It was an inspiring scene to view the prophet of God addressing the youth of this worldwide Church in a devotional on June 3. His direction and counsel surely will change many lives! Moved by the Spirit, many young people came away with a commitment to join the Lord’s youth battalion and help gather Israel.
Surely, President Nelson reminds us of a modern-day Captain Moroni. Of Moroni, the prophet Mormon declared: “If all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, … the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men” (Alma 48:17). Mormon further observed that Moroni “had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields” (Alma 43:19). Moroni placed armor on each individual in his army thus helping them to feel secure and confident as they prepared for battle.
President Nelson gave out spiritual armor in the form of six invitations:
First, he invited the youth to arm themselves with a daily study of the Book of Mormon and promised them the following: “What will help you? As you continue to read daily from the Book of Mormon, you will learn the doctrine of the gathering, truths about Jesus Christ, His Atonement and the fulness of His gospel not found in the Bible. The Book of Mormon is central to the gathering of Israel. In fact, if there were no Book of Mormon, the promised gathering of Israel would not occur. ...
“And now I invite you to prepare yourself by doing five more things — five things that will change you and help you change the world.”
1. “Disengage from a constant reliance on social media, in order to decrease its worldly influence upon you.”
2. “Make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord for three weeks.”
3. “Keep on the covenant path. If you are off, repent and get back on the path.”
4. “Pray daily that all of God’s children might receive the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
5. “Stand out. Be different. Be a light. Give to a friend one copy of the booklet ‘For the Strength of Youth.’ ”
As each young man and woman in the Church responds to these prophetic invitations, they will be fitted with spiritual armor for the impending battles as members of the Lord’s youth battalion. While they may sense the urgency of the gathering of Israel, they will be confident and empowered by virtue of this armor as they engage in this critical spiritual struggle.
It has been wonderful to see youth who are “quick to observe” (Mormon 1:2) as they respond to the instruction and encouragement of the prophet. We share a few examples from just one priests quorum:
Joseph Wilkinson, age 17: “I really thought about President Nelson’s invitation to pray that all God’s children might receive the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I took this invitation and prayed about it and found myself thinking so much more about others and focusing on their needs and how I might help them. I wanted to help bring the blessings of the gospel to them and it has honestly made me so excited for my mission!”
Corbin Slider, age 17: “Ever since we were invited to hold a seven-day social media fast I have hardly been on social media. I love it so much I hardly use it now. I have more time to do the things I wanted to do like read my scriptures and pray more often. What can be better than that? Honestly, I loved the challenge!”
Blake Losee, age 17: “Through the challenges I have been inspired to read the Book of Mormon and I finished it. By reading the Book of Mormon I’ve noticed Satan has less power in tempting me to do wrong things. I feel cleaner and more confident in myself and in my ability to spread the gospel.”
We invite all of the youth worldwide to lay claim to the blessings, power and promises of the Lord through His prophet, President Russell M. Nelson. As seen in the lives of a handful of faithful Aaronic Priesthood holders, the promises are sure, and the blessings are real. Come listen to a prophet’s voice and lay hold of sacred spiritual armor as you join the Lord’s youth battalion and become saviors on mount Zion. May God bless you with the faith to do so is our hope and prayer.