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Decisive Youth

Oh the way is long and weary, And our bleeding feet are sore. Is it far to Canaan’s land? Is it far to Canaan’s land?
In the desert we are longing, For its shelter more and more. Is it far, is it far to Canaan’s land?
We are weary, oh, so weary; Sadly wandering through the wilderness And o’er the desert sands.
We are weary, oh, so weary. Is it far, is it far to Canaan’s land?

“Well, is it far, friends?  That’s the question.  Was it far back there?  Well, if you look at the map it doesn’t look very far.  It isn’t very far in miles.  It isn’t very far for a camel.  It isn’t even very far for a man from Egypt to Canaan.  I wonder why it took so long…

 

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Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. – 1 Corinthians 10:11

 

 

 

“They took forty years to do what could have been done in a few weeks. But before we even begin to judge them too harshly, it would be well to remind ourselves that [we are well over 4 times forty years on our trip, and*] we haven’t seen the waving palm trees, yet, have we? Nor the grapes, nor the fig trees. The land flowing with milk and honey is still to us as it was to Israel for forty years; something we have heard about and something toward which we are journeying.”

And the Lord spake unto me, saying, Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward. – Deuteronomy 2:2, 3

“The desert in which they wandered for forty years was east of Egypt, south of Canaan. And so to turn northward meant to turn toward the promised land. The Lord said, “You have been wandering around here long enough. It is time to turn northward and go into the promised possession.” There is something very interesting, friends, about those forty years in the desert. Of course, you and I are familiar with the fact that the reason they were there all that time is that they didn’t have faith enough to go in. Isn’t that right? Paul says in Hebrews 3:19, they could not enter in because of what? Unbelief. Yet back of them were some very great experiences of faith. Had it not taken faith to launch the exodus movement? Had it not taken faith to go through the Red Sea? Paul says in Hebrews 11, by faith they passed through the Red Sea. Yes, they had had some moments of faith.”

“The truth of the matter is, all during the forty years in the desert they never went back to Egypt. That’s something, shall I say, to give them credit for, isn’t it? It is true they talked about it on occasion. Sometimes when they got hungry for a square meal, as they thought of it, they remembered Egypt. And there were other things that caused them to think of Egypt. At one time they seriously said, “Let us appoint a captain and return to Egypt.” You remember that? But they never did it. That was just talk. Thank God they stayed on this side of the Red Sea all the way. And I say, they are to be commended for that.”

There are a lot of people today that have never gone back to Egypt, and are still a long way from Canaan. By God’s grace no one that is reading this study is planning to go back to Egypt; back into the life of sin and worldliness. Certainly we are not interested in the brokenness of mind and heart that result from living the fast, sinful life of this world… Are we?

“But looking at the experience of Israel, we see that it takes more than passing through the Red Sea by faith to arrive at Canaan. There is an experience in Egypt. There is an experience in the wilderness. But there is an experience beyond Jordan in the promised land. And friends, would it be wise to remind ourselves that the only purpose of the desert experience is to get us from Egypt on to Canaan. You see one problem that the Israelites had, I suppose as time lengthened and year followed year, was that they got used to that wilderness life.”

“Think of the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people that had never had anything to eat except manna and what they ate of the sacrifices. Children that could never remember a time when they didn’t look out every morning of the six days and see the ground covered with what? With manna. That came to be just as natural to them as it would be for us to go out and pick some corn or some sweet potatoes or some strawberries or some tomatoes. Life was that way.”

“Another thing that became very commonplace to them was that over their heads stretched that wonderful cloudy curtain that kept off the sun’s rays – shall I say, kept them from being cooked in the desert heat. At night it became a most wonderful camp illuminator. It just gave light to the whole camp. Well, what was that? Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10, that it was Jesus that was with them in that cloud, wasn’t it? Sure. But that cloud came to be to them just as commonplace as any of these clouds we look out here and see today. Do you see what I’m getting at, friends? They got used to wilderness life. When the cloud moved, they moved. When the cloud rested, they rested.”

“Take the water situation: You remember that early in their trip they ran out of water and they murmured. And Moses cried to God, and God said, do what? “Go out here with the elders of Israel and take your rod that smote the waters in Egypt and turned them to blood, the one that divided the Red Sea, take that rod and smite the rock, and the rock will give forth its waters.” Did it do it? And ever after that as they went from place to place in the desert, the rocks gushed out the water. They got used to that, friends. Just as used to that as we are to this spring up here in the rocks. As I say, there were hundreds of thousands of those people that had never seen anything else than that. They were just used to that.”

