Strength of youth vital to ward's health

In a recent nursery lesson on loving the scriptures, I held a leather-bound copy of the Bible and Book of Mormon in the middle of our gathered little ones. Before I could say anything, two girls exclaimed simultaneously, "Rylie reads scriptures," and "Jackson reads scriptures."

For these 2-year-olds, their direct connection with holy script was watching teenage siblings read them before bed. I doubt most teenagers realize the impact their nightly reading is having, not only on their own testimonies, but on the little ones growing in their shadows.

It made me think of other experiences where the strength of youths can be a valid gauge for the strength of a ward.

Several years ago, two separate but tragic events took two of our three active priests from our ward. The Sunday after a funeral for one, I was incredibly overcome as I watched our lone priest prepare and bless the sacrament with the assistance of his quorum advisers.

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