As Latter-day Saint parents, have you ever looked through and read the articles from the New Era Magazine? Published for the youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the January issue starts the New Year off with the 2012 Mutual Theme: Arise and Shine Forth. The Marysville LDS Church Examiner would like to challenge local parents and youth to read this issue, and not only read, but also openly discuss the articles and 2012 mutual theme.
2012 Mutual Theme:
This year’s mutual theme from Doctrine and Covenants 115:5 – Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations. To the young women of the Church, the Young Women’s General Presidency writes:
This year’s mutual theme is a call for you to be a leader. A call for you to lead out in purity, modesty, and holiness. It is a call to change the world.
The Young Men General Presidency of the Church writes:
Young men of the Church – deacons, teachers, and priests of the magnificent Aaronic Priesthood – you have taken upon you the name of the Savior; you bear His holy priesthood; you have been called to do His work and to bless all who know you. Now is the time for you to fulfill your priesthood duties…
When we ponder on this scripture, we know that our Savior, as he walked among mortal men, taught the following:
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
The restored Gospel is a living Gospel. We are to emulate the teachings and example of our Savior. By following his example, seeking our Heavenly Father in prayer and supplication, studying the scriptures, and seeking to serve others, is the basis to a growing and vibrant testimony, and the pathway to arise and shine forth in the coming year. Furthermore, this is something that we as parents ought to strive in our own lives so that as we follow the admonition of the Young Men’s and Women’s General Presidency, our children will see our own light illuminating the way for them and encourage them to illuminate the way for others.
Along with this, there are New Youth Videos for 2012 that show how young men and women of the Church have made it their choice to follow this admonition.
The first article is based on a 1997 missionary satellite broadcast address that was given on April 25 by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It is a message for those young men who are contemplating and preparing to serve a full-time two-year mission. More specifically, his address discusses the nature and importance of keeping covenants that a young man makes when he receives his endowments in the Temple. These sacred covenants are made between each individual and Heavenly Father, and open the Heavens for greater blessings in one’s life:
In a way it is the most fundamental thing we can discuss in the gospel plan, because only covenant makers and covenant keepers can claim the ultimate blessings of the celestial kingdom. Yes, when we talk about covenant keeping, we are talking about the heart and soul of our purpose in mortality.
As Latter-day Saint Christians, we know that the important foundation of a young person’s experience with living up to their baptismal covenants is developing their own personal scripture reading and personal prayer. This is done by example as well as teaching them how and testifying as to why such things are important. For young men, the sacrifice and blessings come when they seek to fulfill the commandment of our Heavenly Father to serve him faithfully as a missionary for the Church.
This article also makes for a great Personal Priesthood Interview between a father and his children who desire to serve a mission. Discussing the points Elder Holland brings up, and to work towards preparing for that sacred duty and time. Helping them grasp and gain a testimony, and/or strengthening their existing testimony of the Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A Sure Foundation
This particular article provides insight in how ordinary events become discussion points for gospel theme discussions. The concept here is building a sure foundation as related by Afton Nelson. Recounting a family home evening where his father took them to where their new home was being built, Nelson shares how his father provided a discussion point on the importance and significance of building a sure foundation. Much like a house that needs a strong solid foundation to build upon, we all are reminded how our testimony is built upon the foundation of the gospel principles. Building and solidifying our testimony lays the foundation to whether the storms and to move from faith to faith in our lives.
Feasting like a Flamingo
Sharing her experience with seeing a Flamingo, the writer of the article provides a simple insight on how the Pink pigment of the Flamingo comes about. Reflecting upon this concept, she reflects upon 2 Nephi 31:20 where we are admonished to press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ. When we feast upon the word of Christ, we become Christ like in how we conduct ourselves. This includes in word, thought, and even our own actions.
Stand for Truth
Based on President Thomas S. Monson’s General Conference Address, two youths shared their experience in following the admonition of what President Monson shared. Short and to the point, the two experiences are based on real life experiences. Along with this, there is a sidebar titled Take a stand today and then provides a place for a young man or young woman to write down what they would do to take a stand.
There are other wonderful articles contained in the January 2012 issue of the New Era Magazine. However, these came across as being very significant for both youth, parents, and those who serve their callings within the Young Men and Women’s program of the Church. Take a moment to read these articles, familiarize yourself with the message and stories that are related in the pages, and then sit down and discuss with your young man or young woman the articles. Ask honest and probing questions and be open to arise and shine forth with them this year.
It is the goal of every one of us to allow our light to shine forth unto all nations as a testimony of the Savior’s love, the Atonement provided for us to return to our Heavenly Father by how we live the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in these last days. In a chaotic and volatile world that we are living in, there are many people still seeking after truth and thirsting after answers to their questions. Let us not put our light away, hiding it out of fear of what others may think, but let it illuminate even brighter as a beacon of hope.
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