“God has been very good to you and me, friends, but you know, He is disappointed when we allow the good things that He has done for us to make us even begin to get satisfied to settle down where we are. “This is not your rest,” He says. “I have something better for you on the other side of Jordan. I have an experience for you, a life for you that is ten thousand times better than this wilderness wandering, and a hundred thousand times better than Egypt ever was – a land of figs and vines, a land that flows with milk and honey.”

Is it far to Canaan’s land? Well, that’s the question. Is it far? They could have gone through, I repeat, in a few weeks. They took forty years.

 

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God did not design that His people, Israel, should wander forty years in the wilderness. He promised to lead them directly to the land of Canaan, and establish them there a holy, healthy, happy people. But those to whom it was first preached, went not in ‘because of unbelief’ (Heb. 3:19). Their hearts were filled with murmuring, rebellion, and hatred, and He could not fulfill His covenant with them. For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years. – Selected Messages, Book 1; pgs. 68, 69

“There it is, dear friends. Do you see why the angel said concerning modern Israel, “Ye have done worse than they?” We haven’t any reason for self-congratulation, have we? I want to ask you something, friends. If we will wait long enough, don’t you think God will relent and let us in just about like we are? You don’t think so? No.”

“Well, thank God we don’t have to go back to Egypt. But I will tell you folks, we can just set our own time for how long we are going to stay in this wilderness. It is nice to have the manna. And it is nice to have the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire. But, oh my, it would be so much nicer to be over Jordan in the land of Canaan, wouldn’t it?”

“Thank God for all He has done and is doing for us, friends. Let’s not discount it a bit. He is doing a lot for us individually and as a movement. But remember, I repeat, the whole purpose of the desert trip is to take us from Egypt, where? To the wilderness? Oh, no. On to Canaan. What do you say, friends? Shall we go? Let’s do that.”

The following are the words of the Lord to Moses, and he repeats them to the great congregation of Israel.  He spoke this just a short time before they actually went over Jordan into Canaan:

Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil…

(That is, when they came out of Egypt and balked at Kadesh-barnea)

… they [Your children] shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it. – Deuteronomy 1:39

“Who went in? The children. It was another generation. Of that first generation that left Egypt bright with hope, how many went in? Two. Who were they? Caleb and Joshua. But all the rest of those multitudes that went across the river Jordan into Canaan were of another generation.

And so, I want to say something to the young people and to the children here this evening, two things. First, you have it in your power to go in, in your hands. Do you want to wander around in the wilderness another twenty, thirty, forty years, or do you want to go in? What are you planning on? Are you planning to settle down here in this world, get an automobile, a house? Settle down, to live, plan for what your children and your grand-children will do? Is that your vision? Your life? My dear young friends, in your teens, and twenties, and thirties, what are you thinking about, anyway? What are you planning for? You have it in your power to go in.”

The second thing I would like to call your attention to: If you do it, you will have to go beyond your fathers. Isn’t that clear? You will have to go beyond your fathers. That is the burden of our study today… Oh, what a glorious opportunity you have to go in. But to do it you must go beyond your fathers. Somebody sometime is going to do that very thing. Sometime, there will be a group of people that will say, “Thank God, we are not in Egypt, but thank God also we are not going to stay in the wilderness all our lives.”

“Now, Caleb had that spirit all the time. But there came a time when hundreds and thousands of people were seized with the conviction given them of God, “We are well able to do it,” and they went in and did it. Praise the Lord! The same giants were there that had been there forty years before. They had not shrunk any. They had not become pygmies. The same iron chariots were there. They had not rusted away. The same fortresses were there, great thick stone walls, “Up to heaven,” the spies said as they looked at them. Of course, that was an exaggeration. But they were fortresses. All those things were there. But the children of the people that said it couldn’t be done, came along and said, “Well, if God says it can be done, it can be done. And by God’s grace, we will do it.” And they did it.”

Revelation

In Revelation 14:1-5, we have a picture of this last generation.  And whatever it is, it will be the last generation, friends, because God is not going to take a group of people over into Canaan until He gets this last generation that measures up to His expectations.  And so this picture of the last generation, presents them as being without fault before the throne of God:

… These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. – Revelation 14:4

They get ripe, friends.  They don’t fall off the tree or fall off the vine before they get ripe.

Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. – The Great Controversy, pg. 464

“You know the reformation of the 16th century was a wonderful movement. The Advent movement of the 1840s was a wonderful movement. God greatly blessed the work of men like Martin Luther, John and Charles Wesley, William Miller and those associated with him. But all that is to be exceeded in the wonderful experience that is to come to the people of God who get ready to go in and possess the land down here today. What we have to traverse is not desert sands or mountain rocks. It is an experience in victory over sins. Is that right? Getting away from the world.”

“Lest the blessing of this [study] be lost in mere generalizations, I would like to pick out three things… that have been stumbling blocks to the people of God again and again down through the ages.  Three things that are stumbling blocks to many today.  And three things, therefore, that challenge every young man and every young woman here to go beyond your fathers.”

The first is in the control of your appetite. The second is in control of your affections. And the third is in control of your passions. If you are successful in those three things you will first of all, be temperate, then, sober-minded, and finally, pure.

As an example of perfect self control of appetite, I give you Daniel. A young man of eighteen years of age, torn away from his parents and his parental home. As a captive thrust into the great heathen center of Babylon and invited to eat from the King’s table:

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: – Daniel 1:8

“I wonder, friends, if Daniel went a bit beyond some of the people he had known who were older Sabbath keepers down in Judea? I think the inference is clear that he did. He had an exalted conception of his privileges as a son of God. And as he was ushered in to the king’s table, he didn’t say, “Well, I’ll tell you. After all, I know some of those folks down there at the court of the king of Judah, and I think they eat like this when they get a chance. And I have got a chance and I guess I will eat like this too.” Daniel was stricter than the average Hebrew of that generation. He went beyond what many of them were doing. No low standard was sufficient for him. He wanted to be all out for God.”

“It is proverbial that young people have something in them that causes them to seek to be a little different, at least a little, sometimes more, but at least a little different from the older generation that they are associated with. The challenge I give you, friends, is this: Instead of being different by aiming a little lower than your parents and teachers, why not for Jesus’ sake aim higher? If you must be different, and God knows you need to be, be different not by being less strict but by being more strict. Daniel did. And that is what it is going to take to get out of this desert and over the Jordan – to be more strict.”

 

0601107“Now, let me hasten to explain, lest someone get worried, I do not mean being fanatical. I will show you what the difference is, friends. If I am going along a highway here, and I am trying to get there as fast as possible, the thing for me to do is get up the road as far as possible, as fast as possible. That’s faith. Fanaticism is to get off the road over here on this side or on that side. Do you see the difference, friends? When I say being more strict, I don’t mean inventing something that God did not say, and add that to the requirements. Oh, no. That is fanaticism. But you can never be fanatical by doing what God says. You can never be extreme by doing what He says. So when I say to be more strict than perhaps those who have led you and taught you, I simply mean to be more exact in carrying out exactly what God has told us to do in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. If you will read the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy with that sort of willingness, you will find in these inspired pages things to do that, if you do them, will carry you beyond what many around you may be doing. That was Daniel’s spirit. There were only three other men in that whole group that dared to stand with Daniel, different. Four have had their names recorded on earth, and their names are written in heaven. And they will shine as the stars forever and ever.”

“So young men and women, I challenge you, for Jesus sake, on this matter of the control of appetite be like Daniel and Hananiah and Mishael and Azariah. Purpose in your heart that you will be strict in health reform. And I make no apology for the use of that term. I love health reform, friends. I thank God for all it means to me, and for all it means to those who embrace it with loving hearts.”

“Now, as an example of the control of the affections, I give you Isaac. A young man back in Abraham’s camp that grew up with the daughters of the heathen all around him and never once went out with any of them. He never once got involved in an affair. He kept his heart’s affections.
He was forty years old when, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, his father arranged for a young woman that loved God to be his companion. People lived longer than they live now. Forty years then meant a bit different from what it would mean today. But my point is this. Isaac was no teenager, no love sick dater. No. Isaac is a beautiful example, for the record as given here in Genesis is a most a beautiful picture of domestic bliss”:

And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. – Genesis 24:67

“To live such a life, my friends, would certainly mark a young man or a young woman as very peculiar today. Very few of your parents or very few of your teachers have had experiences such as are held up to be the ideal in this matter of the bestowal of the affections. And so this only illustrates my statement… that if you are going to reach all that heaven holds out to you, you will have to go beyond your fathers. And I feel sorry for any young person who tries to use as an alibi or an excuse the fact that somebody did so and so and still is not back in Egypt. Why friends, there were two million Israelites in the wilderness that weren’t in Egypt that never got into Canaan. And I repeat, it is going to take something more than keeping out of Egypt to get us into Canaan. God is going to have a pure remnant that reach His high ideal in this matter of the bestowal of the affections. Will you be one of them, or will you just be content to wander in the wilderness? Oh, I pray that God may stay your heart with the response to the challenge.”

