“All truths are not of the same value. The saving truths of salvation are of greatest worth.” [President Ezra Taft Benson]
So many discoveries are being made in today’s world! In technology, science, medicine – truths are being learned. Many of our youth are gaining, at an accelerated rate, great knowledge. But they are wise enough to seek first the kingdom of God .
It is heartwarming to see youth individually:
- Preparing and being prepared to learn more truth
- Studying on a regular basis so that truth can be understood
- Recognizing the importance of having the Holy Ghost as a companion in order to bear witness of truth
- Acting on their desires to share and defend truth
- Going to God in prayer in order to be taught truth
There are lots of things coming at us in our day to day living. Discernment is essential to sorting fact from fiction. The doctrines of the kingdom appear a bit dry to some, so they focus on things that are easier to understand, require less effort, or are more appealing to the senses. Because things of the Spirit may appear less enticing than things of the world, or trying to understand spiritual things can seem overwhelming, maybe we need to work at making the gospel more user-friendly for those who don’t “get it”. Maybe the tools of some of this new technology can facilitate understanding and re-enforcing of truths.
Aside from individual preparation, there are brilliant new ways being created for youth to build, treasure, and defend truth in their lives and in their world. I am grateful to share with you readers- young and older – that the Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research [FAIR] is assisting in the creation of a Y-FAIR.
Youth Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research is the brainchild of a young man named Eric Slack. With the blessing and insights of John Lynch, Chairman of the board of FAIR, a nucleus of members is creating a new way for youth to communicate in a uniquely youthful way. Blogs, wikis, video streams—many of the wonderful technologies available–are being used to strengthen the youth of the Church.
While it is my honor to be a mentoring board member along with several other adults, most of the work has been done, and will continue to be done, by the youth involved. For months, there have been conference calls, emails back and forth, creative pondering and input from this group who are excited to research, share and defend truths that matter most.
Erik’s incentive for beginning this great new venue of building is simply that he has a testimony and wants to share it with others. He was inspired when reading the adaptation of an address given by Elder M. Russell Ballard at BYU-Hawaii in 2007. Elder Ballard issued the following invitation: “May I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet to share the gospel and to explain in simple and clear terms the message of the Restoration.” [Ensign, July 2008.]
Erik says that his personal goal, as part of this organization, is to “answer Elder Ballard’s call to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and support the Church via the Internet.
Y-FAIR is all about youth helping youth learn and defend truth. For all of us as seekers, this is a cause of celebration!
Y-FAIR Wants to Help Youth Help Youth!
My dad was a seeker of truth. He taught me early in life to take care in my reading, watching, listening, and searching because, he said, “There is truth to be found all around us, Vickey. We have to pay attention in order to detect what is truth and what is false.” These may not have been his exact words, but they are close. My father was a believer in Christ with a desire to learn truth.
He wanted me to learn, as a young child, to lean on Christ and, with all my studies or activities, to follow Him first. I suppose that from my dad I gained the quiet understanding of President Benson’s words above, without even realizing it. Dad prepared me and taught me to prepare myself for things that matter most. Preparation is essential for the learning of more truth.
Introduced to the Gospel as a teenager, I carefully listened and examined the teachings. My conversion was just beginning at the time of my baptism. The feeling was that the Lord would find no fault in me if I, even in error, joined this Church which seemed to have more good and truth in it than anything else I had ever found.
Little did I know how many times I would feel the Holy Spirit’s affirmation of truth or how often I would need the Spirit’s assistance in teaching or defending truth. And there are so many truths to learn! The more I was called on to teach, the more I realized I needed to learn. Study is essential for gaining more truth.
At times, the Spirit has been with me so that the words were ‘just there’ when needed to explain and encourage. Sometimes I have felt miserably on my own, or sadly unprepared to meet the mark when my faith has been challenged . It is essential to speak with the loving power of the Holy Ghost when bearing witness of Christ and His gospel truths.
