Arise and shine forth

2012 Mutual theme is 'a call to leadership'

The 2012 Mutual theme is a call to leadership, said Sister Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president.

The theme — "Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations" (Doctrine and Covenants 115:5) — comes from a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith at Far West, Mo., in 1838.

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"The Lord calls for us to arise, which is what he did in the Doctrine and Covenants," said Sister Dalton.

She said the theme "Arise and Shine Forth" is an invitation to the youth of the Church to be proud of their identity. "It invites them to not hide under a bushel but to let their light shine; the world right now needs their light. That light is their testimony."

The young men of the Church — deacons, teachers and priests — have taken upon themselves the name of the Savior, declared the members of the Young Men general presidency: Brother David L. Beck, president, Brother Larry M. Gibson, first counselor and Brother Adrian Ochoa, second counselor.

"Jesus Christ is our light," said Brother Beck. "As we love Him, follow Him and keep His commandments, we will radiate His light. We can point others to make His exemplary life a standard for their own lives."

Sister Mary N. Cook, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, added: "I think it is an invitation for them to reach out and not hang back, but to reach out and bring the light to their high school, to their families, and to the activities in which they are involved."

Youth leaders can introduce the theme with the help of a DVD produced by the Church. The Strength of Youth Media 2012 DVD, featuring the theme, will be sent to ward and stake leaders this month. The DVD features true stories about young men and young women, messages from Church leaders, and original songs for youth, leaders, and families.

In addition, the DVD contains short messages from Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve, Sister Dalton, and Brother Beck. In addition to English, the DVD is available in Cantonese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Now is the time, according to the Young Men general presidency, to "let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

"As priesthood holders, the young men of the Church represent the Savior," said Brother Beck. "When they are faithful and magnify their priesthood calling, they bless others with Christ's light. Their righteous example will be noticed by all who knew them."

Sister Ann M. Dibb, second counselor in the Young Women general Presidency, said embracing the theme requires youth to put aside their fears and put their faith in their Heavenly Father. "As they arise, He will enable them and make them stronger and brighter than they ever could have anticipated before hand."

Sister Dalton said the theme builds on past themes, which encouraged Latter-day Saint youth to be steadfast and immovable, examples of the believers, and strong and of good courage.

Sister Dalton said the Young Women presidency will continue to emphasize four things: "One, say your prayers morning and evening. Two, read in the Book of Mormon for at least five minutes a day. Three, smile. And four, be obedient to the standards in 'For the Strength of Youth.' Arise and do these things."

The Young Men general presidency encouraged Aaronic Priesthood holders in 2012 to discover opportunities to share their light and diligently serve all those around them.

"The Aaronic Priesthood is a ministering priesthood," said Brother Beck. "Faithful young priesthood holders seek opportunities every day to minister to others. They serve their parents and siblings and bring Christ's light into their home. They serve their quorum members and others and share Christ's light with them. Young men invite others to come unto Christ."

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