It isn’t easy to be a teenager in today’s world. But it is a whole lot easier if you are a Latter-day Saint and you take advantage of what you have been given.
While others may struggle to discover who they are and their purpose in life, you know you are a child of God and you want to become like your Father in Heaven. While others try to figure out right and wrong and too often make bad choices, you have been taught by your parents and Church leaders to recognize the sins that can destroy you. And while world events make others fear the future, you have the reassuring counsel of President Gordon B. Hinckley: “Keep the faith. Nurture your testimonies. Walk in righteousness, and the Lord will bless you and prosper you, and you will be a happy and wonderful people” (Ensign, Aug. 1996, 61).
You have been given some other powerful helps to get you through your teen years safely—things like your For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and the Church’s programs for Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women. Countless young Latter-day Saints have used these tools to shape themselves into worthy, happy, successful missionaries, husbands, wives, priesthood leaders, servants in the Lord’s kingdom, and otherwise successful adults.
Now, in their love and concern for you, the leaders of the Church have modified those tools and added some new ones.
As you get acquainted with the new Aaronic Priesthood Duty to God program, the revised Young Women’s Personal Progress book, and the updated For the Strength of Youth, you will see the love and personal interest that the Lord’s latter-day Apostles and prophets have for the youth of the Church. And as you use these marvelous tools in your life, they will provide you with a clear path of hope leading to a bright future.
We want every young man to enter the elders quorum with his Duty to God Award. We want every young woman to enter Relief Society with her Young Womanhood Recognition. —Elder M. Russell Ballard