Helaman Ayala loves ninjitsu (a Japanese martial art). This priest in the Mexico City Tecamac Stake has spent a lot of time practicing what he has learned. Often his friends ask him to show them different techniques.
He also loves music and has taken some guitar lessons. “But I don’t have a lot of time to practice,” he says. “So I haven’t progressed much. And I can’t share it much.”
Helaman understands the importance of practicing what you learn and then sharing it. “You can’t just know. You must do,” he says. “We can learn things, but if we don’t put them into practice, they won’t do us any good. And sharing is essential to help you make sure you’ve learned it.”
That’s what he likes about the new Duty to God. “I like the idea of ‘learn, act, share,’” he says. “It has helped me a lot. Knowing more and applying what I’ve learned has helped my testimony.”
He uses the plan of salvation as an example. It’s a doctrine he has heard many times. “But studying it for myself, I saw the love Heavenly Father has for us. The Holy Ghost touched my heart, and I felt inside that it is true. I came to feel the love He has for me that He would send His Son.”
As Helaman sets and works on his Duty to God goals, he appreciates the support he receives from his parents. “My parents encourage me, they remind me when I forget, and they ask me if I’ve set my goals,” he says.
His father, who is the bishop of their ward, spends time helping him. “He helps me understand things I don’t understand,” Helaman says. “My father and mother both support me a lot in that respect.”
Helaman says the goals Duty to God asks young men to set are for their good. Duty to God has strengthened his faith and helped him resist temptation. It has also helped prepare him for the future. “The book helps you to prepare to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and teaches you many of the things you’ll need as a missionary.”
Just as he has progressed in ninjitsu through setting goals to learn, acting upon what he has learned, and sharing with others, Helaman knows that “to progress in life, we need to set goals and look to the future.”
Using Duty to God and with his parents’ help, Helaman has made a good start.
Watch a video about the “learn, act, share” concept at lds.org/go/912.
Diligence and Trust
“The contents of [the Fulfilling My Duty to God] booklet are a physical representation of the Lord’s trust in the rising generation. … And I have seen evidence that the trust is well placed.
“In visits I watched Aaronic Priesthood quorums in action. I have seen young men following patterns of learning, making plans to do what God wants of them, then moving out to do what they have committed to do and sharing with others how they were changed spiritually. And as I watched and listened, it became clear that fathers, mothers, leaders, friends, and even neighbors in a congregation were touched by the Spirit as they heard youth testify how they had been strengthened. The youth were lifted as they bore testimony, and so were those who were trying to help them rise.”
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, “Help Them on Their Way Home,” Ensign, May 2010, 24.
Photographs by Adam C. Olson