Remember, the family is one of God’s greatest fortresses against the evils of our day. President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), “To the ‘Youth of the Noble Birthright,’” Ensign, May 1986, 43.

Scripture Scrambles

Unscramble these letters to make words or names from the Bible. Then unscramble the boxed letters to solve the puzzle in the quote from President Hinckley.

LOTAPSE _ _ _ _ [_] _ _

ISPLETE [_] _ _ _ [_] _ _

UJEMRALSE _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ [_]

CELIPSID _ _ _ _ _ _ _ [_]

LOTREEVINA _ _ _ _ _ [_] _ _ _ [_]

SOGLSEP _ _ _ _ [_] _ [_]

BSHREEW _ _ _ _ _ [_] _

TIRANOHINCS _ _ _ _ _ [_] _ _ _ [_] _

“The __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ sets forth, in language beautiful and moving, the matchless life and sacrifice of the Savior of mankind” (“Words of the Prophet: Search the Scriptures,” New Era, Apr. 2000, 4).

Answers:

In a Word: Agency

Your Heavenly Father has given you agency, the ability to choose and to act for yourself. Agency is essential in the plan of salvation. Without it, you would not be able to learn or progress or follow the Savior. With it, you are “free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil” (2 Nephi 2:27).

Your use of this gift determines your happiness or misery in this life and in the life to come. You are free to choose and act, but you are not free to choose the consequences of your actions. You are responsible for the decisions you make. You should not blame your circumstances, your family, or your friends if you choose to disobey God’s commandments. You are a child of God with great strength. You have the ability to choose righteousness and happiness, regardless of your circumstances.

(Adapted from True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference, which you can read online at www.lds.org in the Gospel Library.)

Keeping It Clean

Dressed in neon-green “Helping Hands” T-shirts, 150 youth from the Church descended upon the city of Ashland, Ohio, and worked to help beautify the city. The youth picked up trash along the roads entering the city. They also pulled weeds and mulched around trees at three city parks. In all, the youth provided two days and nearly 1,000 hours of volunteer service.

Their efforts were part of last year’s Akron Ohio Stake youth conference. Weeks before the conference, the stake youth committee worked with the mayor and other city leaders to identify service projects.

Shortly after the conference, the group gave the mayor a copy of the Book of Mormon with a handwritten testimony about the gospel and the joy of service. Along the way, 150 copies of the Book of Mormon were given to members of the Ashland Branch for them to hand out to friends and family in the community.

The mayor was so touched by the whole experience that all he could say, in a humble and emotional voice, was “thank you.”

Seeing Signs

There are a lot of missionaries out there who are seeing signs—road signs, that is. Here are some of our favorite sign photos that missionaries have sent to the New Era.

What’s up where you are? Let us know at newera@ldschurch.org.

[illustration] Painting by James Fairman, courtesy of Museum of Church History and Art

[photo] Photograph by Kelly A. Larsen

[photo] Photograph courtesy of the Akron Ohio Stake

[photos] Photographs courtesy of Ryan Harris, Mike Haire, Jeff Curtis, Jason Stucki, and Jared Price

APOSTLE, EPISTLE, JERUSALEM, DISCIPLE, REVELATION, GOSPELS, HEBREWS, CORINTHIANS New Testament