Choose you this day to serve the Lord

Prepare sons to be worthy

Understand worth of souls

Instill desire

As in the days of Joshua, who said to the people of Israel, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve, . . . but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord," (Josh. 24:15) so it is today, affirmed Elder H. Bryan Richards.

Elder Richards, sustained at last April's general conference as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, spoke at the priesthood session Saturday evening and quoted contemporary prophets about the obligation of every worthy young man to serve a mission.

"As parents, we have the responsibility to prepare our sons to be worthy and to have a desire to serve the Lord," he said. "We are stewards of those sons, held in reserve for this day. The Lord has entrusted them to us, and we will be held accountable for them. One of the blessings of that stewardship will be preparing our sons to serve the Lord."

Citing the incident in Alma 57 about the young Nephite warriors and the influence their mothers had on them, Elder Richards said, "Parents, do you realize what great power you have in the lives of your sons? When you teach them that there is a just God, and that He wants every able and worthy young man to serve a mission, your sons will have the faith to answer the Lord's call."

He counseled bishops to help young men remember Alma's experiment (see Alma 32) to plant a seed in their heart, then ask the Lord if it is a good seed. "Then, if you help them nourish that seed, it will grow into the miracle of having that young man serve a mission.

The doctrine that will change the behavior of young men toward serving missions is "understanding the worth of a single soul," Elder Richards said. "Jesus Christ paid the supreme sacrifice in providing the infinite atonement which provides the only way for us to return and live with our Heavenly Father. When parents, bishops and our young men understand this true doctrine, our young men will be prepared and have the desire to serve."

He affirmed: "There is not anything a young man can do that will be any more important than serving a mission. The good they do as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ will carry on into eternity."

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed