This past year, we celebrated “a great and a marvelous work.” We rejoiced together as our testimonies of the Restoration of the gospel and of the Prophet Joseph Smith were strengthened. Now it is our exciting opportunity to “arise and shine forth, that [our] light may be a standard for the nations.” With testimonies of the restored gospel vibrant and strong, we can now share our feelings, our experiences, and our talents with the world. What a glorious responsibility it is to be shining examples—to share our testimonies of the Restoration by living gospel standards and serving others!
The Savior taught, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Christ is the perfect example. If we truly follow Him, we, too, will be “lights” to those around us.
The First Presidency has said, “We have great confidence in you. … We pray for each of you. … We pray that you will be worthy to carry on the responsibilities of building the kingdom of God and preparing the world for the Second Coming of the Savior” (For the Strength of Youth , 2–3).
We are grateful for valiant youth who show their love for the Savior by letting His light shine forth in their lives. As you follow the Lord and live the standards He has given us, you will experience joy and happiness. And the example you set will bless the world.
We love you. We pray for you. We bear testimony that the Lord loves you and needs you to help build His kingdom. You can be a light that dispels darkness, revealing by your example the path to celestial glory in the kingdom of God. “Arise and shine forth,” that the Spirit of the Lord may continue to bear witness of the Restoration of the gospel through you.
“It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike.”
—President Gordon B. Hinckley, “This is the Work of the Master,” Ensign, May 1995, 71.
How can you tell if you have a testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel? Is it by the words you say? Is it by where you spend Sundays? Is it by the things you do?
One of the best measures of your testimony of Jesus Christ is how you treat others. When you love the Lord Jesus Christ and turn your heart to Him, you will automatically turn to those in need, especially those in need of coming to Christ.
The scriptures remind us, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32). There are other examples from the scriptures of those who have turned testimony into action. Alma and the sons of Mosiah changed and went about preaching the gospel after they were visited by an angel. Enos also wanted to share what he knew to be true after he received forgiveness in answer to his prayers.
The path you follow on earth may not always be easy. But you can be assured that the Lord has not sent you here to fail. You will succeed as you follow the prophet and stand strong. As your testimony grows in intensity and strength, you will be able to help friends and family strengthen their testimonies. It is time to arise and shine forth.
Find and read scriptures that talk about being an example.
Have a testimony meeting at sunrise.
Memorize the words to “High on the Mountain Top” (Hymns, no. 5).
Perform an anonymous act of service.
Role-play some of the stories in the scriptures with your Mutual group or family. Dress like the people in the scriptures might have dressed, and memorize and present their testimonies as given in the scriptures.
Plan a family home evening based on the Mutual theme. Present it to your family with your parents’ guidance.