Spiritual Messages and Teachings for LDS Youth and Youth Leaders

Author Archives: admin

Why are good habits so important?

Often times we talk about things not to do… Like “Don’t swear” or “Don’t listen to bad music.” But in addition to avoiding the bad, good habits are important to develop also. Why? Let’s look at tooth decay to illustrate.

Establishing Dating Standards

Teenagers want to be clean and pure. They want to marry in the temple. Most of them know what is best for them—at least until they become emotionally involved. This was indicated recently when seminary students were asked two interesting questions. The first question was, "If you were a parent and had a fifteen-year-old son or daughter, what would you do to ensure that he or she stayed morally clean?" Here are the most frequent responses:

Rating the Movies

I once overheard two young women discussing a highly controversial R-rated movie. One of them mentioned that she had seen it with her mother. Her friend exclaimed, "You mean to tell me you saw that movie with your mother?" "Yes, I did," was the reply. The friend then sheepishly admitted that she too had seen the movie—but, she added, "I sure wouldn't see it with my mother." Isn't it sad that this young woman wouldn't consider attending a movie with her mother that she herself had seen.

Why Should I Be Physical Fit?

By: John Hilton III and Anthony Sweater From the web site: LDSWHY.COM This week we received the following question: “Why do we need to keep ourselves physically strong?” In the days of summer when we are a little more concerned about our biceps and waist lines, we thought it might be good to answer this […]

Self Esteem 101: Your Appearance

Hey, this is nice! Backstroke Drive looks really attractive. Why don't we try building our self-esteem on our appearance? You know, our clothes, our looks, our "image." Kind of tempting, huh. I have a seminary-teacher friend named Kim Peterson. He gave a wonderful talk once where he passed out score cards and had all the youth "rate" certain people on a scale of 1 to 10. He held up a picture of a supermodel and all the boys gave her a 10. (Of course all the girls scored her in the 1 to 2 range.) Then he held up a picture of Charlie Sheen. This time the girls gave the 10's and the guys the 1's and 2's. He showed many more pictures, and everyone was having a good time. Then came the teaching moment; amidst all the fun, Brother Peterson showed a portrait of Jesus. Confusion fell over the room. No one knew what to do! Some held up a 10; others tried to combine cards to make bigger numbers. The room became quiet because the game didn't seem to make sense anymore. Then Brother Peterson made a profound statement: "There is something wrong with a system where Jesus Christ and Charlie Sheen get the same score." What a great insight! There is something wrong with that system! (I think even Charlie Sheen would agree.) And yet we use it every day to judge ourselves and to judge others. We are daily taught by the media to appreciate very few body types, and we often seem to value people only if they are "good lookin'." I think Leo Tolstoy said it very well:

The WHY Behind the Law of Chastity

Chastity 101. Okay, here we go. The questions above were relatively easy to answer, and perfect for a game show. Some questions, however, require a little more thought (you'll never see these on a TV quiz show): Question: Why can't I date until I'm sixteen? Question: Why am I told to date only those with high standards? Question: Why do we have to obey the law of chastity? Question: Why can't I see R-rated movies? Question: Why can't I drink? Question: Why do we have all these rules!?

How Do I Repent? Part 7

Recogition of the Savior Of all the necessary steps to repentance, I testify that the most critically important is for you to have a conviction that forgiveness comes because of the Redeemer. 8 As you grow older, you will find that you become more and more sensitive to the fact that sin separates you from God. And because of this, you'll become more and more grateful for Jesus Christ, and for his power to rescue us, and help us, and cleanse us. I am comforted by the words of one of my most honored and respected heroes, Nephi. He was amazing to me. Someone once said, "The closer we get to God, the further away we'll realize we really are," and I think of that whenever I read Nephi's lament:

How Do I Repent? Part 6

Do the Will of the Father The Lord in his preface to modern revelations gave us the fifth and one of the most difficult requirements to forgiveness. He says: "For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven." (D&C 1:31-32; emphasis added.) Under the humiliation of a guilty conscience, with the possibility of detection and consequent scandal and shame, with a striving spirit urging toward adjustment, the first steps of sorrow, abandonment, confession, and restitution must now be followed by the never-ending requirement of doing the commandments. Obviously this can hardly be done in a day, a week, a month, or a year. This is an effort extending through the balance of life. (Page 183)

How Do I Repent? Part 5

Restitution for Sin You probably already know what restitution means; another word for it might be restoration. When we repent, we try to "restore" what was taken away. Let's continue reading from Faith Precedes the Miracle: When one is humble in sorrow, has unconditionally abandoned the evil, and confesses to those assigned by the Lord, he should next restore insofar as possible that which was damaged. If he burglarized, he should return to the rightful owner that which was stolen. Perhaps one reason murder is unforgivable is that having taken a life, the murderer cannot restore it. Restitution in full is not always possible. Virginity is impossible to give back.

How Do I Repent? Part 4

Confession of Sin The confession of sin is an important element in repentance. Many offenders have seemed to feel that a few prayers to the Lord were sufficient and they have thus justified themselves in hiding their sins. The Proverbs tell us: "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." (Proverbs 28:13.) "By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them." (D&C 58:43.)