Teaching For the Strength of Youth

Physical and Emotional Health


For some youth, the failure to apply principles of physical fitness can become a major obstacle to making friends and building self-confidence. Moreover, physical and emotional health are critical but often underdeveloped aspects of preparing to serve a mission. On pages 42–43 of this month’s New Era, Elder Adrián Ochoa of the Seventy discusses how taking care of our bodies can safeguard physical and emotional health. He reminds us to exercise and to obey the Word of Wisdom (see D&C 89) so that we will be healthier and happier. As you help your children learn and apply principles of physical and emotional health, they will be able to increase their self-confidence and prepare for future service.

As Elder Ochoa says: “Taking care of your body also blesses your mind and helps you to remember that you are a child of God and can be confident and happy. Our emotional, physical, and spiritual sides are all linked together.”

Suggestions for Teaching Youth

  • Read Elder Ochoa’s article together and develop a family exercise plan with specific, realistic fitness goals.

  • With your teenage children, read the section on physical and emotional health in For the Strength of Youth (pages 25–27). Discuss what it means to be healthy emotionally.

  • Sing “Though Deepening Trials” (Hymns, no. 122) together and discuss what the resurrection teaches us about the importance of our physical bodies.

  • Study the scriptures listed with this article and discuss what they teach about physical and emotional health.

Suggestions for Teaching Children

  • Show your child a picture of a temple. Discuss what it means when the Apostle Paul teaches that our bodies are “the temple of the Holy Ghost” (1 Corinthians 6:19) and how this knowledge can help us take care of our bodies and minds.

  • Make a list of wholesome recreational activities that your child would like to do as a family. Then create a plan for how to make these activities a part of family life.

  • Discuss ways to understand and manage emotions, including anger or sadness. Sing “If You’re Happy” (Children’s Songbook, 266), “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, 78), or another song about emotions and making good choices.