In a special fireside held on 12 November 2000, President Gordon B. Hinckley addressed the youth and young adults of the Church (see “A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” Liahona, April 2001, 30–41). His message focused on six principles—six B’s—to help young people make correct decisions and successfully deal with the challenges of today’s world. We asked young people to share experiences they have had in applying President Hinckley’s counsel. Following are a few of the many responses we received.
It had been a long week. I walked into the fireside broadcast late, struggling to filter out thoughts of exams, assignments, work, and friends. I hoped that somehow the words of the prophet could pierce through all these concerns and sink into my heart.
Oh, how I hoped and silently prayed for help to focus on the words of the prophet. And my prayer was answered. I walked into the fireside with my view clouded and troubled. When I left, I had a refreshed outlook on life and some plain, simple truths—a recipe for happiness.
Be grateful, be smart, be clean, be true, be humble, and be prayerful. How simple these statements are. How great a difference they can make in my life!
I know this gospel contains truth that is lacking elsewhere. I know that the prophet loves me. I am grateful that our Heavenly Father and the Savior love us enough to give us specific, individual guidance in our lives through prayer and through the words of our prophet. These things are plain, simple, and true.
Lisa Ware, age 19,
Rochedale Ward, Eight Mile Plains Australia Stake
“The habit of saying thank you is the mark of an educated man or woman. … Be thankful to your parents, who care so very much about you and who have worked so very hard to provide for you.”—President Gordon B. Hinckley
When I finished reading President Hinckley’s talk, I felt a strange sense of happiness and sadness. I am a high school student. My parents are paying all of my school expenses. I had thought that was a given. I also thought it was a given that they would buy my clothes, food, and everything necessary for me. I thought this was just the normal way of life. I almost never said the words thank you. If I did not get the things I wanted, I got angry. Now, having read this talk, I am embarrassed. I realize that I am truly fortunate to have what I have. I think the words thank you are wonderful words.
Aya Chikano, age 13,
Kariya Ward, Okazaki Japan Stake
“Thank the Lord for His marvelous Church restored in this great season of history. Thank Him for all that it offers you. Thank Him for friends and loved ones, for parents and brothers and sisters, for family. Let a spirit of thanksgiving guide and bless your days and nights.”—President Gordon B. Hinckley
When I was small I would often go to my parents and family members to get things. But because I was so young, I did not realize that I should say, “Thank you.” I did not understand what thankfulness was. When I grew older, however, I gradually came to understand gratitude. Our attitude toward God is similar. There are those of us who ask of God in prayer, and God gives us appropriate answers and blessings, but sometimes we do not show gratitude. If we thank God sincerely, the blessings we receive will most certainly be even greater.
Chiang Chien-Yen, age 14,
Tao Yuan Second Ward, Tao Yuan Taiwan Stake
“You belong to a church that teaches the importance of education. … [The Lord] wants you to train your minds and hands to become an influence for good as you go forward with your lives. And as you do so and as you perform honorably and with excellence, you will bring honor to the Church, for you will be regarded as a man or woman of integrity and ability and conscientious workmanship.”—President Gordon B. Hinckley
After I heard President Hinckley’s message, I made many resolutions in my life. I decided I would give every effort to obtaining a better education. I’m a university student right now, and sometimes it has been hard for me to do well in my academic classes and take institute at the same time. Sometimes I have neglected one or the other. But now I realize that the Lord wants us to be intelligent and to accomplish things, so I have decided to graduate from institute as well as from the university.
I took notes at the fireside, but having the complete text of the talk in the Liahona (Spanish) has enabled me to review President Hinckley’s words. And they are still having an influence on me, as if I had just heard them. No matter where we live—in a small country like mine or in a large nation—I know that if we will listen to the prophet’s voice and follow his counsel, the Lord will bless our lives and help us become better people.