 

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“And then there is this matter of the control of the passions, closely linked with the control of the appetite and the control of the affections.  As a bright, shining example, I give you Joseph. A young man who in Egypt –  in Egypt mind you, that place of darkness where vice was consecrated as a part of religion –  with no helpful influence around him, proved true amidst the most subtle and alluring temptations.”

“Potiphar’s wife laid her trap for him, and she was in a position to use every influence and every art. But there was one thing that Potiphar’s wife didn’t know, friends. She didn’t know the God of heaven, and she didn’t know the strength of Joseph’s young heart.”

“Oh, my dear young men, only you and God know whether you have the victory over your passions or not. You and God are the only ones that know. Human beings can’t read your inmost mind and soul, because this battle is fought in the heart. Jesus makes that clear in Matthew 5 in His Sermon on the Mount. The lustful thought precedes the lustful look, and that in turn precedes the lustful act.” 

“Nearly a hundred years ago the one who knows sent us a message (and you will find it in Testimonies for the Church, Volume 4, page 95) that in that time there was not even one girl in one hundred that was pure minded. There was not one boy in one hundred whose morals were untainted. That is a tremendous statement, friends. Do you see what I mean when I say that if you are going over, you are going to have to go beyond what has been? And the only way we are going to be able to deal successfully with these great temptations of appetite, affection, and passion is to do something aggressive in helping not only ourselves but others to make a great forward move on these points.”

Young men are wanted who will resist the tide of worldliness, and lift a voice of warning against taking the first steps in immorality and vice. – Messages to Young People, pg. 25

“This isn’t on the want add page of the newspaper… Do you know what the first steps are?  Well, the first steps are not down in the dives and the gambling dens of the cities, my friends. My dear young friend, if God has given you victory on these things we are looking at… then by all that is holy, God pleads with you to put your arm around some younger brother and help him because there are plenty around that need your help.”

 

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The church is languishing for the help of young men who will bear a courageous testimony, who will with their ardent zeal stir up the sluggish energies of God’s people, and so increase the power of the church in the world. – Messages to Young People, pg. 25

Will you do it young men and young women?

Are our young men prepared to lift their voices in the cause of temperance and show its bearing upon Christianity?  Will they engage in the holy war against appetite and lust? – Temperance, pg. 236

“How about it, young men? Will you enlist in the holy war? The holy war against what? Against appetite and lust, against liquor, against tobacco, against impurity of every kind, of thought, word, and deed; and on the positive side, in favor of full self-control of the appetites and the affections and the passions? It calls this a what? A holy war. Here is a war you can engage in and not be noncombatant. You shouldn’t be a noncombatant in this. Use the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, and slay every dragon that rears his ugly, filthy head.”

Will they engage in the holy war against appetite and lust? Our artificial civilization encourages evils which are destroying sound principles. And the Lord is at the door. Where are the men who will go forth to the work, fully trusting in God, ready to do and to dare? God calls, ‘Son, go work today in My vineyard – Temperance, pg. 236

What will you say to that call?  Will you say, “I will”?  And remember that every one of these calls to young men is for young women as well.

There is need now of men like Daniel, men who have the self-denial and the courage to be radical temperance reformers. Let every Christian see that his example and influence are on the side of reform. – Temperance, pg. 237

Well, be what?  Radical temperance reformers.  In other words, radical as used there doesn’t mean fanatical or extreme, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone might call you that if you are what this says.

In this age the young men in our cities should unite as an army, firmly and decidedly to set themselves against every form of selfish health destroying indulgence.  What a power they might be for good! – Temperance, pg. 235

“Why, friends, I think of the young people in the communities around us, in the great city that lies at our doors here and all these villages and hamlets. What are most of the young people doing? Ah, they are trying to find a good time in the indulgence of the appetite, in the indulgence of the affections, in the indulgence of the passions. Am I correct? That’s what is filling the world today. And remember, God has laid upon you the responsibility not just to keep out of that yourself, but to be out there actively pulling people out of that. And if you will do it, friends, it is the best way in the world to be strong for God in these matters yourself. That is right.”

