Strengthening youth is an important emphasis in the Church today. Recently, introduction was made of an Aaronic Priesthood Achievement program and a new simplified Young Women Personal Progress book and other guidebooks designed to help young men earn the Eagle Scout and Duty to God Awards and young women to earn the Young Womanhood Recognition Award. (Please see articles in this issue.)
President Gordon B. Hinckley often has counseled youth pertaining to their present and future lives. At the Youth Satellite Fireside Nov. 12, 2000, he said:
"You have such a tremendous responsibility, you young men and young women. You are the products of all the generations that have gone before you. All that you have of body and mind has been passed to you through your parents. Someday you will become parents and pass on to succeeding generations the qualities of body and mind which you have received from the past. Do not break the chain of the generations of your family. Keep it bright and strong. So very much depends on you. You are so very precious. You mean so much to this Church. It could not be the same without you. Stand tall, proud of your inheritance as sons and daughters of God. Look to Him for understanding and guidance. Walk according to His precepts and commandments.
"You can have a good time. Of course you can! We want you to have fun. We want you to enjoy life. We do not want you to be prudes. We want you to be robust and cheerful, to sing and dance, to laugh and be happy.
"But in so doing, be humble and prayerful, and the smiles of heaven will fall upon you.
"I could wish for you nothing better than that your lives be fruitful, that your service be dedicated and freely given, that you contribute to the knowledge and the well-being of the world in which you live, and that you do it humbly and faithfully before your God. He loves you. We love you. We want you to be happy and successful, to make significant contributions to the world in which you will live and to the on-rolling of this great and majestic work of the Lord."