Category Archives: Special

I think I’m done / 2016 Entertainment and Media Segment Closing Post

You’ve done it! You’ve made it through the Entertainment and Media segment! Hopefully you have felt the blessing from living this principle.

Alas, I’m done. I was supposed to find someone to replace me long before this, but I am very burned out and have been for months. For the Strength of All has served its purpose; most of us made it through the entire year, and I know that it has been a HUGE blessing in my life. But now I’m barely paying attention to it, as you’ve possibly noticed by the many late/missed posts this segment. Thank you all for sticking with this. I’m considering bringing it back once I get on my mission, but it’s hard to say. If anyone wants to take over, I’d be happy to let them; just email admin@ftsoa.com and I’ll quickly get back to you.

Thank you again for sticking with this. I hope you’ve felt the blessings that come from living the standards found in For the Strength of Youth.

Have a great General Conference!

~ George

FTSOA Special Reminder on Sexual Purity: Eight Steps to True Love

Sometimes I find a talk that I want to fit into the daily posts but just can’t. Usually I just have to just leave it aside, taking what I can but leaving the rest. It was going to be similar with the talk this post is about, but I remembered something I did back in May, in which I made a “Special Reminder on Friends” to supplement the current topic. So, I decided to do something similar with Bruce C. Hafen’s address “The Gospel and Romantic Love.” If you don’t have time this post can be skipped, but part of my goal with For the Strength of All is to help bring valuable information to those reading and I would consider much of this to be valuable, either for yourself or to be able to teach others.


Eight steps to true love

May I suggest now eight brief, practical steps for those who would one day be true sweethearts, based on a foundation of righteous living.

1. Have reverence for the human body and the life-giving powers of that body. Your body is a temple. It is sacred and holy. It is also the dwelling place of the seeds of human life, the nurturing of which, with your chosen companion, within the bounds set by God himself, is lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy (see A of F 1:13).

“2. During the time of courtship, please be emotionally honest in the expression of affection. Sometimes you are not as careful as you might be about when, how, and to whom you express your feelings of affection. You must realize that the desire to express affection can be motivated by other things than true love.

In short, save your kisses—you might need them someday.

3. Be friends first and sweethearts second. University professor Lowell Bennion once said that relationships between young men and young women should be built like a pyramid. The base of the pyramid is friendship. And the ascending layers are built of things like time, understanding, respect, and restraint. Right at the top of the pyramid is a glittering little mystery called romance.

Now, you don’t have to be very smart to know that a pyramid won’t stand up very long if you stand it on its point instead of its base. In other words, be friends first and sweethearts later, not the other way around. Otherwise, people who think they are sweethearts may discover they can’t be very good friends, and by then it may be too late.

4. Develop the power of self-discipline and self-restraint. Please remember that nobody ever fell off a cliff who never went near one. You’ve got to be like Joseph, not like David. When Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, the scripture says, Joseph “fled, and got him out” (Gen. 39:12). Joseph knew that it is wiser to avoid temptation than to resist it.

In your courtships, even when you feel there is a growing foundation of true love, show your profound respect for that love and the possibilities of your life together by restraining your passions. Please don’t be deceived by the false notion that anything short of the sex act itself is acceptable conduct. That is a lie, not only because one step overpoweringly leads to another, but also because the handling of another’s body is in an important sense part of the sexual act that is kept holy by the sanctuary of chastity.

If ever you are in doubt about where the line is between love and lust, draw the line toward the side of love.

5. Live for the presence of the Holy Spirit, that you may have it as your constant guide. Don’t date someone you already know you would not ever want to marry. If you should fall in love with someone you shouldn’t marry, you make it more difficult for the Lord to guide you away from that person after you are already emotionally committed. It is difficult enough to tune your spiritual receiver to the whisperings of heaven without jamming up the channel with the loud thunder of romantic emotion.

The key to spiritual guidance is found in one word: worthiness. Those who garnish their thoughts with virtue have the Spirit and have confidence in God’s presence (see D&C 121:45–46). Those who have lust in their hearts can’t have the Spirit (see D&C 63:16–17).

6. Avoid the habit of feeling sorry for yourself, and don’t worry excessively about those times when you feel socially unsuccessful. Everybody in the world doesn’t have to marry you—it only takes one. Remember: “Worry not that you are not well known. Seek to be worth knowing.”

There are times when we wonder if the Lord loves us; we wonder if other people love us. And so we mistakenly seek the symbols of success—whether that is being popular or being rich or being famous within our own sphere. You might be tempted to let someone take improper liberties with you, or you may indulge yourself in some practice that seems to bring temporary relief but only makes you feel worse in the long run.

Ultimately, however, only the Lord’s approval of our lives really matters. If you seek to be worth knowing and seek to do His will, all the rest will take care of itself. Never forget that all things work together for good to them who love God (see Rom. 8:28).

7. Avoid at all costs, no matter what the circumstances, abortion and homosexuality. As serious as is fornication or adultery, you must understand that abortion and homosexuality are equally wrong and may be worse. Even persons who only assist others, much less pressure them, to have an abortion are in jeopardy of being denied the privilege of missionary service. They may also be called upon to face a Church disciplinary council, at the peril of their membership in the Church.

