For the Strength of Youth

by Jen

The pamphlet “For the Strength of Youth” is a guide given by the First Presidency of the Mormon Church (properly called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) to Mormon teenagers, both boys and girls. It presents Mormon beliefs regarding moral standards and how teenagers and young adults can apply them in their lives. Elder Boyd K. Packer, a Mormon Apostle taught: “We do not set the standards, but we are commanded to teach them and maintain them” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Standard of Truth Has Been Erected,” Ensign and Liahona, Nov. 2003, 26).

This guidebook helps youth understand the Mormon Church’s teachings in different areas of life. Mormon youth are reminded that they do not have to follow these guidelines but that if they do they will gain more blessings and have a better understanding of the gospel.

“For the Strength of the Youth” contains seventeen different categories in which all teenagers and families, and especially Mormon teens are reminded of the Lord Jesus Christ’s boundaries and teachings about morality. These are: Agency and Accountability, Gratitude, Education, Family, Friends, Dress and Appearance, Entertainment and the Media, Music and Dancing, Language, Dating, Sexual Purity, Repentance, Honesty, Sabbath Day Observance, Tithes and Offerings, Physical Health, and Service to Others.

To understand what the guidelines are like here is an example from the Physical Health section:

The Lord has commanded you to take good care of your body. To do this, observe the Word of Wisdom, found in D&C; 89. Eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. When you do all these things, you remain free from harmful addictions and have control over your life. You gain the blessings of a healthy body, an alert mind, and the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

Never use tobacco products, such as cigarettes, snuff, chewing tobacco, cigars, and pipe tobacco. They are very addictive and will damage your body and shorten your life. Also, do not drink coffee or tea, for these are addictive and harmful.

Any form of alcohol is harmful to your body and spirit. Being under the influence of alcohol weakens your judgment and self-control and could lead you to break the law of chastity or other commandments. Drinking can lead to alcoholism, which destroys individuals and families.

Any drug, chemical, or dangerous practice that is used to produce a sensation or “high” can destroy your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. These include hard drugs, prescription or over-the-counter medications that are abused, and household chemicals.

For the Strength of Youth is specifically geared toward the youth of the Mormon Church but Mormon leaders also suggest that it is a wonderful resource for new members of the Church regardless of age as well as for any parent, Mormon or not, when trying to teach and strengthen their family.

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