Thursday, April 23, 2015

M. Russell Ballard offers a challenge to today's young adults

Elder M. Russell Ballard (1928- ) was called as a Seventy in 1976, and has served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1985. This address was offered in the Priesthood session of the recent conference; Elder Ballard recalled the challenge he made in 2002 to "raise the bar" of missionary standards, and reflected on today's needs and challenges.
"What we need now is the greatest generation of young adults in the history of the Church. We need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate young adults who know how to listen and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit as you make your way through the daily trials and temptations of being a young, contemporary Latter-day Saint.
"In other words, it's time to raise the bar not only for missionaries but also for returned missionaries and for your entire generation. To that end, please ponder in your heart your answers to these questions:
"1. Do you search the scriptures regularly?
"2. Do you kneel in prayer to talk with your Heavenly Father each morning and each night?
"3. Do you fast and donate a fast offering each month—even if you are a poor, struggling student who can't afford to donate much?
"4. Do you think deeply about the Savior and His atoning sacrifice for you when you are asked to prepare, bless, pass, or partake of the sacrament?
"5. Do you attend your meetings and strive to keep the Sabbath day holy?
"6. Are you honest at home, school, church, and work?
"7. Are you mentally and spiritually clean? Do you avoid viewing pornography or looking at websites, magazines, movies, or apps, including Tinder and Snapchat photos, that would embarrass you if your parents, Church leaders, or the Savior Himself saw you?
"8. Are you careful with your time—avoiding inappropriate technology and social media, including video games, which can dull your spiritual sensitivity?
"9. Is there anything in your life you need to change and fix, beginning tonight?"
- M. Russell Ballard, "The Greatest Generation of Young Adults," General Conference, April 2015
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Ballard addressed his remarks to the young adults of the Church, focusing on the opportunity and need they have collectively and individually to "raise the bar" and continue faithful in the light of the challenges of today's world. He shares a wonderful vision of what that generation can become:

Elder Ballard then offers a thoughtful "virtual interview" that he hopes each youth will consider to help indicate the state of their current spiritual progress. Each of us, regardless of age, would benefit from carefully considering and pondering that list of standards!

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