I Was The Young Man Your Worried About

“I was the young man you’re worried about”
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A few weeks ago I sat in a meeting where local church leaders were discussing their concerns over the number of young men in the church not choosing to serve full-time missions.
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We discussed several factors affecting these young men such as lack of confidence, social anxiety, sin, addiction, distractions, and perhaps most common – homes where the gospel isn’t joyfully lived or where a mission isn’t taught as a valuable priesthood responsibility.
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“All of these could have been applied to me,” I thought to myself.
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At one point in the conversation I noted

– “I was the young man you’re worried about.”
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“My family was not active in the church – we weren’t living the gospel in my home – a mission was not an expectation for me.”
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I was asked the question I’ve been asked many times …
“What made you become active in the church and choose to serve a mission?”
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And I gave the same response I usually give …
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“Well … I was fortunate enough to attend seminary
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“… and because I attended seminary – I read the Book of Mormon.
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“… and as I read about men like Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Benjamin, Mosiah, Alma, Mormon, Teancum, Moroni, etc. – I wanted what I saw in them.
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“- I longed for the strength of character, a dedication to righteousness, and a relationship with Christ that I felt in these men.”
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“… And I gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon.
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“… And because I had a testimony of the Book of Mormon – I had a testimony of Joseph Smith and living prophets.
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“… And so I knew the prophet’s invitation for young men to serve a mission came from the Lord.
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“… And so, even though I had to work to prepare – I knew I needed to serve.”
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“The challenges our youth face are multi-faceted.”
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“But I think if you want youth to make and keep covenants, serve missions, and develop a relationship with Christ – getting them to read the Book of Mormon is an essential element.”
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I’m so grateful for the power the Book of Mormon can have in our lives.
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May the Lord bless us as we all strive to do all in our power to help our youth develop a personal connection to our Savior, Jesus Christ – to feel His love – and to feel confident and empowered to share His word.
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“17 For behold, king Benjamin was a holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness; … —
“18 Wherefore, … king Benjamin, by laboring with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul, and also the prophets, did once more establish peace in the land.”

– Words of Mormon 1:17-18
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Image credits – churchofjesuschrist.org

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