Young People Today

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Kids today; who can understand them? I read about their self-centeredness, their great expectations with minimal effort, low work ethic, addictions to digital media, and on and on.

And then I read about the Hardin-Central High School Cheerleaders in Missouri. Recently at one of their basketball games they saw that the other school had only one cheerleader. Her name was Tori Adams and she was uncomfortable and scared.

So the Hardin cheerleaders learned her cheers, and cheered for her team as well as their own. The cheerleaders cheered for everybody, and, everybody cheered for the cheer leaders.

Reminds me of the junior prom at our high school a few years ago. The junior class officers decreed that no junior girl would be without a date to the prom. They sold the package to their constituents, and the juniors made it happen.

We who knew this class were not surprised. They were a special group of kids. We also nodded our heads when we found out that Lucinda’s (not her real name) date would be one of the biggest men on campus, star athlete, handsome, and popular with everybody, one of the good guys.

Lucinda was also special. No one, even those who had been her classmates since grade school ever remembered her eating lunch alone. She had a quiet sensitivity that invited everybody to her friends.

I was told later that Lucinda’s date had been his usual popular self at the dance, but his friends got only a wave. His whole focus that night was listening and talking to Lucinda

At the end of the dance, we parents, and other friends waited around the foot of the of the county courthouse staircase where the prom was held. To us as they descended the long flight of stairs in the spotlights, every young man was a handsome prince, every junior girl on his arm was Cinderella. And we applauded them as such.

Then the thunderous applause, the cheering, dabbing at the eyes erupted when Lucinda appeared. She was not on her handsome escort’s arm. She was in his strong arms as he gently carried her down the stairs, and placed her carefully into her wheel chair. The chair and others like it is her only way to get around since the age of three when a medical condition left her with almost no use of her arms and legs.

She didn’t actually dance that night, but in her heart and mind I think she sang with Eliza Doolittle in the musical My Fair Lady, “I only know when he began to dance with me, I could have danced, danced, danced all night.”

Young people today, bless them.

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Follow the Prophet Today

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What can we learn about following the prophet today? He won’t lead us astray.

Weary and cold already after only one day’s trek, these inexperienced small farmers, shopkeepers and craftsmen, mothers, fathers, and children dragged their wagons into a makeshift camp and tried to get rested for the next day of their trek across the plains and the mountains. Eventually more than 70,000 pioneers would show their faith in following their prophet Brigham Young. Six thousand would perish along the trail.
Their commitment to follow was tested in many ways. First driven out by mobs who hated their religion and hungered for their possessions, later in the valleys of their mountain home an army from their own country would menace them. Crickets would devour their crops cold and hot weather would endanger their existence. They were sustained by the words of their prophet Joseph Smith. Not long before he was murdered by a mob he declared they would become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.

Today their descendants and converts worldwide number in the millions. They have sufficient means to bless others hit by hurricanes, floods, war, pestilence and other natural and man-made calamities. Their missionaries carry a message of hope to the downtrodden, humility to the prosperous, and joy to all through the Savior Jesus Christ. They are a bright beacon to a dimming world.

A hundred years ago the prophet Heber J. Grant warned the world to beware of polluting their bodies with drugs including nicotine and alcohol. He quoted from the scriptures of “… evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days… “
Those who listened and followed, and their descendants have been largely spared the death and misery from the flood of drugs drowning much of the world. Interestingly the poisons are sometimes called, “designer” drugs. The same word Heber J. Grant read from the scriptures written back in 1833.

Twenty three years ago the Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley and other general authorities issued a proclamation to the world to honor and protect the family. Those who listened and followed have suffered much less from the disintegration of this most important foundation of civilization.

These examples are only three of the thousands of words of wisdom, counsel, and salvation given since the Lord began more than two centuries ago to send prophets again to the earth.

Today, thanks be to God, the prophet still speaks. Those who harken and follow will not go astray, because the prophet will not go astray, and he knows the way.