The men, and particularly our young men, got a scolding during the Priesthood session by Elder Holland. He did it with love, with tears, and with genuine concern for their personal welfare, but nevertheless, the message was firm. Our boys have been called into action.
But because this is a site for women, I am going to twist this talk into the viewpoint of a woman. We are women who care about our young men. Whether we are mothers to them, sisters, aunts, cousins, or friends; this talk is for us too.
Elder Holland starts his talk by describing Satan. “Satan…the father of lies…is real…he convulses at the appearance of redeeming light…he is eternally opposed to the love of God, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the work of peace and salvation…he is determined to take down with him as many others as he possibly can.” The world tells us that Satan is to be glorified. All those bloody movies and games. The belief in “no rules”, “what’s in it for me?”, “I can do anything I want; it doesn’t concern you”. We’ve heard it all! Satan is the author of that demoralizing and false attitude. We have to know how Satan works in order to put him down and away from us.
The topic of this talk is missionary work. The problem Elder Holland brings forward is worthiness to serve. We are losing our youth to Satan. Our youth are falling into the mission field unprepared. When our sons come home many of them are getting hooked on pornography and not getting married. They are slow to pursue the life of a responsible member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Where are they learning that this is okay? Where do these attitudes begin to fester? Where does it all begin?
Ultimately, the boys are responsible for themselves, but we can help. We can pay attention a little more. We can take a little more time with them. We can perhaps love them less (more), by letting them suffer consequences more. There is much we can do.
Power seems to be the word for this conference. We each have power to choose how we will live our lives. It would be wise to have a discussion on what the scriptures say about power; where it comes from, what it can accomplish, how to use it righteously. I promise you that the spirit will be there to assist you, give you power of speech and conviction, and witness of the power of power.
“No missionary can be unrepentant of sexual transgression or profane language or pornographic indulgence and then expect to challenge others to repent of those very things! You can’t do that. The Spirit will not be with you, and the words will choke in your throat as you speak them.” No parent, sister, aunt, cousin, or friend can either. We must be the examples, standing just as valiantly as the men, around our youth.
We were pretty excited to hear about the new temples being built. We are up to 166 temples now across the globe. It’s hard to keep up with this number that keeps growing on us. But, the Brethren want this number to double, triple, and quadruple. The temples must cover the earth in time for Jesus Christ’s return. The time is short. The only way it will happen is if our missionary force doubles, triples, and quadruples.
After lovingly blasting the boys, Elder Holland then turned to the men. “Now, you brethren of the Melchizedek Priesthood, don’t smile and settle back into the comfort of your seats. I am not through here.” There is something special about a senior couple serving. They reach people the 19-year-olds can’t. They bring wisdom, ability, and unguarded, generous love to the mission field.
With the economy the way it is, the Brethren have generously offered a new incentive. But it is up to us older folk to take care of our health and our finances, so we can get to work for the Lord. I don’t think I need to say this, but we know that whatever we sacrifice–family, retirement, comfort—will be returned to us eternally-fold. “What greater gift could grandparents give their posterity than to say by deed as well as word, ‘In this family we serve missions!’” And, oh, the blessings that will come!
Sisters, we need to support our men in every way. We need to teach, train, guide. We need to remind, provoke, stir. We need to love, bless, and exemplify He who loves most.
“[Sisters] of all ages, unbind your tongues and watch your words work wonders in the lives of those [at home, as well as those] who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.”
Sisters, Brethren, and Youth, we are ALL enlisted.