GCBC Week 6: “Counsel to Youth” by President Boyd K. Packer

I was surprised that I hadn’t heard anything about this week’s talk yet until I checked this morning and realized that I never actually pushed the publish button yesterday. Sorry about that. I guess I had just saved the draft.

So we all know, of course, that counsel to “youth” is chock-full of counsel to the not-so-young, too, right?  I mean, what’s good for the gosling is good for the goose.  So I loved listening to this with two sets of ears:  one as an adult that can benefit from this counsel in my own life, and another as a parent who will play a hands-on role in raising the next generation.  Both sets of ears learned some really important lessons.  I’m excited to study it more in depth throughout this week.

Counsel to Youth  by President Boyd K. Packer

“I say again that youth today are being raised in enemy territory with a declining standard of morality. But as a servant of the Lord, I promise that you will be protected and shielded from the attacks of the adversary if you will heed the promptings that come from the Holy Spirit.”

Your general conference book club participation so far has been phenomenal, so thank you.  I love reading and sharing your comments.  What lessons did your ears learn from this talk this time around?  Please share your insights in the comment thread below.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.”  If you want to learn more, go here, and join the discussion.

I found this in my inbox this morning.  More counsel to youth from Pres. Packer just last night.  Check it out if you have the time.

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14 thoughts on “GCBC Week 6: “Counsel to Youth” by President Boyd K. Packer

  1. My husband and I watched the CES Devotional last night and when I woke up this morning and saw his talk from General Conference was next in the lineup, I got super excited.

    Studying them together was significant because last night President Packer talked about how he used to hang back with Elder LeGrand Richards on their way back to the Church office building so that he could learn from Elder Richards.

    I love to learn from people who have experienced more than I have. When I was a youth I often thought about all the things I didn’t know, and more importantly, all the things I didn’t know I didn’t know (Pocahontas anyone?). I would even worry sometimes about not being able to learn everything in this life that I needed to learn in order to live with Heavenly Father again someday. I feel like I have learned a lot, but I just know there is infinitely more for me to know, and I crave it like a pregnant woman craves pickles and ice cream.

    More of my thoughts here.

    Oh yeah, and I thought it was weird that it wasn’t up this morning, but since we’re doing them in order this year I knew which talk was next ;) and I figured there was a good reason why you hadn’t posted it yet! :D

  2. The way President Packer used the word IF in his talk struck a chord with me. IF I can be a parent, wife, daughter of God who relies on Heavenly Father and revelation to guide me, IF I choose to read my scriptures, say my prayers, attend the temple, keep the commandments, IF I choose the right I am promised great and wonderful blessings and eternal life. Most of the time the word IF in our world is used to mostly to describe IFFY situations and doubt about a person’s character or situation. That is not so in our Father’s kingdom. I am thankful for that knowledge. Great talk as always from President Packer. I can always rely on his testimony if mine gets a little shaken – but I can see that as I get older I am relying more and more on my own.

  3. This talk got me emotional this morning. And yet, I don’t know what to share (so many awesome points!). I love the crow metaphor, showing how youth have energy which makes the old look useless almost, and yet, without the old to show the way, the youth don’t know which way to go! I love that there ARE examples for ALL of us, to help us to know how to get to where ever it is we desire to go, or to accomplish or be what ever we desire to accomplish or be.

    I’m so thankful that we landed on this one today. I think it will be a good supplement for our family scripture study. :) The youth of the church are so blessed to have the gospel… as are we!
    Corine :D

  4. I hope Pres. Packer’s talk made the youth realize how relevant the Brethern are in their lives. I like his assurance that we have more power than Satan or his followers because of our bodies–and the reminder that we know who will win the battle Satan started in heaven. We need to remember that we are powerful and divine and that our obedience to Heavenly Father’s commandments will strengthen us against the adversities and trials in this life.

  5. I was excited about this talk for a couple of reasons. First I have two youth and several more on the way. I think they needed a talk like this. I was glad to have them told that,

    “The gift of the Holy Ghost, if you consent, will guide and protect you and even correct your actions. It is a spiritual voice that comes into the mind as a thought or a feeling put into your heart. The prophet Enos said, “The voice of the Lord came into my mind.”11 And the Lord told Oliver Cowdery, ‘Behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you.’” My kids are always asking me how the Holy Ghost works. I am grateful for this description.

    Second, and this is for me, I was really glad to hear, “Sometimes you might be tempted to think as I did from time to time in my youth: “The way things are going, the world’s going to be over with. The end of the world is going to come before I get to where I should be.” Not so! You can look forward to doing it right—getting married, having a family, seeing your children and grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren.” That makes me just breathe a sigh of relief. After reading the book of Revelations a couple of times, I have concluded that I am not cut out for the end of the world.

