I am filled with gratitude when an Apostle interprets scripture for us.
This talk from President Boyd K. Packer is replete with wonderful
insights about Lehi's vision and how it applies to us today. It gave me
new things to ponder and consider in this vision as well as throughout
my scripture study. I appreciate President Packer's encouragement and
reminder that "you have the advantage of being assured that you can be
inspired in all of your decisions." I am also grateful that he closes
with a beautiful Apostalic blessing--how we need those today! I hope
his words lift, inspire, and open the scriptures as they have for me.
BOYD K. PACKER
Boyd K. Packer was Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this
devotional address was delivered on 16 January 2007.
© Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Complete volumes of Speeches are available wherever LDS books are sold.
I asked our records department to tell me how many college-age youth we have in the Church. They responded 1,974,001. Good, I thought, I will speak to the one.
You may be here in this congregation or somewhere in any one of 170 countries. You, the one of nearly two million, are in the early morning of your life, while I am in the late evening of mine.
My college life began at Weber College, then a very small junior college. World War II had just ended. Most of the men in our class were recently returned from military service. We were, by and large, more mature than college students of your day. We had been through the war and carried with us many memories. Some of them we held on to; others we were glad to have fade away. We were more serious and did not enter into fun and games as much as you do. We wanted to get on with our lives and knew that education was the key.
We took the insignias and labels and sometimes even the buttons off our uniforms, mixed them with odds and ends of civilian clothes, and wore them to school. That was all we had to wear.
At military training camps, we had been marched from place to place in formation. Often we would sing marching songs. At college, I attended the Institute of Religion classes. We had our own marching songs. I remember one of them:
A root-tee-toot, a root-tee-toot.
Oh, we are boys of the institute.
We don’t smoke, and we don’t chew.
And we don’t go with girls that do.
Some folks say we don’t have fun.
Some laughed with us; others laughed at us. Whatever ridicule they intended with their mocking was of no concern to us. We had gained personal testimonies of the gospel. We had decided long since that we would live the gospel and not be ashamed of the Church or the history or any part of it (see Romans 1:16).
The whole focus of our lives in the military had been on destruction. That is what war is about. We were inspired by the noble virtue of patriotism. To be devoted to destruction without being destroyed yourself spiritually or morally was the test of life.
I did not serve a mission during those years. Staying close to the Book of Mormon has, I think, made up for that. That witness had come little by little.
Together, my wife and I made our way through the ordinary challenges of life—getting through school, finding employment, raising a family.
You too live in a time of war, the spiritual war that will never end. War itself now dominates the affairs of mankind. Your world at war has lost its innocence. There is nothing, however crude or unworthy, that is not deemed acceptable for movies or plays or music or conversation. The world seems to be turned upside down. (See 2 Peter 2:1–22.)
Formality, respect for authority, dignity, and nobility are mocked. Modesty and neatness yield to slouchiness and shabbiness in dress and grooming. The rules of honesty and integrity and basic morality are now ignored. Conversation is laced with profanity. You see that in art and literature, in drama and entertainment. Instead of being refined, they become coarse. (See 1 Timothy 4:1–3; 2 Timothy 3:1–9.)
You have decisions almost every day as to whether you will follow those trends. You have many tests ahead.......... To read the rest of this talk please click this link.