Hi guys! I apologize for the wait! Life can be a crazy thing.
Right now, I am working on Integrity Experience #7:
List the issues, trends, and problems that weaken the family. Read the First Presidency message, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”, and the section on family in For the Strength of Youth. Then research in the Church magazines the counsel of those whom we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators. Write in your journal your plan to strengthen your present family and the values and traditions you want to establish with your future family.
Each of the listed resources are definitely applicable, useful, and meaningful, but what I want to share today is what I found by researching in the Church magazines the counsel of Church leaders. Pulling up lds.org, I glanced over the home page and found an article by President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It’s called “Disciples and the Defense of Marriage”, and it’s taken from a BYU commencement address given about a year ago.
The entire thing is wonderful and I strongly advise you to read the whole thing! Here I will just share a few quotes that really impacted me and really relate to what is going on in the world today.
“Male and female are created for what they can do and become—together. It takes a man and a woman to bring a child into the world. Mothers and fathers are not interchangeable. Men and women are distinct and complementary.”
“Will you be ashamed of the gospel? Will you be ashamed of your Lord and His plan? (see Mormon 8:38). Will you yield to voices of those who would have you join them on the popular side of contemporary history?
“No! The youth of Zion will not falter! I believe you will be courageous and proclaim God’s truth with clarity and kindness, even when His truth is politically unpopular! Paul set that pattern when he declared, ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth’ (Romans 1:16; see also 2 Timothy 1:8).” (emphasis added)
I especially love when he quotes the Apostle Paul about the awful things that will happen in the last days and then adds his (President Nelson’s) interpretation--
“The Apostle Paul foresaw our circumstances when he said:
‘In the last days perilous times shall come.
‘For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
‘Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, … despisers of those that are good,
‘… lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”
'Then he concluded: ‘From such turn away’ (2 Timothy 3:1–5)
After his remarkable prophecy of our time, Paul added this word of warning: ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution’ (2 Timothy 3:12).
“Ponder that! It means that during these perilous times, life will not be comfortable for true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. But we will have His approval. He gave us this assurance: “Blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (3 Nephi 12:10). In short, as disciples, each of us will be put to the test.”
Read the rest of his article and let me know in the comments what your favorite quote was!