Prepare and Think in Terms of the Future, Elder Ballard Counsels Young Single Adults

Elder Ballard addresses young single adults at a meeting held in the Conference Center.

“You will carry on your shoulders the future of the kingdom of God,” Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told young single adults in a series of three meetings in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. “We need you to catch the vision of what your roles will be 20 years from now, maybe even shorter than that.”

The meetings, held April 26 to 28, drew hundreds of young single adults from Salt Lake and Davis Counties at a time when student wards and singles wards are being consolidated.  All young single adults—students or otherwise—will now be organized in wards according to geographic location rather than educational affiliation. This will provide young single adults with greater accountability within the Church, and it is also expected to increase activity. Similar reorganizations of student and young single adult wards in other parts of Utah have enabled wards to seek after and reactivate those who have become less involved in Church attendance and activities.

Every Soul Is Precious

Elder Ballard challenged each member of his audience to reach out to someone in the ward who is not regularly attending and help that person return to activity by the beginning of next year. “When we think through and pause and ponder [the Atonement], then all of a sudden every living soul is precious—very, very precious—to our Father in Heaven because they are His children.” He promised that the young single adults will have spiritual promptings and experiences as they seek strength and guidance to meet this challenge.

Prepare to Take the Stage

Commenting that all those sitting on the stage during the meeting will eventually be released from their callings and from life, he told the young adults that “when we move off the stage, you will have to be prepared to move on,” with the support of their future spouses. “I would encourage you to not be afraid of the future. Don’t let anything that’s going on in the world, that’s happening now, slow you down in your progress in mortality.”

Go Forward with Faith

His story of using skills learned on his mission to convince his wife, Barbara, that he was the man for her drew laughs as he encouraged the young men in attendance to follow his example. He told the audience not to be afraid to marry. “My counsel to you tonight is, do not lose your faith. Go forward with faith. . . . Faith is one of the greatest powers that you and I have in this sojourn of mortality.”

Capture the Vision

At the conclusion of his address, as an Apostle he asked Heavenly Father to bless the young single adults that they would capture the vision of who they are, gain an understanding of the purpose of their mortal existence, and have faith and trust in the Lord as well as courage to do the important things they have ahead of them. “Enjoy the future,” Elder Ballard said. “Prepare, my beloved brothers and sisters. When the Lord needs you, you’ll be able to say, ‘Here am I; send me.’”

The full text of Elder Ballard’s comments will be published when it becomes available.