Promising future awaits those who prepare

With their futures lying before them, young men of the Aaronic Priesthood were counseled to prepare well for the years ahead.

"What a promising future you have if you prepare properly and keep focused," said Elder Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy as he addressed the priesthood session Saturday evening.He compared preparing for life with preparing for the flight of an aircraft. He noted that pilots always go through a detailed checklist before takeoff.

He suggested five areas that could comprise such a checklist for Aaronic Priesthood holders.

The priesthood. "Really understand and use the priesthood you bear. Honor it, realize its power."

"Heavenly Father loves you. You have His priesthood. What great leadership lessons you learn as you lead others while you are young."

Family and friends. "Do not expect your parents to do things for you that you now can do for yourselves," he said. "A successful home is based on the love and helpfulness of children just as it is based on loving mothers and fathers handling their responsibilities."

Friends should be chosen wisely, he said, and encouraged to live Church standards.

Live the commandments. Elder Pinnock compared breaking the commandments to "feeding the foxes." He related the account of he and his wife, who live in England, leaving food out at night to attract foxes. Soon foxes came and began leaving the yard in shambles each night. "It's sort of like a furry Jurassic Park," he quipped. "What started out as a curiosity is now a problem. Sin is much the same. Sin can begin a process that can make a mess of an entire life."

Education. "The direction you are flying as a young man will determine where you will land as an adult," he counseled. "Not all that goes on in school and at work is pleasant. . . . Be excited about your schooling and develop the habit of going the extra mile. This habit will assist you in crossing continents successfully when you are older. Through study and hard work, you prepare for a life of spiritual, emotional, and economic self-reliance. "

A mission. "The prophet has asked you young men to serve. The world needs you to serve. And you need to feel the power and growth from serving and teaching others."

Elder Pinnock observed that parents, bishops, quorum leaders and solid friends are like a ground crew that can support an Aaronic Priesthood holder's successful plan.

"Get with it," he said. "The future is yours if you create and stick to your personal checklist."

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