Some remarks from Elder Ballard to young adults

Elder Ballard delivered some “blunt” but “loving” remarks to young adults in the Taylorsville, Utah Institute program on Sept. 17.  Those remarks were reported in the Deseret News here.

“We’re living in a time when you have to hear it very straight,” the apostle told more than 2,000 young adults gathered at the Taylorsville Utah Institute of Religion. Noting all the confusion in the world, Elder Ballard told listeners they didn’t have time to meddle with “fluff” or tamper with doctrine.

Elder Ballard continued:

In his many travels in his nearly 32 years as an apostle, Elder Ballard said he’s been approached by youth who are unsure about the Prophet Joseph Smith.


“I want to say to you, if you have any question about the reality of Joseph Smith being a prophet of God, called under the direction of the Father and the Son, you get into the Book of Mormon and you read it.”


Readers of the Book of Mormon cannot get far into the book without drawing closer to the Savior Jesus Christ, he said.

To those who doubt when questioned about the Book of Mormon, Elder Ballard declared, “You are members of the Church. You bear your testimony. You tell them to [read] the Book of Mormon and get down on their knees and let them ask God if [Joseph Smith] is a prophet.”


Elder Ballard then added his witness that Joseph Smith was raised up as a prophet of this dispensation of the fullness of times.


Elder Ballard said he also sometimes hears criticism from youth that the Church takes too hard of a stance on marriage or gender issues. “Before you start questioning that, you go back and study the plan of salvation,” Elder Ballard told the young adults.


“What is God’s great plan of happiness? Why are we here? Where do we come from? Who are we? Who are you?” he asked. “Well, you are sons and daughters of God. You are spirit offspring of our Heavenly Parents. You lived in the pre-mortal world as sons and daughters of God.”

He then encouraged listeners to go back to the book of Genesis in the Bible. “Find out why God created this world. Who are we … and what are we charged to do and how are we charged to do it? Well, Adam and Eve were given firm direction. They were moved out of the garden and told to multiply and replenish the earth. And there’s one way you should do that: in God’s way of marriage.”


Most questions can be answered by reminding individuals of the plan of salvation — “the great plan of happiness that Heavenly Father established in the beginning,” the apostle taught.


Those who have questions can also take their questions to their trusted teachers and leaders. “If they don’t know the answer, they can help try to find an answer for you.”


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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

9 thoughts on “Some remarks from Elder Ballard to young adults

  1. Hallelujah. If I had one area of feedback for the church it would be to speak more like this. More straightforward and not leave room for confusion. Elder Ballard mentioned the same sex marriage and homosexuality issues. And yet there are still most of this age group who literally do not understand the doctrine and the law of chastity and standarda as they relate to this issue. They are culturally confused. When the church public affairs issues a statement of support the gay pride fest Love Loud (a concert that friends said was full on gay propaganda and PSAs to get people to support the lifestyle and nothing was really said about suicide and protecting kids), no wonder we have an entire generation of young people who are getting sucked into confusion. More bold and clear talk is needed because nothing other than spelling it out will get people to listen at this point in our culture.

  2. One of the hurdles for most people to overcome, especially the young, is realizing that the dominant media narrative is just plain wrong on most social issues.

    And one way the media is wrong is that most social sciences have been corrupted. For every social/psych professional who can testify that traditional morality really does lead to better outcomes, there are a greater number of degreed and certified professionals who will lie.

    I wish church leaders would also cite real history and statistics to counter the social/moral lies, but it would merely invite more contention and attacks. By staying in the spiritual realm, church leaders are wisely avoiding direct attacks by the media.

    However, once you have a testimony that the church and the Brethren really are on God’s side, the only conclusion you can come to is that the media (entertainment and news) establishment and the academia establishment are on Satan’s side.

  3. Good comments. In a world where lines are not often drawn, you are drawing them and our young people need to know that the only way to salvation is from belief in Christ and then to follow his directives as best we can.

  4. Sad that this apostle must use such plain speech. The plain speech shows more that the rising generation doesnt have the spirit as their guide, and that they dont understand the scriptures if they are even reading them. This apostles speech is first a condemnation of sin and secondarily educational.

    A slothful people must be comanded to read their scriptures (dc 58:26) and subsequently their lack of understanding the doctrine is a consequence of not living it (john 7:17).

    Because this is a generational problem it shows that these sins will fall on the heads of the parents. The failure of the parents of this rising generation to teach these core doctrines will be shown out by punishing these same parents with fewer grand children.

  5. J, I am disappointed by whomever may have made a decision in the church’s public affairs office to endorse such a concert (“When the church public affairs issues a statement of support the gay pride fest Love Loud–a concert that friends said was full on gay propaganda and PSAs to get people to support the lifestyle and nothing was really said about suicide and protecting kids”). Was this in Utah? Anyways, thanks for the post and comments. Satan is a master at false advertising, we know that. Under the banner of “Love” he hides many sorrowful, painful, sinful consequences with eternal repercussions. It’s the same as advertising for junk food, items that cause financial trouble (debt), alcohol, cigarettes, and now marijuana in some states. The answer to all the corrupting Korihors and Screaming Sherems if our day: bear testimony by the way we live or vetbally when asked or prompted, and explain the Plan of Salvation and Happiness like Elder Ballard did.

  6. I’m not sure who or what is to blame. I think it’s a combination of factors. The biggest is that perhaps we as parents and teachers have not understood who we are up against, the god of this world. How much time in a day do our youth get exposed to righteous gospel instruction vs exposure to worldly instruction via Facebook, YouTube, TV, Netflix, MSM and friends who are in the advesarys camp.

  7. Everyone born after 1955 has been raised their whole life by the mainstream media, unless their parents, or someone, conciously and conscientiously taught them otherwise.

    Homosexuality (more specifically homosexual sexual behavior) became essentially normalized in mainstream media in or by the 1990’s. Eg, Jerry Seinfeld’s refrain “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

    I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s and watched a lot of television, so I’ve seen the frog slowly boiled.

    I used to think that SSM was the beginning of the homosexual phase of the sexual revolution which started in the 60’s. But now I see it as the end, and they won. The public fight/debate is over, but now the business of reworking/restructuring the institutions is in full swing by the winners, with no opposition.

    What Obergefell marked might be called the beginning of the “bisexual phase” of the sexual revolution.

    The people Elder Ballard was talking to grew up immersed in a media culture that explicitly taught them “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”, ie homosexual behavior. THAT is what church leadership is fighting, deeply ingrained programming that comes from thousands of hours of media immersion during _all_ years of childhood development.

    I remember Pres Kimball and Pres Benson warning against this. Things like family home evening, keep your kids close, eat dinner together.

  8. There is an organized and aggressive campaign to normalize non-cisgender identities, activities, and roles.

    Cisgender was coined by a German in 1991 to be a term that could be used in discussions of transgender. Cisgender uses the Latin-derived prefix cis-, meaning “on this side of”, which means the opposite of trans-, meaning “across from” or “on the other side of”.

    For folks trying to make space for those who are not hetero-normal and cisgender, they clothe their work in the glamour of the fight for racial equality. So there are many pathways that are well-trodden in the racial equality fight that they can just pick up and use.

    As for Joseph, people are listening to rumors and innuendo, and the Mormon faithful have typically not met those rumors and innuendos with commensurate rigor. And there is a reason for that, in my view, because thorough analysis would reveal the forsaken sins of honored saints (not Joseph).

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