You know, I think sometimes we don’t get the right picture on this thing. We suppose that our great job must be to just guard ourselves and one another from getting anywhere near the world. Well friends, we ought not to get into the world in the sense of being in its sin. But Jesus said:

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. – John 17:15

“As I heard one of our General Conference brethren express it once: He said, “The Christian is like a boat in the ocean. It is all right for the boat to be in the water as long as the water doesn’t get in the boat.” That is it, friends. And God has given you and me a lifeboat, and He has said pull out there and rescue the people that are drowning in this sea of worldly pleasure, worldly indulgence, indulgence of appetite, liquor, and tobacco and all the other poisons and intoxications with this pleasure mad generation. God says, “Get out there and find people and pull them in.”

 

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“But, I will have to tell you something friends. We will have to have some enthusiasm about the joy and the power of right principles, won’t we? We will have to be delivered entirely from any thought that we are abused or held down by tight rules and regulations in carrying out these principles. Am I right? We will have to get delivered from that entirely, because only a fool would stand in a jail and beckon people and say, “Come on in here behind the bars with me.” And if you are in a jail, you will never have very much power in trying to get other people in there with you.  But if you know that you are free, blessedly free in God, and it is those who are the slaves of these habits that are in prison, then you can come and preach deliverance to the captives, the recovery of sight to the blind, and the opening to the prison to them that are bound.”

“Oh, young people, this is your glorious hour. Will you be content just to wander in the wilderness and be as good, or maybe almost as good, as your fathers? Or will you catch the glorious vision of going on beyond, being more strict on all these points than those that have passed over the way before you? God is calling you to do it. You can do it, if you will dig into these books and do what they say. Join this army.”

“Here is another wonderful statement on it, the book Fundamentals of Christian Education. Why do you know the purpose of young people getting together in societies? It isn’t just to have a program. Oh, no friends. It isn’t just to entertain one another and instruct one another. It is to help one another do what we are studying… Listen while I read it. Speaking of young people who accept the Saviour’s call”:

They will enlist in His army, they will become His soldiers, and fight the good fight of faith. …  They will put every jot of their influence … on the side of Christ. …  They will feel it to be their duty to form a Christian endeavor society, that they may help every student to see the inconsistency of a course of action that God will not approve. – Fundamentals of Christian Education, pg. 292

Ah, that’s it, friends. Just help one another. Help one another what for? For victory right on these points of getting away from this world.

This book Messages to Young People that I quoted from a moment ago has some wonderful thoughts in its very first chapter. The very first paragraph, the Lord’s messenger says:

I have a deep interest in the youth, and I greatly desire to see them striving to perfect Christian characters. … I long to see them helping one another to reach a higher plane of Christian experience. – Messages to Young People, pg. 15

“Young people, I want to ask you something. If you see one of your young friends doing something that is contrary to the rules, God’s rules, how does it make you feel? Does it make you feel envious and think, “If they can do it, I wonder if I can’t do it too?” Does it make you feel so proud and bigoted that you merely say, “Well, I wouldn’t do anything like that,” and you go on your way like the priest passing that poor fellow by the roadside? How does it make you feel? You do see some of your young friends doing things at times that you know are not in harmony with God’s instructions, don’t you? What do you do about it? Do you do anything? There was a young man, once, that God ask that question of and do you know what the young man answered? “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Who was he? Cain. Was he? Yes, he was, but he wouldn’t accept the responsibility.”

“Oh, my young friends, I long for the time to come when it will be impossible for a young person on this campus, in this church, in this community to fall without there being two or three young people around him right away to help lift him up and help him to go on again toward the kingdom. What do you say, friends? Can it be? Should it be? Will it be? I am saying all this for the young people… I hope any of you that are under eighty will feel that it is for you, friends. I mean that seriously, because it is going to take all of us to get a people ready for the coming of the Lord, isn’t it?”

