Early last Sunday morning I found myself sitting before our stake’s high council. Noticeably the only one dressed in a skirt, I was there to witness the reporting of two recently returned missionaries. One was my own son, just back from the England Manchester Mission; the other was a stranger to me. Both young–so young, barely 21–men had been asked to, by promptings of the spirit, share an experience from their respective missions that had changed lives. They were also asked to bear their respective testimonies.
The stranger went first. I can’t recall his words or even the experience he chose to share. The details are not as relevant here as the spirit that was present.
I was blown away.
Then it was my son’s turn. In some respects, the man who rose to speak before that room was as much of a stranger to me as the first, whom I had never before met. Luke boldly bore witness of the truths he knows–not just believes, but actually knows. He has questioned. His testimony has been tried and tested. (It will continue to be tried and tested–that is part of our earthly experience.) But he knows. The spirit spoke along side Luke and confirmed that what he witnessed of is true.
Again, I was blown away.
This mother had no doubt that these two stripling warriors knew it.
The very next day I received an e-mail from my second-born. Currently serving in Newcastle upon Tyne, he is bravely enduring the almost universal struggles of a new missionary just out in the field. After letting us know that things are still hard, but that he is still seeking to learn from the difficulties he is experiencing, he shared with us a deeply personal and sacred experience he had had that week. Something I cannot share here.
Yet again, I was blown away.
Shall the youth of Zion falter?
I believe the answer is “No!”
Some will struggle. Some will take other paths. And some may wander those paths far further and far longer than we can comfortably stand. But I believe–I hope with all my heart–they will come home. They will come back to that iron rod and grasp even more firmly this time.
They were certainly two different paths that brought my boys to stand together at the entrance of the Preston England Temple.
And a good number of them will simply go and do and be better and stronger than I or my generation could have dreamed of being. They are not just worlds ahead of where we were as youth, but in some respects, they seem worlds ahead of where I am even now.
They have to be.
While we know the pow’rs of darkness
Seek to thwart the work of God,
Shall the children of the promise
Cease to grasp the iron rod? No!
True to the faith that our parents have cherished,
True to the truth for which martyrs have perished,
To God’s command,
Soul, heart, and hand,
Faithful and true we will ever stand.
I see examples of the strength of the youth around me almost every day. I see this even in the kids whose steps are, at the moment, far less sure than those of the two young men who boldly stood before the high council and bore witness.
There is goodness.
There is kindness.
There is love.
We, as adults, need to call them out for it. We need to catch them being good.
What examples of goodness and faith and standing for truth and righteousness do you witness in the youth around you?