“I would rather walk barefoot from here to the celestial kingdom and back into the presence of my Heavenly Father … than to let the things of this world keep me out.”
—President N. Eldon Tanner (1898–1982) (Improvement Era, Dec. 1966, 1136)
Be humble and teachable. We are the most effective in our callings when we listen to the counsel of our leaders. The Lord has said, “Behold, I speak unto you, and also to all those who have desires to bring forth and establish this work;
“And no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care” (D&C 12:7–8).
The Apostle Peter also counseled, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, … be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (1 Peter. 5:5). Be willing to listen and learn.
Armed with cleaning rags, needed supplies, and lots of heart, more than 400 youth in Nampa, Idaho, set out to do some good in their community. In a citywide effort that included 20 wards and 1 branch in the 2 Nampa stakes, the youth committed a Saturday to serving. But they also spent weeks in preparation: making quilts, practicing programs, and organizing food, clothing, and toy drives. On the day of the project they did everything from stacking firewood for the elderly in their wards to filling the supply closets at shelters. Following all their service the youth got a much-deserved rest, including a testimony meeting, dinner, and a dance.
For someone who was called “The Lion of the Lord,” President Brigham Young was a remarkably humble man. On one occasion the Prophet Joseph rebuked Brigham Young severely. Everyone in the room waited for Brigham Young’s response. He could have defended himself or been offended, but his reply was sincerely and simply, “Joseph, what do you want me to do?”
Later, when he was prophet, Brigham Young said, “We have to humble ourselves and become like little children in our feelings—to become humble and childlike in spirit … then we have the privilege of growing, of increasing in knowledge, in wisdom, and in understanding” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 179).
Be sure to keep the New Era in mind as you plan your ward or stake youth activities this year. We’re always looking for new stories and ideas. Let us know at least three months in advance, if possible, of the major youth events in your stake. We might be able to cover your event if time allows and if your ward is having an activity that fits our editorial needs. But even if we are unable to cover your activity, we would still love to know what you are doing. Send a brief description of your activity plans to the New Era, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150. Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.