"Be Who You Are," by Hank Smith, Covenant, $11.99, 60 minutes
There's not much hope for an elephant to try to be a zebra. There are the stripes and trunk — and they are just more than a bit different. Zebras are zebras, and elephants are elephants no matter how much they want to be like the other.
And teenagers can be happy in their own skin and not try to be different for different groups of people, LDS seminary teacher and Especially For Youth speaker Hank Smith says on a recently released talk on CD "Be Who You Are."
It gets complicated to remember how you are supposed to be around different people.
Oh, and Smith knows. On his eighth week as an EFY counselor one summer, he was assigned to help with parking-lot duty. This quickly got boring, and once he answered a question from an excited attendee with an Irish accent.
"This wasn't a good idea," he said.
She came back with "like 10 friends" to meet the EFY counselor from Ireland. He could have stopped it there, but he didn't.
"Have you ever lied so much you started to believe it?"
The entire week, he was trying to remember who thought he was Irish and who just knew him from previous weeks as Hank from Utah.
And he never told the EFY group he wasn't from Ireland.
So with these stories and Smith's entertaining storytelling style, he clearly shows that teenagers need to be their best selves to everyone.
Sometimes unintentionally, teenagers end up being different around different groups. "Before you can even begin to make a difference in the lives of other people, we have to know who we are," Smith said. "Don't try to fit into so many different places that you have so many different you's that you're get mixed up sometimes." (track 6; 2:05)
"People will respect you more if they see you are the same person in church as you are at school that you are at seminary," Smith said. "You'll have more friends that way. Because you're trusted."