8. If, through some unfortunate experience in your past, you have committed a moral transgression of this kind, there is a way by which you may receive full forgiveness. There is no more glorious language in all scripture than the words of Isaiah, speaking as if it were by the voice of the Lord himself:

“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land” (Isa. 1:18–19).

If your transgressions are of the serious kind, you will need to see your bishop and voluntarily offer a full and complete confession. As frightening as that experience may seem to you, by this means you will find purpose and a peace of mind more hopeful and uplifting than you can now imagine.


Was there something in particular that stood out to you? Write it down and commit to it today.

 ~ George

Special Reminder on Friends: Judging

While looking up content for today’s reminder I found a truly fantastic talk, “Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged”, by N. Eldon Tanner. It was such a fantastic talk that it felt like I was setting aside every other paragraph to potentially be posted. I finally decided on what part to post, but I still wanted to use the rest of it in some way. So, I decided to make a special out of all the content I didn’t post. Here it is, copied straight out of my notes:

“Wouldn’t this old world be better

If the folks we meet would say:

‘I know something good about you,’

And then treat us that way?”

From <https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/07/judge-not-that-ye-be-not-judged?lang=eng>

It seems common practice for people to talk about their friends and neighbors and to criticize their seeming peculiarities and weaknesses. In fact, it is so general that one would think that gossiping about and judging others was the thing to do. How often have we heard of young men who were criticized, judged, and ridiculed because of their peculiarities and yet who eventually became leaders in their different fields of endeavor.

From <https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/07/judge-not-that-ye-be-not-judged?lang=eng>

Jesus Christ, some 2,000 years ago, realizing man’s tendency to make unrighteous judgment, said:

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.

“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

“Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matt. 7:1–5.)

It seems he is saying that unless we are without fault, we are not qualified to judge.

From <https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/07/judge-not-that-ye-be-not-judged?lang=eng>

The reason, therefore, that we cannot judge is obvious. We cannot see what is in the heart. We do not know motives, although we impute motives to every action we see. They may be pure while we think they are improper.

It is not possible to judge another fairly unless you know his desires, his faith, and his goals. Because of a different environment, unequal opportunity, and many other things, people are not in the same position. One may start at the top and the other at the bottom, and they may meet as they are going in opposite directions. Someone has said that it is not where you are but the direction in which you are going that counts; not how close you are to failure or success but which way you are headed. How can we, with all our weaknesses and frailties, dare to arrogate to ourselves the position of a judge? At best, man can judge only what he sees; he cannot judge the heart or the intention, or begin to judge the potential of his neighbor.

When we try to judge people, which we should not do, we have a great tendency to look for and take pride in finding weaknesses and faults, such as vanity, dishonesty, immorality, and intrigue. As a result, we see only the worst side of those being judged.

From <https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/07/judge-not-that-ye-be-not-judged?lang=eng>

“Sometimes even when our friends are accused of wrongdoing or gossip is started about them, we disloyally accept and repeat what we hear without knowing all the facts. It is sad indeed that sometimes friendships are destroyed and enmity created on the basis of misinformation.

“If there be one place in life where the attitude of the agnostic is acceptable, it is in this matter of judging. It is the courage to say, “I don’t know. I am waiting for further evidence. I must hear both sides of the question.”

“Only by suspending judgment do we exhibit real charity. It is hard to understand why we are ready to condemn our neighbors and our friends on circumstantial evidence while we are all so determined to see that every criminal has a fair and open trial. Surely we can try to eliminate pride, passion, personal feeling, prejudice, and pettiness from our minds, and show charity to those around us.

“Let us look for the good rather than try to discover any hidden evil. We can easily find fault in others if that is what we are looking for.” – “Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged” by N. Eldon Tanner

Gossip is the worst form of judging. The tongue is the most dangerous, destructive, and deadly weapon available to man. A vicious tongue can ruin the reputation and even the future of the one attacked. Insidious attacks against one’s reputation, loathsome innuendoes, half-lies about an individual are as deadly as those insect parasites that kill the heart and life of a mighty oak. They are so stealthy and cowardly that one cannot guard against them. As someone has said, “It is easier to dodge an elephant than a microbe.”

What a different world it would be if we would put into practice what we have all heard so many times: “… whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 7:12.) Instead, we are all so inclined to judge others by a standard different from the one by which we would wish or be willing to be judged.

From <https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/07/judge-not-that-ye-be-not-judged?lang=eng>

If we could accept and practice the second great commandment, “Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 22:39), and really learn to love our neighbors, there would be no vicious gossip or bearing false witness. 

From <https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/07/judge-not-that-ye-be-not-judged?lang=eng>

We never gain anything or improve our own character by trying to tear down another. We have seen close friendships destroyed through words spoken

From <https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/07/judge-not-that-ye-be-not-judged?lang=eng>

May I humbly say in all sincerity that I love the Lord with all my heart and that I love my fellowmen. I hold no hard feelings of any kind toward any man, and I sincerely pray for forgiveness wherein I have offended anyone. I realize, as the Savior said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

From <https://www.lds.org/ensign/1972/07/judge-not-that-ye-be-not-judged?lang=eng>

 

Are you willing to make the commitment?

I, ____________________, commit to not judge others today or the rest of the week.

~ George