BETA

Savior is counting on priesthood holders

  • Champion others
  • Avoid immoral trash- Be temple, mission worthy

Three ways in which the Savior is counting on young men who bear the Aaronic Priesthood were discussed by Elder Joe J. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy in his Saturday evening priesthood session address:

"Be a champion of those who need you."

Elder Christensen told of a high school incident in which a young, mentally handicapped student he called Frank wanted to be accepted by the popular crowd. Frank responded to some of the boys' and girls' encouragement to get up on a table in the cafeteria and dance, not understanding they did it to ridicule him.

"A few tables away, Dave was eating lunch with a friend and watching it all. He courageously leaped up, faced that crowd of tormentors and through clenched teeth said, I've had as much of this as I can stand!' He helped Frank down and said,Frank, you come and have lunch with us.'

"The Savior is counting on you to be a champion of those who need you, and they are all around you - in your school, in your neighborhood, in your family. . . .

"There are those who wake up every morning dreading to go to school or even to a Church activity, because they worry about how they will be treated. You have the power to change their lives for the better. You are a bearer of the priesthood of God, and the Lord is counting on you to be a builder and give them a lift. Think less about yourself and more about the power you have to assist others, even those within your own family."

"Avoid the immoral trash that surrounds you in the media."

"It is very unreasonable," Elder Christensen said, "to suppose that exposure to profanity, nudity, sex and violence have no negative effects on us. We can't roll around in the mud without getting dirty."

He told of a bishop who reported that he observed the spiritual level of young priesthood holders in his ward declining and discovered through interviews that many were watching R-rated movies on cable television.

"Fathers," he said, "You may want to reconsider having unrestricted cable or unsupervised television sets in your home, and particularly in your children's bedrooms."

He warned of temptations all around and added, "Today, with the advent of the Internet, they are increasing. There is much that is positive in the world of the media, but there is so much that is negative. If we permit ourselves to become involved with the negative there will be much more cause for the devil to laugh and his angels to rejoice. (See 3 Ne. 9:2.)"

"Be worthy to enter the temple and fill an honorable mission."

"The Lord did not say, `Go on a mission if it fits your schedule or if you happen to feel like it, or if it doesn't interfere with your scholarship, your romance or your educational plans.' Preaching the gospel is a commandment and not merely a suggestion. It is a blessing and a privilege and not a sacrifice."