Friday night's meeting was broadcast from a chapel in Queen Creek, about 35 minutes from me. But Saturday night's meeting, which was for teenagers and their youth leaders, was live right here in Mesa! Since I was recently asked to serve in the Young Women's organization in my ward, I got to attend Saturday night, too.
Just like Friday night's meeting, Saturday night was very casual and candid, but this one was geared toward teenagers. Here are my notes:
Elder Ballard started the meeting by sharing one word that would change the teens' lives: desire. If they desire to know the mysteries of God, or if they desire to follow Jesus Christ, then like Nephi and like Joseph Smith, they can have their own "sacred grove" experience, which will help them remain true to the teachings of the gospel.
On the proper use of media: Elder Rasband urged the youth to be connected to the church's media sites. He cautioned them to police themselves. The adversary has entered into our personal space through our devices. If we dedicate time to the word of God each day, we will be able to better withstand the offerings of the adversary.
On preparing for a mission: Elder Ballard said that if desire is focused in the right place, it will be easy to stay morally clean and serve a mission. He said that they should do all that they can to prepare, but leave some time for fun, too. Learn to be a hard worker, make prayer more meaningful. For girls (who are not expected to serve missions) listen to the Spirit when deciding whether or not to go. Focus instead on living the way Heavenly Father wants you to live. Don't be nervous to share the gospel, just stand tall. Anxiety can become a problem when we are too anchored in the internet. Learn to talk to people face to face. When you have a question, seek the answer from the Lord before seeking it elsewhere.
On being happy: Elder Robbins said that the more we become like Jesus Christ, the happier we will be. Because He was always serving others, he was always happy, and so can we be. Pray for happiness and for the opportunity to use our talents to serve others. Smile more. It is a choice.
On opposition and peer pressure: Elder Costa said "It is better to prevent than to fix." Choose good friends. If you are with friends and they make bad choices, leave. Don't stay to be a good example. Just leave.
On dating and marriage: Elder Ballard reminded that kids that one date with someone does not make you a couple! Keep yourself pure and clean. Don't let the world dictate how we live. Stay close to your parents. Have fun. Don't do anything to mar the beauty of your spirit. And never, never ask someone on a date through a text message. :)
The overall feeling that I got from both of these meetings was that the answers are always simple. Live the gospel. Be happy. Serve others. If our desire is in the right place, we will already be doing the right things. Don't worry too much, everything will will be ok in the end.