Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ronald A. Rasband on having a positive influence on youth

Elder Ronald A. Rasband (b. 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 2000.  He was the senior president of the Seventy when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2015. This talk was given in a General Priesthood session of conference when he was serving as a Seventy.
"In these perilous times, as our youth are faced with this increased adversity, we can learn from others. In the armed forces, particularly in all the navies throughout the world, every seaman understands one phrase that is a clarion call for immediate help, no matter what he is doing or where he is on the ship. The call is 'All hands on deck.' Many a battle at sea has been won or lost by the response to this call.
"We—as members of the Church, leaders of youth, anxious fathers, and concerned grandfathers—all need to respond to the call for 'all hands on deck' as it pertains to our youth and young single adults. We must all look for opportunities to bless the youth whether or not we are currently closely associated with them. We must continue to teach and fortify fathers and mothers in their divinely declared roles with their children in the home. We must ask ourselves constantly if that extra sporting event, that extra activity or errand outside of the home is more important than families being together at home.
"Now is the time, brethren [and sisters], when in every action we take, in every place we go, with every Latter-day Saint young person we meet, we need to have an increased awareness of the need for strengthening, nurturing, and being an influence for good in their lives."
- Ronald A. Rasband, "Our Rising Generation," Ensign, May 2006, pp. 46-47
Click here to read the full talk
This was an interesting "call to action" from Elder Rasband. Knowing the "perilous times" in which we live and the challenges faced by youth and young single adults, he invited his listeners in a Priesthood session of conference to focus more attention on the needs of the young people—whether or not a formal calling is involved. He invites all members (brothers and sisters alike) to seek out opportunities to bless youth in positive ways in any interaction.

It's interesting that he doesn't want to hear the excuse, "But I don't have a calling to work with youth right now." He's inviting all members to seek for ways to have a positive influence in the lives of our young people. This won't happen just by coincidence (although at times that may be one of the ways!); but we should each ponder things we might do to share testimony, encourage, teach, show good examples, or influence in any good way.

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