Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a responsibility to connect generations through righteous living, LDS apostle Elder David A. Bednar said in a Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults Sunday night.
Accompanied by his wife, Susan, Elder Bednar addressed a congregation of young single adults in Raleigh, North Carolina as well as singles around the world via satellite broadcast.
“I want to focus upon what we should do, which is become a welding link in the chain of the generations,” Elder Bednar said.
Here are four “linking” takeaways from Elder Bednar’s devotional address:
1. Be a link
To open his address, Elder Bednar shared a video of then-President Gordon B. Hinckley addressing students at Brigham Young University-Idaho in 1999. President Hinckley shared a story about realizing he linked his family as he knew he fell in the middle of seven generations: he personally had met three individuals who proceeded him in his family and had three generations after him.
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“Never do anything that would weaken the chain of which you are a fundamental part,” President Hinckley advised students.
Likewise, Elder and Sister Bednar’s message encouraged young adults to be righteous in following the gospel so that they could be a welding link for their families through the generations.
“The decisions you make for good or bad will extend across the generations. Please be a strong link in the chain of your generations,” Sister Bednar pleaded.
2. Your family doesn’t affect your ability as a link
Elder Bednar addressed those who don’t have a desire to be eternally connected to their family.
“Some of you have experienced great sorrow in abusive and dysfunctional family relations,” Elder Bednar acknowledged. … “You and I are not trapped in our past experiences. We are not wholly and totally victims of our present circumstances.”
Elder Bednar assured members that these concerns are taken care of through their individual righteousness.
“Eternal family links are only welded together through priesthood authority and personal righteousness.”
3. First generation members of the Church
Elder Bednar shared where he fell in his family’s chain as a link. On his mother’s side, Elder Bednar was a fifth generation member of the church as his family converted in England and Switzerland. However, in dad’s line, he was the first link. Elder Bednar’s father wasn’t a member of the LDS Church, but Elder Bednar baptized his father while he was in college. (Read that story here.)
“First generation members of the Church: it begins with you! You are the pioneers for both your progenitors and your posterity,” Elder Bednar said.
4. Great marriages aren’t found — they’re created
“I feel some of you may be engaged in an endless search for something that does not exist,” Elder Bednar warned.
Elder Bednar advised young single adults to not search for something already perfect, but prepare to be a welding chain for future generations with a spouse.
“Serving in a marriage relationship requires patience and persistence in a world that relentlessly encourages self-centeredness,” Elder Bednar said.
Watch the full devotional here.