled in the Word of Wisdom: tea, coffee, liquor, tobacco, or anything else that is habit-forming, addictive, or harmful.
Read section 89 in the Doctrine and Covenants. You will find great promises:
“All saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
“And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
“And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.”
And then this promise: “And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them.”
You may see others who seem to have been given a more perfect body than yours. Do not fall into the trap of feeling poorly about your height or weight or your features or your skin color or race.
Your gender was determined in the premortal existence. You were born a male. You must treasure and protect the masculine part of your nature. You must have respectful, protective regard for all women and girls.
Avoid pornography and narcotics.
Talk to parents; talk to the bishop. They will know how to help you.
Do not decorate your body with tattoos or piercing to add jewels.
Do not run with friends that worry your parents.
Lucifer and his legion of angels tempt you to do things and say things and think things that would destroy. Resist every impulse that will trouble your spirit.
You are not to be fearful. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “all beings who have bodies have power over those who have not.”

And Lehi taught that all “men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil.”
I made mistakes, not intentionally, but I made them. I once foolishly thought maybe I was baptized too soon. I did not understand that the ordinance of the sacrament, administered by you of the Aaronic Priesthood, is in fact a renewing of the covenant of baptism and the reinstating of the blessings connected with it. I did not see, as the revelations tell us, that I could “retain a remission of [my] sins.”
If you have been guilty of sin or mischief, you must learn about the power of the Atonement, how it works. And with deeply sincere repentance, you can unleash that power. It can rinse out all the small things, and with deep soaking and scrubbing, it will wash away serious transgression. There is nothing from which you cannot be made clean.
With you always is the Holy Ghost, which was conferred upon you at the time of your baptism and confirmation.
You young men should not complain about schooling. Do not immerse yourself so much in the technical that you fail to learn things that are practical. Everything you can learn that is practical—in the house, in the kitchen cooking, in the yard—will be of benefit to you. Never complain about schooling. Study well, and attend always.
“The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.”
“Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.”
We are to learn about “things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven.”
You can learn about fixing things and painting things and even sewing things and whatever else is practical. That is worth doing. If it is not of particular benefit to you, it will help you when you are serving other people.
The certainties of the gospel, the truth, once you understand it, will see you through these difficult times. Your generation is filled with uncertainties. A life of fun and games and expensive toys has come to an abrupt end. We move from a generation of ease and entertainment to a generation of hard work and responsibility. We do not know how long that will last.
The reality of life is now part of your priesthood responsibilities. It will not hurt you to want something and not have it. There is a maturing and disciplining that will be good for you. It will ensure that you can have a happy life and raise a happy family. These trials come with responsibility in the priesthood.
Some of you live in countries where most of what you eat and some of what you wear will depend on what can be produced by the family. It may be that what you can contribute will make the difference so that the rent is paid or the family is fed and housed. Learn to work and to support.
The very foundation of human life, of all society, is the family, established by the first commandment to Adam and Eve, our first parents: “Multiply, and replenish the earth.”
Thereafter came the commandment, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”
Be a responsible member of your family. Take care of your possessions—your clothing, your property. Do not be wasteful. Learn to be content.
It may seem that the world is in commotion; and it is! It may seem that there are wars and rumors of wars; and there are! It may seem that the future will hold trials and difficulties for you; and it will! However, fear is the opposite of faith. Do not be afraid! I do not fear.

1 comment:

Grandma Cobabe said...

I hope that at some time all my grandchildren and the parents read 5this over and over again.It is great advice given by a great man who is inspired to teach us the things that will help us most.