For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; or whosoever will save his life, shall be willing to lay it down for my sake; and if he is not willing to lay it down for my sake, he shall lose it. But whosoever shall be willing to lose his life for my sake, and the gospel, the same shall save it. (JST Mark 8:37-38)
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall again the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)
As Latter-day Saints in this dispensation, we have a significant mission to perform. The adversary has released countless numbers of poisonous and viscous lies to destroy the children of our Father in Heaven. It is our duty as members of His true church to consecrate all our talents, time, money and energy to His service. In other words we are to “lose our life for His sake” and thereby find it again. What can the youth do? How can we make a difference?
The Law of Consecration
Recently, I was listening to the excellent talk by Ezra Taft Benson entitled, “A Vision and a Hope for the Youth of Zion”. Herein, he emphasizes the law of consecration. The Law of Consecration was revealed in Kirtland, Ohio soon after the Saints began to gather there. President Benson explains the correct definition of consecration:
“It [consecration] is that one’s time, talents, strength, property, and money are given up to the Lord for the express purpose of building up the kingdom of God and establishing Zion on the earth. Or, as we read in Doctrine and Covenants 105:5, “Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom.” . . .
The vehicle for implementing the law of consecration is the united order. The basic principle underlying the united order is that everything we have belongs to the Lord; and, therefore, the Lord may call upon us for any and all of our property, because it belongs to him. The united order was entered by “a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken” (D&C 42:30), according to the scriptures. . . .
I repeat and emphasize that the law of consecration is a law for an inheritance in the celestial kingdom. God, the Eternal Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and all holy beings abide by this law. It is an eternal law. It is a revelation by God to his Church in this dispensation. Though not in full operation today, it will be mandatory for all Saints to live the law in its fulness to receive celestial inheritance. You young people today abide a portion of this higher law as you tithe, pay a generous fast offering, go on missions, and make other contributions of money, service, and time.”
I know that if the youth of Zion strive to live this principle of giving their life to God, the Lord will use us as His hands. We will be instrumental in changing and influencing the world for good! How exciting is that! Every one of us has the power to leave a mark on the world for the true King, Jesus Christ.
In the New Testament, the apostle Paul writes a letter to a young man he speaks of as a “son in the faith”. He offers some timeless advice to young men and women in regards to building the kingdom in our youth.
“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. . .
Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:12-16)
I want to add my personal testimony to that of the prophets. I encourage you to petition the Lord for inspiration in regards to your mission and then to consecrate your life completely. There is no feeling that is more humbling, more sweet, more pure and more full of joy than knowing you are in His service. It is not an overnight accomplishment. It is the slow process of having your heart changed to become more like God. I want to live the law of consecration and I encourage you to join me in my quest to build the kingdom of God.
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” (Jim Elliot)