President Monson urges leaders to help young men become elders

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    By ADAM DUNFORD

    Priesthood holders should do more to help men, both young and old, move from the Aaronic Priesthood to the Melchizedek Priesthood.

    President Thomas S. Monson said the greatest safeguard we have in the church is a strong, firm, committed, dedicated and testifying Melchizedek Priesthood base.

    Comparing the number of prospective elders in the church to a pool of water, President Monson said those advancing into the Melchizedek Priesthood is a trickle compared to the river entering the pool.

    The pool of prospective elders is becoming larger and wider and deeper more rapidly than any of us can fully appreciate, President Monson said.

    Continuing the analogy, President Monson said the place to stem the tide is at the headwaters of the stream.

    The bishop, as president of the Aaronic Priesthood, has the first responsibility to help the young men advance through the priesthood. He should help the young men achieve a spiritual awareness of the sacredness of his ordained calling.

    But President Monson said the best bishops also call as Aaronic Priesthood advisors men who can touch the lives of boys — indeed men who are models to follow.

    President Monson said an ideal model is a returned missionary who is filled with testimony and can inspire the young priesthood holder to say, ‘that’s the man I want to follow.’

    Before and above the influence of bishopric members and quorum advisors is that of parents. President Monson said a church survey indicates that home support is a dominant factor in whether young people go on missions and marry in the temple.

    Addressing the problem with young men will solve many problems, President Monson said.

    For those individuals who have moved beyond the age of Aaronic Priesthood advancement and instead should receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, President Monson said, the rescue work is best done one-on-one and at the ward level.

    Once again, the bishop should be personally involved in each case, choosing home teachers and instructors to guide the less active back into activity.

    In making these assignments, President Monson told leaders to seek out divine help.

    As priesthood holders examine how they can help these less active young men and men in their wards and branches, they will find happiness and security.

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