For the past decade, I’ve had the opportunity to work with youth and their parents in a variety of Church callings in both North America and overseas. Through this, I’ve found that one of the greatest concerns leaders and parents have is how they can help their youth understand doctrine and eternal truths in relation to current social issues—including the really difficult and often confusing ones. Here are a few things we might want to consider as we are teaching the rising generation how to stand strong against the world:
1. We can relate eternal truths to current social issues and trends. Don’t shy away from teaching the doctrine (even if it isn’t “politically correct”).
We live in a time when the adversary is using false doctrine and confusion to undermine our youths’ ability to progress spiritually. With the rapid growth of alarming social trends, we need to teach the doctrine clearly, concisely, and without apology. It is critical that parents and leaders keep up to date with current social issues and trends in order to understand what the youth are dealing with at school and online. We have to be better prepared and willing to talk to them about tough issues openly and candidly—without tip-toeing around the doctrine. The youth and young adults can handle it! They are craving our guidance and direction on these tough issues more than we know.
In speaking to the youth regarding those in the world who promote false doctrines, Elder M. Russell Ballard said, “I hope none of our young people will be foolish enough to accept those sources as authority.”