Live morally clean lives, youth of Church exhorted

Keep covenants

Listen to conscience- Read youth pamphlet

Living a morally clean life is essential for peace, happiness and self-esteem, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Council of the Twelve said to young men and young women of the Church in the Saturday morning session.

"Unfortunately," he said, "we live in a world that is awash in all kinds of moral pollution. . . . With challenges like these, you need to remember that you do not face them alone. There are people who love you and want you to be happy. We want the very best for you. Most especially, your Father in Heaven loves you and wants you to have joy and happiness. He has made marvelous promises to His faithful children who love Him, who are baptized and who keep His commandments.

Elder Ballard reminded the youth why they must keep the covenants they made with God: "In the premortal world before we left the presence of Heavenly Father, He warned and cautioned us about new experiences we would have in mortality. Never having been mortal before, we had no experience dealing with the temptations of mortality.

"But Heavenly Father knew and understood. He charged us to control our mortal bodies and to make them subject to our spirits. Spiritual power over the influence of Satan comes to us by keeping the commandments of our Lord, Jesus Christ."

Elder Ballard related that "you have within your physical body the powerful spirit of a son or daughter of God. Because He loves you and wants you to come home to Him, your Father in Heaven has given you a conscience that tells your spirit when you are keeping the Lord' commandments and when you are not.

"If you will pay more attention to your spiritual self, which is eternal, rather than to your mortal self, which is temporary, you can always resist the temptations of Satan and conquer his efforts to take you into his power."

Elder Ballard cautioned: "Some youth foolishly rationalize that it is `no big deal' to sin now because they can always repent later when they want to go to the temple or when they want to go on a mission. Anyone who does that is breaking promises made to God both in the premortal life and in the waters of baptism.

"For those who have strayed," he continued, "the Savior has provided a way back. But it is not without pain. Repentance is not easy; it takes time - painful time!"

Elder Ballard encouraged youth to regularly read a copy of the pamphlet "For the Strength of Youth."

Then directing some remarks to priesthood leaders, Elder Ballard exhorted, "Brethren, we expect that you will teach youth leaders, parents and the youth these long-established principles."

He promised the youth, "You will be grateful when the day comes for you to attend the temple that you followed the counsel of the Lord and chose to be morally clean."

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