Let the youth remember that here they are to build characters for eternity, and that God requires them to do their best. Let those older in experience watch over the younger ones; and when they see them tempted, take them aside, and pray with them and for them. – Messages to Young People, pg. 18

“Have you done that? You, young people, that have gotten at least a glimpse of these things of God, have you taken some other young person aside and prayed with him over these problems? You boys in school, some of you that know God, have you learned what it means to stand all alone like Daniel, and then to reach out and try to get some of the other boys with you like Hananiah and Mishael and Azariah did? You girls, have you gotten other girls to pray with you like Esther got the girls to pray with her over that great crisis in Israel?”

“Oh, this is a call to prayer, friends… It is a wonderful thing for two or three young people to get out alone under a tree or in one of your rooms, somewhere, two or three of you together, pleading with God for George or for Alice, for Henry or for Mary. Pleading with God for some special soul. If you pray long and earnestly over things like that, friends, whether you realize it or not, that is one of the greatest ways to keep you from yielding to those same temptations. If you are gathering information to help somebody quit tobacco and stay quit, it isn’t likely that you are going to be puffing away, is it? No. If you are trying to help somebody get away from whiskey and beer, and you are gathering the information and the material from science and from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy to help that fellow get away from that slavery, it isn’t likely that you are going to start in drinking the stuff. So it is with every other temptation. I use those just as illustrations. There are a hundred others I could mention…”

Worship

 

We are told that our weakest points can become our strongest. Isn’t that wonderful, friends?

 

 

“Alright, now let us review a little. Where are we? Are we in Egypt? No. We are not in Egypt. We left that. Are we in Canaan? No. We are not there. We haven’t gotten there yet. Where are we? We are in the wilderness. Is it far to Canaan’s land? Ah friends, you can’t measure it on a map. You can’t measure it with a ruler. You can’t measure it with a calendar. The measure is the measure of your experience. The generation that left Egypt, most of them died in the desert. But thank God there were some children back there that grew up and got the vision, and went over into Canaan. And God is saying to us today, “Your children shall go in.”

“Oh, dear children, dear young people, will you accept the glorious privilege? Will you meet the glorious destiny? And I repeat, and oh, I seek to emphasize it as I repeat it, to do it you must go farther. You must go beyond those who went before you. You must be more strict. Your standard must be higher. Your devotion to it must be more intense. Your experience with God must be closer. Your heart must be purer. Your dedication must be without reserve.”

God is going to have some young people like that today. In fact friends, He is getting them right now. You can be one of them. Oh, that God may thrill your soul with the privilege of it, and with the conviction, “Yes, I can do it. By God’s grace, I can do it.” Now, you can’t do it without Jesus, of course, friends. For Jesus says:

Without me ye can do nothing. – John 15:5

But that is only half of it. Paul says:

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. – Philippians 4:13

“Isn’t that wonderful. I just hope that somebody is saying, several somebodies will say, “This is for me, and God helping me, I am going to quit being satisfied with an ordinary experience. I am going to quit trying to whittle things down. I am going to quit trying to be different by being a little less strict. If God is calling me to be different, it is to be more strict, not less, to be more devoted, not less, to be more particular, not less, to be more careful, not less. The way that I must walk must be narrower, not broader. It will be that narrow way that is only as wide as one Man and that Man is Christ Jesus. I am going to keep right in the center of His way, right in the center of His will.”

I repeat, that doesn’t mean to get off here on some fanatical, off side thing. It doesn’t mean to do something that God never told us about. It just means to do what He says. That is all:

… Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. – John 2:5

Let us pray.

“Precious Jesus, as we think of how Thy loving heart must ache in longing for the great reunion, as we think of the mansions Thou hast gone to prepare standing idle while we wander in this wilderness, we are sorry we have kept Thee waiting. Oh, we pray that Thou will fill our hearts with the earnest desire to please Thee by moving over Jordan and moving in to the palaces prepared by Thy loving hand. Help us to have done, not only with Egypt, but with the delays of the desert. Help us to have done, Our Father, not only with the grosser vices, but with everything that is unlike heaven. Oh, I pray that just now Thou will speak to every heart here in Thy presence. Bring personal convictions to hearts young and old. And with these convictions, bring a view of Thy dear Self, Thy life’s sacrifice for us upon the cross, that we might be completely victorious, completely purified. May there awaken in our souls the assurance that we can be pure by Thy grace, that we can be redeemed by Thy grace, and that we can be like Daniel, like Joseph, like Esther. Oh, I pray that just now Thou wilt do this for us, for Jesus’ sake, and I thank Thee. Amen.”

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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.