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How to Break the “Typical Teen” Mold

Charlotte Larcabal Church Magazines

Forget what the world says. How does Heavenly Father see you? You can live up to His vision of your potential.

The world has a lot to say about teenagers today. You probably know some of the stereotypes or have heard someone complaining about “kids these days.” There are also a lot of studies and statistics about you—your social media habits, what you buy, even how short your attention span might be.

But President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, says he’s “uncomfortable” when he hears researchers describe their studies about young people. “And frankly,” he said, “I am less interested in what the experts have to say about you than what the Lord has told me about you” (“Stand as True Millennials,” Ensign or Liahona, Oct. 2016).

The Lord doesn’t need studies or stereotypes to get to know you. He doesn’t see you as a statistic or as someone weighed down by how “the world” tries to describe you.

“He loves you not only for who you are this very day but also for the person of glory and light you have the potential and the desire to become,” said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency (“Living the Gospel Joyful,” Oct. 2014 general conference).

God doesn’t just see you; He loves you.

Want to break the world’s mold? Start seeing yourself the way Heavenly Father and His chosen servants see you. Want to bust stereotypes? Now is the time to be up and doing! As a 12-year-old, Christ reminded His earthly parents that He needed to “be about [His] Father’s business” (Luke 2:49).

He wasn’t too young, and neither are you. So the next question is this: How can you be about your Heavenly Father’s business?

His “business” is all about bringing to pass “the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39), so you can be about your Father’s business by doing your best to achieve your potential and by becoming someone who helps others achieve their potential too.

Now is the time to take responsibility for your own future. What can you do right now to make sure you are becoming who Heavenly Father knows you can become, not only in the eternities but also in this life?

Do you want to be married in the temple? Decide now to be pure in thought, word, and deed. Do you see yourself studying at a university? Develop good study skills now. Do you want to serve a mission? Add Preach My Gospel to your gospel study (especially chapter 3). Do you want to provide for a family? Learn how to make and keep a budget now.

You can also look at the things that make you happy now. Do you love math? playing the piano? writing stories? Keep at it! See if there are ways you can improve: school classes, online tutorials, competitions, workshops, and so on.

Break the mold and bust the stereotypes! Take charge of your own future. What are you doing to become the best you? Let us know by emailing newera@ldschurch.org or leaving a message on the LDS Youth Facebook or Instagram pages.

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