Young adults today must step forward and assume their role in preserving the noble heritage of the past, said Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the Church Educational System fireside Sunday night.

"As the years rapidly speed by, you will look back on this time of your life as one of the most exciting," Elder Perry said. "I have great trust and confidence in the young adults of the church."

Speaking to thousands of students seated in the Marriott Center on the Brigham Young University Campus and via satellite to listeners around the world, Elder Perry shared some of the experiences and changes he has seen in his lifetime.

"In order to keep pace with you I have been required to make many changes to be able to be close to the latest technology. ... Think of what that is like for an 88-year-old man to keep up with you," he said.

Elder Perry spoke of the "Greatest Generation," as termed by the journalist Tom Brokaw. In Brokaw's book, he told of the stories of men that faced great odds and still stepped up to challenges of war and stayed true to their values of personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith.

"As I look to the future — as I look at your future — I pray that you will step forward and assume your responsibility of preserving the noble heritage of the past," he said. "I pray that in a future day you will be known as 'The Greatest Generation.' Your war is different. I am full aware that your challenge will be much greater than ours. We knew our enemy on the battlefield. They were shooting at us. The enemy today is more sinister. He does not always confront us in head-on battle. Instead, he hides in almost every device known to man."

Elder Perry spoke of the important role individuals have of helping to strengthen the foundation of Christian faith throughout the world.

"My young friends, as you see the weakening of Christian faith in society your own faith must become even more firm and sure. You are the generation the Lord has saved for this day," he said.

Elder Perry shared four suggestions for individuals to follow as they strengthen themselves as well as those around them.

Daily prayer. Elder Perry read from the Bible Dictionary about the relationship with Heavenly Father that comes as individuals pray.

He read, "Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. … Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.' "

Daily scripture study. Have your own personal daily scripture study and then help others return to Christian faith by encouraging them to also study the scriptures daily."

Temple worthiness.

"Live in such a way that your righteous example will demonstrate how to live to be worthy to qualify for temple blessings."

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Daily acts of service.

"The Lord literally answers our prayers through the service that we give to others," he said. "Be an example of Christ-like service and help others return to their Christian faith by encouraging them to get our and serve their fellowmen."

Elder Perry closed his remarks by saying, "Tonight my young friends, I challenge you to rise to a new sense of commitment. I challenge you to become 'The Greatest Generation' by assisting our Heavenly Father's children to return to their Christian faith, and to a strong religious foundation that is so necessary to enjoy peace of mind and real happiness in this period of our mortal probation."

e-mail: mholman@desnews.com

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