9 quotes from prophets and apostles about the capacity of youth

Youth serving in class and quorum presidencies have been called of God and set apart under priesthood authority to lead the members of their classes and quorums.

With this role comes the responsibility to minister to and receive inspiration for those whom they serve, said Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president. 

“The youth are very capable,” she said. “They are ready and willing to lead. And with adult leaders as mentors, they will quickly grow in skill and experience.”

Read more: 5 things the Young Men, Young Women general presidencies want you to know about the ward youth council

The following is a list of quotes from prophets and apostles about the capacity of youth:

‘You are the hope of Israel’

President Russell M. Nelson

“My dear extraordinary youth, you were sent to earth at this precise time, the most crucial time in the history of the world, to help gather Israel. There is nothing happening on this earth right now that is more important than that. There is nothing of greater consequence. Absolutely nothing …

My beloved younger brothers and sisters, you are among the best the Lord has ever sent to this world. You have the capacity to be smarter and wiser and have more impact on the world than any previous generation! … You are the hope of Israel, ‘children of the promised day’!”

— President Russell M. Nelson, Hope of Israel,” June 2018, Worldwide Devotional for youth

‘We have raised the bar’

President M. Russell Ballard

“We have raised the bar. … But that doesn’t raise it just for the youth. That raises it for the parents, who have the primary responsibility for teaching their children principles. That raises it for the leaders. That raises it for the teachers. We’ve all got to take a step up in a world that is unraveling as fast as this one is.”

— Then-Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Tending the Flock: Teaching Leadership Skills to Youth,” Ensign, June 2008

Teaching leadership to the youth

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“You set the example and let them learn. Consider the Savior. He lets us do His work here in our different callings. He is patient with us. That is what we need to do with our young people.”

— Then-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Tending the Flock: Teaching Leadership Skills to Youth,” Ensign, June 2008

‘A greater capacity for obedience than any previous generation’

Elder David A. Bednar

“I remember Elder Maxwell making a statement that greatly impressed me. He said, ‘The youth of this generation have a greater capacity for obedience than any previous generation.’

He then indicated that his statement was based upon a truth taught by President George Q. Cannon (1827–1901), first counselor in the First Presidency: ‘God has reserved spirits for this dispensation who have the courage and determination to face the world, and all the powers of the evil one, visible and invisible, to proclaim the gospel and maintain the truth and establish and build up the Zion of our God fearless of all consequences. He has sent these spirits in this generation to lay the foundation of Zion never more to be overthrown, and to raise up a seed that will be righteous, and that will honor God, and honor Him supremely, and be obedient to Him under all circumstances.’ ”

— Elder David A. Bednar, “Things as They Really Are,” Ensign, June 2010

‘How marvelous is the generation’

President Gordon B. Hinckley

“How marvelous is the generation with which you deal. We have never had a generation its equal in all of the history of the Church. They are better educated. They are more familiar with the scriptures. I believe they pray with a greater measure of faith, have a greater desire to do the will of the Lord, are more active in the Church, go into the world as better prepared missionaries, and live to become better parents.”

— President Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Challenging Time — A Wonderful Time,” Broadcast to CES instructors on Feb. 7, 2003

‘I salute you’

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

“You young disciples are so privileged, and though the times in which you will live will be turbulent, there will be glorious accomplishments, too. … My feelings are such that I salute you! Perhaps this feeling is so strong because I have a more keen sense of who you really are than you do, a clearer picture of your rendezvous in these, your days, speaking of you collectively.”

— Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “These are Your Days,” Ensign, October 2004

‘The Lord is sending more exceptional spirits’

Elder Richard G. Scott

“The faculty at our three universities note a significant increase in capacity and spiritual sensitivity of students. Something extraordinary is happening. Do you sense it? Truly, as obedience and morality decline in the world, the Lord is sending more exceptional spirits to earth. As a body they excel the average capacity of their forebears. Their potential for personal growth and positive contribution is enormous.”

— Elder Richard G. Scott, “Realize Your Full Potential,” October 2003 general conference

‘Your generation is better and stronger’

President Boyd K. Packer

“What a wonderful time to be young! You have knowledge of many more things than we needed to have. It is my conviction that your generation is better and stronger than was ours — better in many ways! I have faith that you young men and young women can meet the world on its own terms and conquer it!”

— President Boyd K. Packer, “To Young Women and Men,” April 1989 general conference

‘Great confidence in you’

President Ezra Taft Benson

As leaders of the Church, there isn’t anything in this world we wouldn’t do that’s right for you. We have great confidence in you. You are not just ordinary young men and young women. You are choice spirits, many of you having been held back in reserve for almost 6,000 years to come forth in this day, at this time, when the temptations, responsibilities, and opportunities are the very greatest.”

— Then-Elder Ezra Taft Benson, “A Message to the Rising Generation,” October 1977 general conference