  6. That was so nice. I loved the part where he explains that you “feel” the spirit that you don’t “hear” it as in with our ears. I also was so impressed with his story about WWII breaking out just as he was graduating from High School, to me that is so much like what is happening right now. With all of the uncertainty in the world today with wars, and the messed up political system and economy I can see how his experience relates so much to today. Two of my kids are Juniors in High School and one just graduated last year, they are feeling all of this stress believe me. It is so nice for them to hear this and to be able to see one of their Elders that has been there and done that and came out on top of it all. The way that he explains how simple it is and how even if they have already strayed how they are welcome and the Lord will welcome them back with open arms, they just need to repent for whatever they may have done and come back. That is the most powerful part of this for me, not just for the youth but for us adults as well. I also loved how he “leaned on the testimonies” of his seminary teachers and tried to stick to the promise in his blessing. That reminds me so much of what my husband wrote in his own journals about his experience in the military. He was fortunate enough to enter the military with his own testimony but for anyone that knows about what you go through, then what you witness and see during war then you will understand how that could be challenged. I applaud him for taking the right path, it is so profound I can’t even really articulate it into words right now. I am excited to hear everyone else’s thoughts on this talk.

    • I think that part about having families and children and possibly grandchildren was what I kept thinking about over and over again. I remember being told so many times that we were a “chosen” generation and how important we would be. I didn’t understand at the time what that meant. I now see that we would be parents to an even more stalward and valiant generation! I loved this talk!

  7. Loved this talk when I first heard it. In fact, first thing that I did when the written versions were up online was to check out this talk — it was the line about the youth of today being around to see their children, grandchildren, and perhaps even grandchildren. I wanted to see if it would make it into the written version or be softened at all. That was one thing that really concerned me when I was a teenager – that I wouldn’t get married and have a family. Of course, my husband did point out that we’ll still be having children and grandchildren in the millennium.. Still, it was comforting.

    I sure loved his emphasis on the holy ghost – something I can focus on in my own life and also in teaching my children.

    What a great talk!

  8. I loved all of the same things as the rest of you – the word “if”, promise of guidance from the Holy Ghost, counsel to not worry about bringing children into the world, the reminder that the world was in turmoil 70 years ago also, etc. It was great to re-read this right after listening to his Sunday CES fireside as well. We have so much to learn from the “old crows” (although I feel badly using that to describe our wise prophets and apostles). And I definitely still feel like a young crow, even if the half-century birthday is quickly approaching!

    Anyway, thank you all for your comments. I have a few more over here – My Whispers.

  9. The cute poem he related, illustrating the boundless energy of youth, made me smile. As old age creeps up and makes one look to slow to be relevant, youth would do well to pay attention and be patient to know the way to success. With his experience, he tells us how to get to where we should to go and what we should be. The assurance that Satan and his followers have little power over us unless we relinquish control is very comforting and empowering. We are stronger than these fallen angels, because we kept our first estate and gained the blessing of physical bodies. We can win the battle Satan began against God’s children in heaven if we remember who we are. Obedience to Heavenly Father’s commandments is our weapon and protection against the adversities and trials in this life.

    How do we know the right way to go? “The gift of the Holy Ghost, if you consent, will guide and protect you and even correct your actions. It is a spiritual voice that comes into the mind as a thought or a feeling put into your heart.” This is a real and true promise. Many times I have been guided away from incorrect, unsafe paths and into better ones. Also, there are the words of prophets, modern and ancient, which are the words of God. He did not send us here to fail but gave us instructions and guidance if we choose to listen.

    Another thing Brother Packer touched on was especially comforting in this day of political and economic turmoil. “Sometimes you might be tempted to think as I did from time to time in my youth: “The way things are going, the world’s going to be over with. The end of the world is going to come before I get to where I should be.” Not so! You can look forward to doing it right—getting married, having a family, seeing your children and grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren.” Although we are commanded to prepare for the future, physically, mentally, temporally, emotionally, and spiritually, nobody knows the hour or the day of the end. Recently, I’ve changed my mindset to reflect this idea, prepare to thrive and not just survive.

    “You shall be guided through the whisperings of the Holy Spirit and you shall be warned of dangers. If you heed those warnings, our Heavenly Father will bless you….” IF I rely on the Holy Ghost, IF I study scripture, IF I pray, IF I serve God’s children, IF I attend Sabbath meetings and the temple, If I repent, If I keep the commandments, If I repent, IF I choose the right, If I dress modestly, If I talk reverently, If I listen to uplifting music, IF I avoid immorality and personally degrading practices, If I take hold of my life, If I order myself to be valiant, and If I repent, Heavenly Father will bless me far beyond the great and wonderful blessing of the resurrection. IF I accept and allow Jesus’ grace to work in my life and allow the Holy Ghost to guide my paths, I will be protected, be reunited with my family in the next, and be able to enter into the presence of the Father and the Son and dwell with them in the Celestial Kingdom eternally.

  10. I really loved hearing and reading this talk. It gives me such hope that we and our children will be all right in this world if we follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and follow the prophet. I love the point he made about asserting our agency. If we are around people or situations that pull us in the wrong direction, he said “…Assert your independence, your agency” and he said “…You hold the key that will unlock the prison door from the inside” and “Take hold of your life and order yourself to be valiant.” It is our choice. We have the agency to follow God and not Satan. That brings me such peace!

  11. I listened to this talk last week but forgot to comment – maybe commenting is optional:)

    I loved the crow poem:) His talk also made me think about when I was young(er) and was told that we were living in the last days and that the second coming was close – very close. I guess I grew up expecting it to happen any minute and I was a little afraid that I wouldn’t be ready when He came again. This talk makes it sound like His second coming is a long way away – I’m not sure how I to process this information. I guess I have lived my life thinking it’s just around the corner when maybe we still have a long way to go!

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