Jenny Elisa Jaimes Utani, age 23,
Job Ward, Lima Perú Las Violetas Stake
“[Illicit drugs] will destroy you if pursued. You will become their slave. … My advice, my pleading to you wonderful young men and women, is to stay entirely away from them. … Stay clean from these mind-altering and habit-forming addictions.”—President Gordon B. Hinckley
I am 16 years old and am encountering some dangerous temptations. If I had not heard President Hinckley’s talk, I might not have known how to react to one of these.
One day at school, a friend called a group of us to come over and see something. When we went to see what she had, we discovered it was a drug, marijuana. I became pale with fear. My friend asked me to try it. Without thinking, I yelled, “You are crazy. You shouldn’t have this. Let’s go!”
My friend did not listen to me, and I began to pray silently for the power to touch the hearts of each of my friends in the group. I grabbed the package and threw it away. At first my friends were angry, but I could not contain my relief and happiness. I used the opportunity to explain that marijuana is wrong.
As we talked, I remembered what President Hinckley said about drugs, and I was able to pass on those words to my friends. I know the Spirit of the Lord was whispering to me the words I had in my heart.
Daniela Brocca, age 16,
Jardim da Saúde Ward, S•o Paulo Brazil Parque Bristol Stake
“You who are members of this Church must have a loyalty to it. This is your church. … You have embraced its gospel. You have taken upon yourselves a covenant in the waters of baptism. This you have renewed each time you have partaken of the sacrament. … Walk in faith before [God] with your heads high, proud of your membership in this great cause and kingdom which He has restored to the earth.”—President Gordon B. Hinckley
The world today is dangerous and filled with temptations. After reading President Hinckley’s talk, I felt more strongly than ever that I must obey the teachings of the Church. The B that is especially important for me right now is “Be true.”
When school started this year, I made some new friends. One day I had the opportunity to talk about the gospel. I remembered the video I saw at church about the six B’s. While watching that video I was filled with a spirit of peace that assured me, “You can talk about the Church with confidence.” When the opportunity came, I was able to do so. I am thankful for that chance.
Reading the talk in the Liahona (Japanese) later, I noticed the well-known phrase “To thine own self be true.” When some sort of big decision needs to be made, these words lead me to the correct path. The other B’s are also important, but most of all I want to be true to myself.
Sakura Kajihara, age 15,
Izumi Ward, Sendai Japan Stake
“I believe the meek and the humble are those who are teachable. They are willing to learn. They are willing to listen to the whisperings of the still, small voice for guidance in their lives. They place the wisdom of the Lord above their own wisdom.”—President Gordon B. Hinckley
In my daily life there are many temptations surrounding me, and whenever they become unbearable I silently sing a hymn in my mind or sincerely pray to Heavenly Father for help. When I do this, those bad thoughts and ideas leave me. I know that Heavenly Father loves me. As long as I am humble, He will listen to my prayers and help me overcome difficulties.
When I have a measure of success, it can be hard for me to avoid some arrogance—believing that the success came by my own effort. But whenever I think like this, I find I am unable to do anything well. Only afterward do I realize that any success I have comes not because of my merit but because God is helping me. I have learned from these experiences and from President Hinckley’s reminder that we must be humble.
Hsu Wei-You, age 16,
Tao Yuan Second Ward, Tao Yuan Taiwan Stake
“So live that in good conscience you can speak with the Lord. … The miracle of it all is that He hears. He responds. He answers—not always as we might wish He would answer, but there is no question in my mind that He answers.”—President Gordon B. Hinckley
I have found that when I get on my knees and pray, I am comforted and I feel Heavenly Father’s overwhelming love for me. An experience I had recently with prayer helped me know with a surety that He answers our prayers.
I had been having a very difficult day, and when I got home from school I immediately went to my knees and asked Heavenly Father to help me know that I was loved. Right after I said, “Amen,” my older sister came into my room and told me she loved me. I was overcome with the Spirit, and this experience definitely added to my testimony of prayer. I pray every day—and try to keep a prayer in my heart.
Shannon Watson, age 17,
Highland 20th Ward, Highland Utah East Stake