I applaud those folks who naturally can reach out and straightforwardly share the gospel with those around them. It is a gift. For some, they seem to “come to earth” that way. For others, it is a struggle or a learning curve to feel comfortable in sharing testimony with friends, associates, or even strangers. The Spirit may sometimes move upon us to say something, and even though we want to, we are afraid to open our mouths. It seems that having and acting upon our righteous desires is essential to sharing truth.
What thrills me is that so many young people of our faith are doing more than learning about truth- they are faithfully standing up for truth and defending the doctrines. They are learning to live in this world, but not of it, recognizing that the truths of salvation are of the greatest worth. They know that prayer is essential to gaining more truth.
I wish there had been a Y-FAIR when I was a youth! It would have been good to learn these principles and apply them, with other youth, in a way that made sense.
Are you Interested?
This Y-FAIR organization is completely supported by donations. Donations of time, expertise, ideas and abilities from young and old have been the rally cry from the beginning. There is plenty of room for input and assistance if you feel drawn to this idea. Y-FAIR wants to reach as many folks as possible. The more, the merrier. Are you interested in participating? Would you like to pass along the good word so that the numbers of readers and friends can grow exponentially?
There is a great power in having youth teach other youth. A connection can be made that builds testimony and a greater happiness in the gospel we cherish. That edifying of one another is a beautiful thing. It gives confidence and insight for missionary opportunities to flourish.
If you are a youth – or an adult- with a question you would like to have addressed, feel free to send along your thoughts when you visit the Wiki or blog.
As momentum is gained and the website is up and running, many more features can be added [many are in the works]. What is of interest to you? Do you have the desire to add your expertise and/or ideas? Let Y-FAIR know.
The whole idea is to grow together, in a worldwide community, via Internet. The connection is based on love of the gospel truths and the desire to defend those truths. Are you interested? Or do you have a family member or a friend who might be? Direct them to the Y-FAIR wiki and blog.
You can check out Y-FAIR’s Wiki at http://youth.fairmormon.org
A blog is now set with the address http://youth.fairblog.org
A Way of Following the Prophet
The writing is on the wall. The signs of the times are pretty clear. The smog of bad choices and deteriorating environments is choking some of the followers of Christ. It is amazing to witness the lowering of standards. It requires a tough skin and a tender heart to rise above the worldly influences and to stand and be counted as a defender of truth. Young people are under ever-stronger attacks from the adversarial army. The draw of worldly things is imposing.
But there is a job to do. The youth of these latter days are the ones chosen and called to do it. Our leaders have faith in our young people. These loving words offer hope and confidence:
“Somehow, my dear young friends, we will stem the tide of untruth and immorality that is sweeping the earth. It will be accomplished by you, the youth of the Church, through your faith and strength. Don’t be discouraged at seemingly overwhelming odds in your desire to live and to help others live God’s commandments. At times it may seem like David trying to fight Goliath. But remember, David did win.” [Elder David B. Haight]
The technologies at our fingertips bring a Goliath of smut and lies through the Internet. It also offers avenues of beauty and strength and solidarity. One of these venues is Y-FAIR. Y-FAIR hopes to be a David of goodness and truth, allowing youth to grow together in righteousness as they grow individually in their relationship with our Father in Heaven and with the Savior.
This is what God wants. This is what our prophet wants. This is what each of us, in our heart, wants. President Monson once said:
“To The Youth: You have a heritage. Honor it. You will meet sin. Shun it. You have the truth. Live it. You have a testimony. Share it.” [President Thomas S. Monson]
Yes, there are harsh realities in this world. There are wars to be fought. There are truths to be learned and protected. Isn’t it a wonderful blessing to know our youth want to defend the truth? One simple and engaging way to join the army is to become aware of the Y-FAIR organization, whether as a regular reader, a participant, or a mentor. Here’s hoping that you are as thrilled about Y-FAIR as I am!