By Linda Turley-Hansen
Nothin’s better than a good visit with young, sharp people. I’m blessed to have many among my family and friends. “Pure gold,” I call them.
We know, Latter-day Saints believe Heaven saved its strongest spirits for now. Hope reigns as golden kids strive and excel to meet expectations. They come from every faith and culture.
Recently, I enjoyed a visit with my nephew Taylor Tenney of Gilbert who just returned from a mission in south western Guatemala.
My, my, he’s steady; a reflection of his parents, Joseph and Debbie Tenney of Gilbert. He understands his generation’s mission. “We are the generation where there is no gray line, we must take a side,” he says.
We were discussing the valiant work of many, in and out of the Church and the need to join voices and efforts. We pondered a visit by a leading Christian theologian educator to Church leaders on Temple Square, who also spoke to the BYU student body. (Deseret News 11.2.13).
Minister Albert Mohler, Jr., discussed what he called, “The breakdown in the immune system of society, the enormous and fairly radical moral changes.” He explained immunity protects a body from illness, but society has “rather intentionally lowered the resistance level to some very dangerous developments.”
As for today’s youth who are “swimming against a secular tide,” he said, “They must defend their convictions and learn early who they are and what they believe in.”
Taylor agrees: “We have to join together with good people of all faiths in hopes to overcome the enemy of ALL righteousness. We must live in such a way that others would be glad to follow us.”
Taylor’s father, my brother, is serving as Bishop of the Williams Ward, Gilbert Arizona YSA Stake, which puts him within a heartbeat of the strength of the youth. He joined our conversation: “Like disease, courage is contagious! One, willing to stand alone, can make a difference that is everlasting! It is through the small and simple things that great things are brought to pass.”
“We see in our young people the very best that God has prepared,” Bishop Tenney said. “I have seen this great courage countless times! These are true ‘Helaman’s Sons and Daughters.’ Darkness always has to give way to light. His light … through these most wonderful youth!”
It’s good to remember: As we look for options in our unstable world, we find them in our youth. Most youth. They are to be invested in, counted on, protected in all we say and do. As we fight for change, fight for that which blesses the youngest among us.
Finding ways to join others with the same goals – rather than shun other groups of faith – is what the Lord intended and how LDS youth can shine their lights beyond their own memberships. Though formal missionary work is important, being one in purpose leads to that divine standard in preparation for Christ’s return.