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Your Desires, Your Choices, and Your Technology

Have you ever thought about what your everyday technological choices say about who you are?

In the April 2014 general conference, Brother Randall L. Ridd, second counselor in the Young Men general presidency, said, “Every day the world seeks to influence your desires, enticing you to buy something, click on something, play something, read or watch something.”

Your desires determine your agency. And your agency determines who you become. Brother Ridd said, “Ultimately, the choice is yours. You have agency. Each choice takes you closer to or further from what you are meant to become; each click has meaning. Always ask yourself, ‘Where will this choice lead?’ Develop the ability to see beyond the moment.”

So how do you educate your desires to help you become the person God wants you to become? Brother Ridd has offered four principles to guide you.

1. Knowing Who You Really Are Makes Decisions Easier

When you understand that you have an eternal identity and divine gifts, decisions are clear. Ponder on your eternal identity as a son or daughter of God. As you gain an understanding of your divine character, your desires will align with God’s desires for you. Brother Ridd counseled young men, “Remember who you really are. Remember that you hold the holy priesthood. This will inspire you to make correct choices as you use the Internet and throughout your life.”

2. Plug In to the Source of Power

“As important as it is to leave home every day with a full charge on your cell phone, it is far more important to be fully charged spiritually,” Brother Ridd said. “Every time you plug in your phone, use it as a reminder to ask yourself if you have plugged in to the most important source of spiritual power—prayer and scripture study, which will charge you with inspiration through the Holy Ghost (see D&C 11:12–14).”

Are daily prayer and scripture study a priority in your life? “Many of us immediately stop whatever we are doing to read a text message—should we not place even more importance on messages from the Lord? Neglecting to connect to this power should be unthinkable to us (see 2 Nephi 32:3),” he said.

Download inspirational wallpaper like this one for your tablet, smartphone, or computer here.

3. Owning a Smartphone Does Not Make You Smart, but Using It Wisely Can

Does your smartphone distract you from what is going on around you? Make the effort to “be where you are when you are there.” Brother Ridd counseled, “When you are driving, drive. When you are in class, focus on the lesson. When you are with your friends, give them the gift of your attention. Your brain cannot concentrate on two things at once.”

4. The Lord Provides Technology to Accomplish His Purposes

Because you understand technology better than any other generation, you need to understand its real purpose. “The divine purpose of technology is to hasten the work of salvation. … The Lord expects you to use these great tools to take His work to the next level, to share the gospel in ways that are beyond my generation’s wildest imagination,” he said. “Where generations past influenced their neighbors and their town, you have the power through the Internet and social media to reach beyond borders and influence the whole world.”

As you claim a place in the Lord’s chosen generation, make sure that your choices stem from righteous desires. As Brother Ridd said, “You were chosen to participate in His work at this time because He trusts you to make the right choices.”

How do your desires, your choices, and your technology shape who you are? Share your experience with other youth by commenting below.

Taken from “The Choice Generation,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 56–58. Read, watch, listen to, or download Brother Ridd’s full address.

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