Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve addressed young single adults around the world at Sunday’s CES Devotional. From a pulpit at the BYU-Idaho Center, Elder Cook spoke of not wearing masks and being true to the faith.
Elder Cook brought love and greetings from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, and then began speaking of an experience that David O. McKay had on his mission in Scotland.
At the time, President McKay was homesick and went sightseeing at Sterling Castle. While he was there, he saw an inscription above a door. This inscription said:
“What e’er thou art, act well thy part.”
This quote that has been attributed to William Shakespeare had a profound impact upon President McKay. He said that the quote motivated him to be a better representative of the Church. In fact, President McKay used the quote to inspire himself for the rest of his life.
This quote was so inspirational, a replica was made of the stone, and put in the Missionary Training Center located in Provo.
Elder Cook went on to relate that many of our church leaders had served our country in the various wars throughout the years. He then spoke of the millennial generation, and the good they could do.
“Some commentators are skeptical about what your generation will accomplish,” he said. “I believe that you have the background and foundation to be the best generation ever. Particularly in advancing our Father in Heaven’s Plan.”
While Elder Cook said that he believes that Millenials have great potential to do good, he also felt that this generation would be tempted. He warned that those who do not have the same morals as LDS Church members might try to get us to act poorly and to “put on a mask.”
“There will be great pressure on each of you to act out of character, to even wear a mask. To become someone who doesn’t really reflect who you are or who you want to be,” Elder Cook said.
Elder Cook went on to relate several examples of people who wore masks when they did things that they were not proud of — the masks were to hide their identities. However, without their masks, they were normal people. The mask made them feel that they could do things they never would have done without the masks. He related this to the people of today by commenting on how easy it is to remain anonymous on the Internet and to make mean comments.
“I do believe that in our day when being anonymous is easier than ever that there are important principles involved in not wearing a mask and being true to the faith for which martyrs have perished,” Elder Cook said.
Elder Cook counseled church members to avoid wearing masks and clothing that hid their morals because “the righteous need not a mask to hid their true identity.” Following the dress and grooming standards of the Church can help keep members safe from temptation to “put on a mask” and make poor decisions. He also counseled young adults use their time wisely.
“Act in accordance with your true beliefs by spending your time on those things which will build and develop your character and help you become more Christ-like,” he said.
An example he gave of this was an account of Elder L. Tom Perry’s that is played at the Visitor’s Center in Salt Lake City. He told a story of entering Nagasaki, Japan, and spending free time helping to rebuild the Christian churches. As the soldiers that had used their spare time to serve left on the train, they were teased by other Marines that said they had missed out on all of the fun. However, 200 of the Japanese Christians that were able to start using their churches again marched to the train station and sang “Onward Christian Soldiers” and they thanked the men that gave of their time.
Elder Cook closed by encouraging church members to vote. He explained that the authorities of the Church do not endorse any one candidate. They have faith in members’ decisions. However, it is mostly important to participate.
“The price of freedom is too high and the price of participation is too great …” he said.
He closed with a powerful testimony of the gospel, and the choir sang “A Marvelous Work is About to Come Forth.”