Pres. Faust advises: Avoid deception of `Devil's Throat'

"Iwant you to know that I believe in you," President James E. Faust said Nov. 1 to young adults around the world.

Speaking at a Church Educational System fireside to a capacity congregation of more than 22,000 in the BYU Marriott Center - as well as thousands of young adults participating in the fireside via satellite at more than 600 locations in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean - President Faust said he knows Church members "can be in the world but not of the world."President Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, was accompanied to the fireside by his wife, Ruth. Also in attendance were Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve and commissioner of Church Education, and his wife, Kathleen; and Elder Merrill J. Bateman of the Seventy and BYU president, and his wife, Marilyn.

During his address, which will also be viewed on video tape in various parts of the world by institute of religion students, President Faust said that while serving a mission in Brazil he came to know of a part of Iguacu Falls called the Devil's Throat - where the heaviest deluge is concealed just beyond calm waters.

He cautioned members of the congregation not to get too close to life's "Devil's Throat."

"Spiritually, a Devil's Throat is concealed beneath the deceptively calm tranquility of our lives and the world in which we live," he said. "Each of you has to have the strength and integrity not to get too close to the Devil's Throat."

President Faust noted that at this time in their lives, many young people challenge a parent's authority, society values and religion.

"You will do well not to challenge some things in life," he continued. "This is particularly so with the commandments of God. I am very grateful for the principle of repentance, for we all make mistakes. But it is far better to make the right choice in the first place."

Quoting a song in The Sound of Music, President Faust said, "Let's start at the very beginning."

"If we are to understand the purpose of our lives, the beginning is indeed a very good place to start," he explained. "Each of you is a son or daughter of God. We are created in His image and likeness.

"What does that do for us? It raises us up so we can live above the ugly and the sordid things all around us. It does not mean that temptation is eliminated but rather that the Lord gives us strength to overcome all things. This is one of the reasons why we believe in you."

He enumerated several other reasons:

"We believe in you because we know you can be honest. A feeling of goodness will shine within us for doing what we know is honest and true," he said. "Ultimately, we will receive an eternal reward."

"We believe in you because we recognize your strength and capacity. With the development of power machinery, the rise in technology and better health habits, the world is getting more competitive," President Faust explained. "So to achieve your potential, you will not only have to work hard, but you will also have to work smart and employ all of the leverage you can. . . . An education will give you great leverage, which is why you must get all of the education you can."

However, President Faust said, the greatest leverage for good is on the spiritual level - which will come as one enhances his natural gifts and abilities.

"This spiritual leverage can be diminished or even destroyed if you get too close to the Devil's Throat. For example, I warn you against the dangers that lurk in the Internet, movies and books which lead away from your destiny. Daily study of the scriptures is an excellent way to keep you spirituality safe from the Devil's Throat."

"We believe in you because of your integrity. Integrity is the value we set on ourselves," he said. "It is the fulfillment of the duty we owe ourselves. Complete and constant integrity is a great law of human conduct. Self-respect and dignity as sons and daughters of God should both advance your gifts and talents and act, at the same time, as a restraining influence."

Honorable men and women, he said, will personally commit to certain self-imposed expectations.

"Some things should never be done, some lines should never be crossed, some vows should never be broken, some words should never be spoken, some thoughts should never be entertained," he said. "Membership in the Church requires that we measure up to certain standards. It isn't easy. It demands much of us."

"We believe in you because you choose to be chaste. The Lord gave us our bodies and along with them our passions," he said. "He does not expect us to stifle our passions, but rather to bridle them, which means to channel them so that they can be used for the purposes He intended."

Life, he said, will present great challenges and difficulties, but now is the most exciting time in the history of the world. "There are greater opportunities to build the kingdom of God than ever before," he said. "There are more places to serve on missions than ever before. You can't realize, really, the great blessings that await you. They are wonderful and exciting.

"Each of us is endowed with unique gifts, talents and attributes. You can make a difference. You must make a difference. You are, as the Savior said, the light of the world."

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