When was the last time you read through the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet? You know, it isn’t just for youth.
I have to admit, It’s been a while for me. A couple of months ago, I decided to work on my Personal Progress. (I’ll write about that experience in a future post.) There are several requirements that lead you to read the entire pamphlet, setting goals to focus on one or two areas. I discovered that, even as an adult, I can raise my standards just a little higher.
There is excellent advice in there and I was struck by the fact that there really is a standard for good living that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
As I read, I could tell the wording had been modified from when I read it last. For example, it doesn’t state specifically to not watch R-rated movies. Now, it warns against watching anything that will take away from the spirit. That’s an interesting change. I’ve thought about reasons for this modification. Here are a few of my random thoughts:
- We can’t depend on worldly standards to make sure we’re following God’s standards.
- Some PG-13 movies are worse than some R movies.
- The rating system has definitely changed over the years. A movie would get an R-rating for just using a certain word once. Now, they can use that word up to four times before it gets that rating. But, movie makers think if they can get away with four times, why not just go for forty times. (Pushing, always pushing that envelope.)
- It is the spirit that should be guiding us, not any worldly scale. And we each have access to the spirit that speaks directly to us and helps us to know what is right or wrong, for us.
In fact, that is the lesson that I learned: Live your life in such a way that the spirit can be with you because the spirit can bring you great comfort, safety, and power. The world cannot. What an idea!
Reading each of the page-long standards, I began checking myself. How do I rate myself in how well I’m doing? Well, I’m not perfect, that’s for sure. I found plenty of places where improvement could be made. But, as I continued to read I found myself feeling more and more grateful for the words I was reading.
We have standards! These standards help us navigate a fallen world, to rise above its mediocrity and find happiness through the guidance of the spirit. Every day we fight off worldly influences. Satan wedges his way into our lives with such subtility that we don’t even see our downward spiral until we think it’s too late for us and we think life is hopeless. But guess what? This pamphlet assures us that it is never too late. We can start today to be better.
Under Physical and Emotional Health, it states:
“In all aspects of your life, seek healthy solutions to problems. Do all you can to safeguard your physical and emotional health so that you can fulfill your divine potential as a son or daughter of God.”
What a great thing to aim for. Here’s another gem under Work and Self-Reliance:
“To be truly self-reliant, you must learn how to work with others and turn to the Lord for His help and strength.”
Life could be so much better if we actually relied on the Lord and not the arm of flesh. We could be leading the pack instead of getting caught up in the bad ideas of the pack. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to finally figure that out, but here it is in black and white. This next one, in Go Forward with Faith, warns against something that is so prevalent, it’s scary:
Satan tells us so many lies that we are all too ready to believe. By relying on the Lord, we won’t be tricked quite so much. And here’s one, in Entertainment and Media, that anyone younger than 70 has problems with:
“Be careful that your use of social media does not replace spending time with your family and friends.”
God’s standards need to become our standards. Why? Because He wants us to be happy and keeping high standards will do just that.