Be clean, worthy, strong and happy, Elder Robert L. Backman of the Presidency of the Seventy challenged Aaronic Priesthood holders at the priesthood session Saturday evening.
He recounted the anguish of a young prospective missionary he interviewed who confessed to getting drunk at a party one night and losing his virtue."The full force of his actions was obvious to my tearful friend, who understood, at last, the reality of Alma's words: `Wickedness never was happiness.' (Alma 41:10.)"
He contrasted the feelings of the young man with those of a happy couple whose marriage he performed in the temple.
"My beloved Aaronic Priesthood brethren," he said, "with all you are learning as you progress toward virile manhood, I pray that you will get understanding of the vital truth that chastity is the ultimate and perfect standard underlying all spiritual progression.
"Righteousness is happi-ness."
Elder Backman then gave four challenges.
- "First, be patient. . . . Remember, you are only young once and you are going to be old for a long time," a comment that drew laughter from the congregation.
- "Second, focus on your eternal destiny. . . .
- "Third, stand by your convictions. . . .
- "Fourth, repent. . . . Our loving Father in Heaven is only interested in what you are going to do with your future, conditioned on your repentance from past sins."
Raising his finger in emphasis, he said: "You know the steps! Don't delay. Forget the past - except to use it to build a better life."