Present tonight are many young men who hold the priesthood of God.1 Some of you look forward to being a missionary when you are older. Others are planning to go soon; still others have completed missions and are seeking an eternal companion. I am sobered by the realization that some of you will not reach these worthy goals because of other choices you are making now. I am grateful this is a private priesthood meeting, for I have felt impressed to treat sensitive yet important matters. While they apply to all present, I particularly want to talk with you young men. I will speak as though you and I were alone in a private interview and no one else can hear us. My purpose is to help you learn how to make the right choices. That will help you develop strong feelings of self-worth. You will have confidence to do right and overcome strong negative peer pressure and bad influences.
I have been thinking recently about choices and their consequences. Scarcely an hour of the day goes by but what we are called upon to make choices of one sort or another. Some are trivial, some more far-reaching. Some will make no difference in the eternal scheme of things, and others will make all the difference. As I’ve contemplated the various aspects of choice, I’ve put them into three categories: first, the right of choice; second, the responsibility of choice; and third, the results of choice. I call these the three Rs of choice. . . Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal journey without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him God-given guidance to assist in our safe return at the end of mortal life. I speak of prayer. I speak too of the whisperings from that still, small voice within each of us, and I do not overlook the holy scriptures, written by mariners who successfully sailed the seas we too must cross. . . Although in our journey we will encounter forks and turnings in the road, we simply cannot afford the luxury of a detour from which we may never return.
Conversely, I think of LaRue and Louise Miller, my wife’s parents, who despite never having much by way of worldly possessions, chose to teach the pure doctrine of the restored gospel to their children and to live it every day of their lives. By so doing they have blessed their posterity with the fruits of the gospel and the hope of eternal life. In their home they established a pattern where the priesthood was respected, where love and harmony were abundant, and where the principles of the gospel directed their lives. Louise and LaRue, side by side, demonstrated what it meant to live lives patterned after Jesus Christ. Their children could clearly see which of life’s currents would bring peace and happiness. And they chose accordingly. As President Kimball taught, “If we can create … a strong, steady current flowing toward our goal of righteous life, we and our children may be carried forward in spite of the contrary winds of hardship, disappointment, [and] temptations.” Do our choices matter? Do they affect only us? Have we set our course firmly in the eternal current of the restored gospel? . . . Heavenly Father has blessed us with the supernal gift of the Holy Ghost to guide our choices. He has promised us inspiration and revelation as we live worthy to receive such. I invite you to take advantage of this divine gift and examine your choices by asking yourself the question, “Are my decisions firmly planted in the rich soil of the gospel of Jesus Christ?” I invite you to make whatever adjustments are needed, whether small or large, to ensure the eternal blessings of Heavenly Father’s plan for you and those you love.