Elder Anthony D. Perkins: 'Beware Concerning Yourselves'
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Elder Anthony D. Perkins of the Seventy urged brethren in the priesthood session to avoid tragedy by heeding spiritual "Beware" signs placed along the way by God and prophets.
He took that imagery from a memory that in his youth his family would drive over the Rocky Mountains to visit grandparents and would see signs warning, "Beware: Falling Rocks."
"Brethren," he said, "each of you has or will soon enter into the oath and covenant of the Melchizedek Priesthood. In that covenant is embedded a glorious journey that begins with receiving both the lesser and higher priesthood, progresses through magnifying our callings, and climbs ever upward to God's grandest vistas until we receive 'all that [the] Father hath.'
"The wise designer of that celestial road has erected caution signs for our journey. The oath and covenant of the priesthood contains this soul-searching warning: 'I now give unto you a commandment to beware concerning yourselves.'"
Elder Perkins warned that while ascending "the priesthood path, any boy or man can be dragged down if he fails to beware."
He gave the Old Testament story of David as a "tragic example of squandered priesthood power."
"Brethren, if even mighty David can be swept off the road to exaltation, how can we avoid a similar fate?"
Deep personal conviction and strong family relations can help, he said, calling them "twin guardrails" on "the heavenly highway."
He gave six fundamental principles that deepen conversion and strengthen family:
"Praying always opens the door for divine help to conquer Satan."
"Studying ancient and modern scripture connects us to God."
"Worthily participating in ordinances prepares us to take 'the Holy Spirit for [our] guide.'"
"Showing genuine love is at the heart of personal conversion and family relations."
"Obeying the law of tithing is an essential element of faith and unity."
"Fully living the law of chastity yields confidence to stand 'in the presence of God' with the Holy Ghost as our 'constant companion.'"
"Young men, obeying these principles will prepare you for temple covenants, full-time missionary service and eternal marriage," Elder Perkins said. "Husbands and fathers, living these principles will qualify you to preside over the home in righteousness, serving as your family's spiritual leader, with your wife as an equal partner."