My young friends, ... not all the whirlwinds in life are of your own making. Some come because of the wrong choices of others, and some come just because this is mortality. You are His son or His daughter. He made your spirit strong and capable of being resilient to the whirlwinds of life. The whirlwinds in your youth, like the wind against a young tree, can increase your spiritual strength, preparing you for the years ahead.
We hold in our arms the rising generation. They come to this earth with important responsibilities and great spiritual capacities. We cannot be casual in how we prepare them. Our challenge as parents and teachers is not to create a spiritual core in their souls but rather to fan the flame of their spiritual core already aglow with the fire of their premortal faith.
How do you remain - steadfast and immovable during a trial of faith? You immerse yourself in the very thing that helped your core of faith: you exercise faith in Christ, you pray, you ponder the scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments, and you serve others.
These fiery trials are designed to make you stronger, but they have the potential to diminish or even destroy your trust in the Son of God and to weaken your resolve to keep your promises to Him. These trials are often camouflaged, making them difficult to identify. They take root in our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities, our sensitivities, or in those things that matter most to us. A real but manageable test for one can be a fiery trial for another.
Repentance is powerful spiritual medicine. There are few spiritual ills it will not cure. Each sin we leave behind through our faith in the living Christ-both those of commission and those of omission-opens spiritual doors. As we feel the potency of repentance, we better understand why Christ admonished the early missionaries of this dispensation to "say nothing but repentance unto this generation."
Perfection does not come in this life, but we exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and keep our covenants. President Monson has promised, "Your testimony, when constantly nourished, will keep you safe." We push our spiritual roots deep, feasting daily on the words of Christ in the scriptures. We trust in the words of living prophets, placed before us to show us the way. We pray and pray and listen to the quiet voice of the Holy Ghost that leads us along and speaks peace to our soul. Whatever challenges arise, we never, never leave Him.
We can work, study, laugh and have fun, dance, sing, and enjoy many different experiences. These are a wonderful part of life, but they are not central to why we are here. The opportunity to choose good over evil is precisely why we are here. Not one of us would say, "I want to choose evil." We all want to choose the right. However, the choice of good over evil is not always easy, because evil frequently lurks behind smiling eyes.
With the influences of evil that surround our children, can we even imagine sending them out in the morning without kneeling and humbly asking together for the Lord's protection? Or closing the day without kneeling together and acknowledging our accountability before Him and our thankfulness for His blessings? Brothers and sisters, we need to have family prayer.
It is within the sanctuary of the Church that we protect our faith. Meeting together with others who believe, we pray and find answers to our prayers; we worship through music, share testimony of the Savior, serve one another, and feel the Spirit of the Lord. We partake of the sacrament, receive the blessings of the priesthood, and attend the temple. . . When you are faced with a test of faith, stay within the safety and security of the household of God. There is always a place for you here. No trial is so large we can't overcome it... Read more »
The gift of faith is a priceless spiritual endowment... Our faith is centered in God our Father, and Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. It is bolstered by our knowledge that the fullness of the gospel has been restored to the earth; that the Book of Mormon is the word of God; and that prophets and apostles today hold the keys of the priesthood. We treasure our faith, work to strengthen our faith, pray for increased faith, and do all within our power to protect and defend our faith.
I witness that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. He suffered and died for our sins and rose the third day. He is resurrected. In a future day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is the Christ. On that day, our concern will not be, 'Do others consider me Christian?' At that time, our eyes will be fixed on Him, and our souls will be riveted on the question, 'What thinks Christ of me?'