I spend a lot of time with young people in my job. They are wonderful friends and so many of them are courageous in a difficult world -- faithful to what they believe. But like all young people, distractions occur and some choices they make are not always best for their future. Once in a while they even falter to such a degree that they feel they are not fit for recovery (they are – just see what Jesus says in verse 32 here).
Part of my job is to warn and prepare these wonderful souls for the challenges they will encounter from outside (and sometimes inside) influences. Many have parents who are heavily involved in the same process but often these youth feel left without help to make it on their own. The traps they encounter are so numerous that even the really good ones have moments when they don’t recognize the dangerous positions they are about to enter. If I didn't understand the Plan of Salvation, I might think that this whole ‘growing up’ business is unfair and rigged against the unsuspecting.
Some years ago, one of the Apostles of the Lord shared a message in General Conference. The talk was later adapted to a short video that, at least for me, capsulizes what the youth of this world have to do in order to be safe. It’s called “Spiritual Crocodiles” and can be viewed here. Take a few minutes (about 9 ½) and see how you feel about the counsel given. If you like it, you might want to sit down with a young person you know. Point out some of the ‘crocodiles’ you have encountered out there and ways they can be avoided or overcome.
But more importantly, invite them to approach their Heavenly Father on a regular basis in personal prayer so they can be protected from the wiles of the Devil in their lives. I don’t think you will be disappointed with the results and you may just save the life (spiritual and physical) of a wonderful child of God.
|Large American Crocodile|
P.S. Nephi gives some pointers on the tactics of the devil in these verses: 2 Nephi 28:20-22. Check it out.