Elder Neil L. Andersen: 'Spiritual whirlwinds'

A life secured by a testimony of Jesus Christ can help one prepare for life's "spiritual whirlwinds."

That was part of the counsel Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared in his Saturday morning conference talk, much of which was directed to the youth of the Church, whom he called "a chosen generation of destiny."

"My young friends, the world will not glide calmly toward the Second Coming of the Savior," he said. "The scriptures declare that 'all things shall be in commotion'" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:91).

More concerning than the prophesied earthquakes and wars, he added, are the spiritual whirlwinds "that can uproot you from your spiritual foundations, and land your spirit in places you never imagined possible, sometimes without your hardly noticing that you have been moved."

The worst whirlwinds are the temptations of the adversary.

"Sin has been and always will be part of the world, but it has never been so accessible, insatiable and acceptable," he said. "There is, of course, a powerful force that will subdue the whirlwinds of sin. It is called repentance."

Elder Andersen noted that not all of life's whirlwinds "are of your own making." Some come because of the choices of others or simply because "this is mortality."

"Challenges will come to you, but, as you trust in God, they will strengthen your faith."

In nature, trees that grow in windy environments become stronger.

"You are infinitely more precious to God than a tree," he said. "You are His son or His daughter. He made your spirit strong, and capable of being resilient to the whirlwinds of life. The whirlwinds in your youth, like the wind against a young tree, can increase your spiritual strength, preparing you for the years ahead."

A life built around Christ "is your safety in the whirlwind."

There is a growing chasm between the standards of the Church and the standards of society, which stirs strong spiritual whirlwinds. As the world slips away from the Lord's law of chastity, the Church does not, he said.

"While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriages, the Lord has not," he said. "In the very beginning, God initiated marriage between a man and a woman — Adam and Eve. He designated the purposes of marriage to go far beyond the personal satisfaction and fulfillment of adults, to more importantly, advancing the ideal setting for children to be born, reared and nurtured."

The youth of the Church can stand together in being true to God and the teachings of His living prophet. He said the Savior taught His followers to love not only their friends but also those who disagree with them, and cautioned against self-righteousness, saying the gospel of Christ does not make a place for ridicule, bullying or bigotry.

Find strength in the teachings of the Lord's prophets and in the Book of Mormon, he counseled. Attend the temple and do work for deceased ancestors.

"As you live righteously year after year, I assure you that your experiences will confirm to you again and again that Jesus is the Christ," he said. "The spiritual rock under your feet will be solid and secure."

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