05 August 2014

What teenagers need to know: from the mouth of babes.

Since I've been home, I've been thinking a lot about high school.
I've seen people from high school, and listened as my high school sister tells me about her life...
I guess being back in your home town can do that to you.

Anyways, high school is hard.
Heck, I had relatively small problems and was active in leadership and usually had friends
And even then, none of that seemed to make it any easier. It was hard.
There were things I should have done that I didn't have the confidence to do.
I look back and remember most days being so worried sitting in my desk
about whether or not anybody was looking at my thighs squishing over the sides.
So worried that I couldn't focus.
And flirt with boys? Dance by myself? Make new friends? Take risks?
My narrow focus on my insecurities and whether or not I had friends, or if people liked me...
well, took me so far away from myself that I couldn't even think of those things most times.

High school can tell you that you have to be skinny or have a car or a place on a team
or a great group of friends and a perfect home life and everything else to be happy.
That is a lie.
It's a bold lie that our adversary loves to use over and over and over,
and it's been working for years.

I taught high school seminary last year, and I learned a lot.
I thought a lot about what I wish I had known.
But I was surprised to find that they already know what they need!
Of course, it's easier to say than it is to do, but that's where our job comes in.
If our focus is in the right place, we can help them learn how to do this.
So let me share with you what they know they need to be happy.
I asked them myself, and these were their responses.

D&C 121:7-8 Trials don't last! Even when it seems like the world is ending or like nothing will ever be okay again- through Christ and the Gospel it WILL BE OKAY! God is with us! We can endure to the end.

Temptations can come when you are not ready for them so prepare early and never think "that will not happen to me"

What you do now will make your future. So be your best self.

Go and do what the Lord commands-Rapidly! (1 Nephi 3:7)

Without faith you can do nothing... (D&C 8:10)

Don't take off your spiritual armor

Be nice to one another. Love one another.

Keep the commandments (1 Nephi 3:7)

(We are free to choose) This is our life and we were sent here to be tested. We choose our own happiness. We choose to choose the gospel. [choose the right path]. (2 Nephi 2:27)

There are so many ways to mess up, and it takes great diligence in order to police yourself all the time (Mosiah 4:30). However, you will mess up, and when you do, you need to have the courage and humility to accept the Savior's atonement.

Repent, and come unto Christ.

I believe to be the most important thing I have learned for myself is to have faith. I think that having faith, you also need hope, as well as charity. I also believe that coming unto Christ is very important. It gives you power. You will be able to conquer any trial that you have. You will also be an example to others of how to do it and it will give them confidence and hope. You will bring happiness into other's lives. You will endure to the end! Satan will have no power over you. You will gain greater knowledge constantly. You will have a sense of clarity. In the bible it talks about Jesus healing a blind man. The blind man was looking for Jesus because he knew Jesus could heal him. People told him he wasn't worthy to see him, but he sought him out anyway. Jesus has him come unto Him and helped him see again. He was able to see everything clearly. As we come unto Jesus, He will help us to see.

Learn in thy youth to keep the commandments (Alma 37:35)

Remember all you need is to know & share the pure love of Christ in all you do and say. In all your thoughts and at all times.

Remember the choices you make today will affect your eternity (2 Nephi 2:28-29)

Pray always and not faint. Always have a prayer in your heart.

Just be happy. This is temporary. Make the best of life. (Rom 8:28)

3 Nephi 18:1-14 Ye must watch and pray always, lest ye be tempted by the devil and ye be led away captive by him.

Learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God (Alma 37:35)

Jesus loves you. And he wants to bless you and have you live with him again. All you have to do is live a life worthy enough to receive and recognize All that he blesses you with.

Build your life on Christ's foundation (Helaman 5:12)

Pray to God always (3 Nephi 18:15, 20-21)

Your kids are smarter than you give them credit for. They may have young minds and bodies,
but their souls I've found to always be wise beyond their years.
And they are right, you know.
If they have eternal perspective and a relationship with their Heavenly Father they will have all of those things they know they need.
The closer I felt to my Heavenly Father, the better I felt then (and feel now) about myself.
What it comes down to is that the youth of our nation need the gospel of Christ.
They need to know their Savior, because if they have that knowledge they never have to feel alone.
And what if no high schooler felt alone?
Just a thought.

[Also, here's a link to an article I read the other day that I thought was both relevant and true.]

And for your viewing pleasure- high school taylor & friends.

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