Good morning brothers and sisters. My name is Mackay Hall and today I have chosen to speak on Choices.
When we are little our parents teach us right from wrong. Even before we can actually talk we are learning right from wrong.
When we turn three we go to primary and one of the first things we are taught is Choose the Right. Usually we are given a ring that tends to turn our fingers green but it has a special meaning. It is a reminder to us to always Choose the Right.
Obviously, I’m not in primary anymore and I have no idea where that CTR ring is, but every time I leave my house, the last thing my mom says is “make good choices”. And when I get home she always asks “did you make good choices? It seems that those who care about us most are always trying to teach and encourage us to choose the right.
As youth today, we are faced with many temptations and challenges. We also have many outside influences that may not always have our best interest. Those influences use words like:
“It's not THAT bad.”
“I won't tell.”
“You can do it, just this once.”
or “No one will know”.
These words lead us to believe that there are different levels or degrees to a mistake, a choice, or a sin.
“It’s not THAT bad” tells me that there are worse things I could do, so this one is okay.
“Just this once” says it’s okay if I don’t do it again.
But in reality, a mistake is a mistake. A sin is a sin. It doesn't matter how big or how small.
I’d like to read a story that my mom has used on us kids at home.
A father of some teenage children had the family rule that they could not attend PG-13 or R rated movies. His three teens wanted to see a particular popular movie that was playing at local theaters. It was rated PG-13.
The teens interviewed friends and even some members of their family's church to find out what was offensive in the movie. The teens made a list of pros and cons about the movie to use to convince their dad that they should be allowed to see it.
The cons were: *It ONLY had 3 swear words! *The ONLY violence was a building exploding and you see that on TV all the time,
The pros were: *It was a popular movie with a good story and plot. *Everyone was seeing it. *If the teens saw the movie then they would not feel left out when their friends discussed it. *It had great special effects, adventure and suspense in it. *Many members of their Christian church, including the pastor, had even seen the movie and said it wasn't really 'that bad'.
Therefore, since there were more pros than cons the teens asked their father to reconsider his position on just this ONE movie and let them have permission to go see it.
The father looked at the list and thought for a few minutes. He could tell his children had spent some time and thought on this request. He asked if he could have a day to think about it before making his decision.
The teens were thrilled, thinking, There is no way he can say no. So, they happily agreed to let him have a day to think about their request.
The next evening the Father called his three teenagers, who were smiling smugly, into the living room. There on the coffee table he had a plate of brownies. The teens were puzzled. The father told his children he had thought about their request and had decided that if they would eat the brownies, then he would let them go to the movie. But, he explained, just like the movie, the brownies had pros and cons.
The pros were : *They were made with good chocolate and other good ingredients. *The brownies were fresh with chocolate frosting on top. *He had made these fantastic brownies using an award-winning recipe. *And best of all, the brownies had been made by the hand of their own father.
The brownies only had one con : *He had included a little bit of a special ingredient: The brownies contained just a small amount of dog “crap”.
But he had mixed the dough well and they probably would not even be able to taste it and he had baked it at 350 degrees so any bacteria or germs had probably been destroyed.
Therefore, if any of his children could stand to eat the brownies which included just a 'little bit of crap' and not be affected by it, then he knew they would also be able to see the movie with 'just a little bit of smut' and not be affected.
Of course, none of the teens would eat the brownies and the smug smiles had left their faces.
Now when his teenagers ask permission to do something he KNOWS THEY SHOULDN'T BE DOING the father just asks, 'Would you like me to make a batch of my special brownies?'
In the D&C 82:10 is says
“I the Lord am bound when you do what I say. When you do not, you have no promise.”
I know that the Lord has promised us blessings IF we choose the right. We all can help each other make better choices. Instead of being the kind of influences I talk about in the beginning, I hope we can be a better friend and encourage each other to follow what we are taught in primary, and that is to Choose the Right.
I know that the Lord has made a promise to us. He will keep his promise if we do our part.I hope that we will all decide to make good choices and to help those we hang out with do the same.
I know this church is true.
I know our Heavenly Father is waiting to bless us and He is cheering us on to succeed and to be happy so that one day we can return to live with Him.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.