In a society that is losing contact with the reality of the divine mission of Jesus Christ, it is becoming increasingly critical to find ways to reconnect with the Lord, to establish a personal relationship with Him and live a more fulfilling and happier life.
If, on one hand, many members of the Church have chosen to follow Him long ago, and keep their faith intact despite life challenges, others still struggle to establish a true spiritual connection with the Savior, and find their life challenges more overwhelming.
Research shows that there is a general decline in religious interest nowadays, and the rising generation seems to struggle more than ever to find a role, an identity and happiness in an institutional church. This is the case also for many of our children and youth in the restored Church, who reach a point in their personal growth where they must decide whether to become ‘agents unto themselves’, or be ‘acted upon’ by the world’s strong winds and influences.1
To help them find a more focused way to connect with the Savior, the Church has provided the ‘New Children and Youth Program’.
This initiative responds to the needs of all youth in the Church, but it is adaptable for members and families everywhere, and there is no ‘one right way’ to implement it.
Because cultures and circumstances are very different across the world and in our Area, the initiative is a principle-based effort more than a standard program.
The purpose is always the same, ‘to help each individual, including children and youth, to progress along the covenant path and face life challenges with a strengthened faith in Jesus Christ, through the power of His Atonement.’
Pres. Nelson said – “You will need to seek personal revelation. You will need to choose for yourself how to act on it. Sometimes the Spirit may prompt you to do things that are difficult. I think you are up to the challenge. You can do hard things.” 2
As you seek personal revelation to know how to apply the New Children and Youth Program in your families and units, I invite all parents, youth and leaders in the Europe Area to approach it as an opportunity and not so much as a program. These unified efforts will bring divine blessings to all of us, as we gather together in one all things in Christ. 3
Therefore, let me just share three invitations in your specific roles in this sacred initiative:
First - I invite all parents of the Lord’s rising generation to see this divine effort as an opportunity to bless your children, as you help them find their Savior early in their lives, with your love and sincere care. Your loving touch as parents will open their hearts and help your children find the Savior. Leading the way and pointing them to the Lord will be critical as they try to hear Him and ultimately find Him.
Second - I invite all leaders to see this divine effort as an opportunity to minister to the youth that the Lord has spiritually assigned to you. As you minister to them in your callings, you will help them to know better how they can find their Savior. With your knowledge and kindness, as you testify of precious gospel principles that you know to be true, you will help them know how to find Him.
Third - I invite all youth in the Europe Area to see this divine effort as an opportunity to grow in your personal search for the Savior.
Dear Youth, I testify that if you are sincere in your desire to find the Savior, He will find you!, as you follow the counsel of your parents and Church leaders in applying the good principles of this program.
As you establish worthy goals for your spiritual, social, intellectual, and physical development, you will grow as the Lord did in His youth, and by following His footsteps, you will become more and more like Him, until you find Him.
May the Lord bless our unified efforts to help our youth find the Savior and live a happier life.
- – D&C 58:28, 2 Nephi 2:14,16,24
- – Children and Youth Introductory Video Presentation [Aired on Sep 29, 2019]
- - Ephesians 1:10