In a special devotional for youth, President Russell M. Nelson told young people across the globe that taking part in the gathering of Israel is their most important purpose right now.
What is this gathering? President Nelson explained that anytime you do anything that helps anyone—on either side of the veil—take a step toward making covenants with God and receiving their essential baptismal and temple ordinances, you are helping to gather Israel.
“There is nothing of greater consequence. Absolutely nothing,” he said. “This gathering should mean everything to you. This is the mission for which you were sent to earth.”
The prophet invited each young woman and young man to do what he taught them would “change you and help you change the world.”
1. Hold a seven-day fast from social media.
First, President Nelson asked each teenager to choose seven consecutive days to disengage from social media and carefully pay attention to any differences in how they feel and think during that period of time.
“Give yourself a seven-day break from fake!” he counseled.
Although social media can be used for positive purposes, he said its power to create a sense of false reality and become a distraction from the whisperings of the Spirit is detrimental.
“It will be your sign to the Lord,” he explained, “that you are willing to step away from the world in order to enlist in His youth battalion.”
2. For three weeks in a row, make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord.
In his second invitation, President Nelson asked the youth, for three weeks in a row, to give up something they like to do and use that time to help others renew their commitment to God.
“As you pray about this sacrifice of time, you will be guided to know both what you can give up that week and what you can do instead to help gather Israel.” He continued, “Let the Lord know that you want to be part of His youth battalion—more than you want anything else.”
3. Keep on the covenant path.
President Nelson also asked the youth to do a thorough life assessment with the Lord to ensure they are on the covenant path—or living faithfully according to the covenants they have made with God. To those who have wandered off, he pleaded that they repent and return.
“If there are some things you need to let go of to help your mind and heart be more pure, today is the perfect time to change,” he said. “Please do not stay off the covenant path one more minute. … We need you with us in the youth battalion of the Lord.”
When youth aren’t sure how to repent, President Nelson advised them to talk to their parents or their bishop to better understand Jesus Christ’s Atonement.
4. Pray daily that all of God’s children might receive the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
President Nelson’s fourth invitation was that each young person prays daily that the doors of every nation will be opened to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“You and I are living to see, and will continue to see, Israel gathered with great power,” he said. “And you can be part of the power behind that gathering!”
5. Stand out and be different from the world.
President Nelson’s final invitation to the youth was that they stand out and be different from the world.
“If you are sometimes called ‘weird,’ wear that distinction as a badge of honor and be happy that your light is shining brightly in this ever-darkening world!”
President Nelson asked that the youth prayerfully study the For the Strength of Youthpamphlet and give a copy to a friend who may not know or live these standards.
“You are among the best the Lord has ever sent to this world,” he said. “You have the capacity to be smarter and wiser and have more impact on the world than any previous generation!”
President Nelson boldly urged every young woman and young man to enlist in the Lord’s youth battalion to help gather Israel.
“You are the hope of Israel, ‘children of the promised day!’”