Grandfatherly advice offered to young adults

SANTIAGO, Chile — Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve asked hundreds of young adults packed into the Santiago Chile Republica Stake Center on March 9 to listen to his counsel as if he were their grandfather. He then offered four words of timeless, grandfatherly advice: "Don't do dumb things."

His direct words drew intended laughter. Still, Elder Perry emphasized that the choices made by Church members between the ages of 18 to 30 are serious matters. Young adulthood is a time when pivotal decisions are made about education, careers, marriage and Church activity. Make wise choices, Elder Perry said. The future success in any area of the Church, including Chile, is reflected by the strength of its young adults.

Today's world can be dangerous, profane and blasphemous, he said. Computers rely on firewalls to prevent harmful, outside things from entering. The young adults of Chile would be wise to build firewalls in their own lives to protect them from evil.

One proven firewall from danger is the counsel of loving, wise parents. Elder Perry said young adults should appreciate their mothers' and fathers' experience and heed their direction.

"The home is the center of the gospel," said Elder Perry, who spoke of how his own life had been blessed and protected by listening to his wise parents while growing up in Utah's Cache County. It was his father, the senior L. Tom Perry, who taught him to listen to the prophet. His father also served as his bishop and would later call him to serve a full-time mission.

The Church and its inspired programs are also reliable firewalls for young adults. "Always make sure your activity balances your life," Elder Perry advised. Church activity affords the blessings of peace, security and the support of other faithful members.

Education is an essential firewall in today's fast-paced, evolving world. "You have to be educated in order to keep pace," Elder Perry counseled.

Identify your talents, decide what you are going to study, then stick with it, he added. "Realize who you are and the potential you have, then build on that potential."

Young people must also have confidence in themselves, Elder Perry said. Belief in one's self is a valuable firewall. Confidence is essential for careers and in personal relationships.

Following the meeting, Elder Perry again emphasized the importance of strong young adults in a discussion with the Church News.

"They're a wonderful age group that has great potential," he said. "They can also be swayed in other directions. How important it is that we keep a nucleus — a strong group that has friendships together and activities together so they can be united . . . and be the basis for the priesthood leadership and auxiliary leadership for the Church in the future."

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