In Sunday night’s worldwide devotional with youth, President Nelson challenged the youth of the Church to take a week-long break from social media, sacrifice their time, repent, pray, and stand out from the world.
“Would you like to be a big part of the greatest challenge, the greatest cause, and the greatest work on the earth today?” said President Nelson.
“Would you like to gather Israel during these precious latter days? Would you, who are the elect, be willing to help find the elect who have not heard the message of the restored gospel?”
President Nelson offered five specific things for youth to do—that will change them and help change the world—as they enlist in the Lord’s youth battalion to gather Israel.
1. Disengage from a constant reliance on social media. President Nelson invited the youth of the Church to hold a seven-day fast from social media to decrease its worldly influence upon them. (See the article “Youth Respond to President Nelsons’ Challenge #7DayBreakFromTheFake.”)
“I acknowledge that there are positives about social media,” President Nelson said. “But if you are paying more attention to feeds from social media than you are to the whisperings of the Spirit, then you are putting yourself at spiritual risk, as well as the risk of experiencing intense loneliness and depression.”
Since much of what appears on social media is a person’s most fun and adventurous pictures, this creates the fake impression that everyone else has a more exciting life. “So, give yourself a seven-day break from fake.”
2. Make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord, for three weeks in a row. “Let Him know that you want to be part of His youth battalion—more than you want anything else,” he said.
“For three weeks give up something you like to do and use that time to help gather Israel.
3. Do a thorough life assessment with the Lord, perhaps with parents and a bishop, to ensure you are firmly planted on the covenant path.
“If you have wandered off, or if there are some things you need to let go of to help your mind and heart be more pure, today is the perfect time to change.”
“Please do not stay off the covenant path one more minute. Please come back through true repentance now. We need you with us in the youth battalion of the Lord. It just won’t be the same without you.”
4. Pray daily that all of God’s children might receive the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“You and I are living to see, and will continue to see, Israel gathered with great power. And you can be part of the power behind that gathering.”
5. Stand out and be different from the world.
“You and I know that you are to be a light to the world,”
“Therefore, the Lord needs you to look like, sound like, act like, and dress like a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Yes, you are living in the world, but you have very different standards from the world to help you avoid the stain of the world.”
“You can be smarter than previous generations have ever been,” he said. “And if you are sometimes called ‘weird,’ wear that distinction as a badge of honor and be happy that your light is shining brightly in this ever-darkening world.”
President Nelson encouraged youth to set a standard for the rest of the world and embrace being different. He mentioned the For the Strength of Youth booklet that includes standards for all youth to follow.
Learn more in the article “President Nelson Tells Youth to Take a ‘Break from Fake’ and Help Gather Israel.”