Youth

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“When my wife, Kathy, and I were in Africa a few weeks ago, we visited Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Because the chapel was not large enough for the 2,000 members, we met out of doors under large plastic coverings supported by bamboo poles. As the meeting began, we could see dozens of children watching us, clinging to the bars on the outside of the wrought-iron fence that surrounded the property. Kathy quietly whispered, ‘Neil, do you think that you might want to invite the children to come in?’ I approached District President Kalonji at the podium and asked him if he would welcome the children outside the fence to come join us inside.
 
“To my surprise, with President Kalonji’s invitation, the children not only came but came running—more than 50, perhaps 100—some with tattered clothes and bare feet but all with beautiful smiles and excited faces.
 
“I was deeply moved by this experience and saw it as symbolic of our need to reach out to the youth who feel alone, left behind, or outside the fence. Let us think about them, welcome them, embrace them, and do everything we can to strengthen their love for the Savior.”
 
Neil L. Andersen, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Whoso Receiveth Them, Receiveth Me,” April 2016 General Conference

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“Many children, youth, and adults are innocently exposed to pornography, but a growing number of both men and women are choosing to view it and are drawn back repeatedly until it becomes an addiction. These individuals may desire with all of their hearts to get out of this trap but often cannot overcome it on their own. How grateful we are when these loved ones choose to confide in us as parents or a Church leader. We would be wise not to react with shock, anger, or rejection, which may cause them to be silent again.”

Linda S. Reeves, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Protection from Pornography—a Christ-Focused Home,” April 2014 General Conference

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“Brothers and sisters, how do we protect our children and youth? Filters are useful tools, but the greatest filter in the world, the only one that will ultimately work, is the personal internal filter that comes from a deep and abiding testimony of our Heavenly Father’s love and our Savior’s atoning sacrifice for each one of us.”

Linda S. Reeves, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Protection from Pornography—a Christ-Focused Home,” April 2014 General Conference

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“Youth, take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being. Turn off your phone if necessary, sing a Primary song, pray for help, think of a scripture, walk out of a movie, picture the Savior, take the sacrament worthily, study For the Strength of Youth, be an example to your friends, confide in a parent, go see your bishop, ask for help, and seek professional counseling, if needed.”

Linda S. Reeves, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Protection from Pornography—a Christ-Focused Home,” April 2014 General Conference

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“Sincerely asking for and listening to the thoughts and concerns voiced by women is vital in life, in marriage, and in building the kingdom of God.
 
“Twenty years ago in general conference, Elder M. Russell Ballard related a conversation he had with the general president of the Relief Society. There was a question raised about strengthening the worthiness of youth preparing to serve missions. Sister Elaine Jack said with a smile, ‘You know, Elder Ballard, the [women] of the Church may have some good suggestions … if they [are] asked. After all, … we are their mothers!’ ”
 
Neil L. Andersen, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Power in the Priesthood,” October 2013 General Conference

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“Youth is a defining time in which you can develop patterns of virtue that will help you take necessary steps toward eternal life.”

Mary N. Cook, First Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
A Virtuous Life—Step by Step,” April 2009 General Conference

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“Youth often experience an identity crisis, wondering who they really are. The teenage years are also a time of what I describe as ‘identity theft,’ meaning that worldly ideas, philosophies, and deceits confuse us, buffet us, and seek to rob us of the knowledge of our true identity.”

Susan W. Tanner, Young Women General President
Daughters of Heavenly Father,” April 2007 General Conference

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“If we really want to make a difference, it will happen as we mother those we have borne and those we are willing to bear with. If we will stay right with our youth—meaning, if we will love them—in most cases they will stay right with us—meaning, they will let us lead them.”

Sheri L. Dew, Second Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Are We Not All Mothers?” October 2001 General Conference

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“Loving may come naturally, but leading is a polished skill that maybe we don’t take seriously enough. We lead by example more strongly than any other way. That is a heavy burden for parents and leaders of youth.”

Sharon G. Larsen, Second Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Fear Not: For They That Be with Us Are More,” October 2001 General Conference

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“You all must have promised lands that you would like to go to, and you can have your own light in that wilderness that challenges young people today. This light comes all wrapped up in love, the Lord’s love for every one of His children, and especially for young people. The Lord knows that you face challenges and temptations, and He provides the light that brightens your hearts, your minds, and your spirits. He has said that His word is truth and truth is light and light is the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”

Sharon G. Larsen, Second Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Your Light in the Wilderness,” April 1999 General Conference

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“One widely recognized expert in helping troubled youth said that the young people who most readily and completely come back after losing their way are those who have a foundation of standards and spirituality to which they can return. They are strengthened by their spiritual memories, and for them, repentance feels like coming home.

“Children come into this world pure and open and eager to learn. It is our happy privilege and solemn responsibility to lovingly teach them plain and simple gospel truths, provide opportunities for them to feel the Spirit, and help them identify and recognize their own spiritual feelings.”

Susan L. Warner, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Remember How Thou Hast Received and Heard,” April 1996 General Conference

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“[E]very adult member of the Church, may I suggest that you learn the names of the young people in your ward or branch and call them by name. Encourage them in their work efforts. Recognize them for the good things they do. They need our support, and we need theirs. Probably the hardest thing about growing up is that you have to keep doing it. But we are not alone.”

Janette C. Hales, Young Women General President
You Are Not Alone,” April 1992 General Conference

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“Consider the transition of a young person beginning at the age of twelve and lasting until the eighteenth year. The conditions spoken of in the Book of Mormon are almost always present in the lives of young people—a period of fast growth, a desire to be liked by others, to be popular, and often, prosperity. A pattern of personal righteousness which includes prayer, scripture study, and service is the answer to avoiding the dangers spoken of in the Book of Mormon.”

Janette C. Hales, Second Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
A Pattern of Righteousness,” April 1991 General Conference

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“You wonderful young people, from what we’ve observed, you’re not unlike our lambs. You, too, are hungry—hungry for things of the Spirit that will make you grow strong and keep you safe from the coyotes that are out to destroy you. You are capable and willing to do your part in building the kingdom when you are taught how. And we want to help you. We know that you need someone to love you, someone to listen and understand. You need to be needed. You need opportunities to come together in a safe environment, a safe fold so to speak, where you can share with one another and develop wholesome friendships based on brother-sister relationships rather than romantic involvement. You need opportunities to experience the joy of sacrifice and service, of caring for and loving one another as our Savior loves us. Within the gospel we have what you need, but you will need to reach out and accept it.”

Jayne B. Malan, First Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
The Summer of the Lambs,” October 1989 General Conference

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