This is Part Two to the question: How can we help our young adults to have faith in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith when they are so unhappy with the church and leaving it?
Answer: If we treat our young people’s attrition from the faith as an opportunity to take our lives to a higher spiritual level, we may yet bring good out of evil. The scriptures have the answer: “Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3). And, building upon it: “If ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5). Do we believe this?
The scriptures—which are the words of Christ—tell us about Alma the Elder’s intercession that caused God to intervene in his son’s falling away; about the brother of Jared’s calling upon the name of the Lord for his brethren that caused the Lord to lead them to a Promised Land; about Nephi, to whom his people looked as a king or protector, on whom they depended for safety; and of King Hezekiah, whose intercession caused Jehovah to send an angel to slay a besieging Assyrian host.
The scriptures reveal the terms of God’s covenant with David—the Davidic Covenant—under which Jesus, the Son of God, served as a proxy Savior and King and purchased humanity’s spiritual salvation. They teach how under the terms of the Davidic Covenant other sons of God may act as proxy saviors and kings and obtain the temporal salvation or specific blessings on behalf of others. Such persons rise from abiding by the basic principles of God’s law or gospel to living its fulness.
In the pattern of Jesus and his endtime servant, a proxy savior answers for the transgressions of those to whom he ministers in order to “vindicate” them before God until such time as the need disappears: “He shall see the toil of his soul and be satisfied; because of his knowledge, and by bearing their iniquities, shall my servant, the righteous one, vindicate many” (Isaiah 53:11). The “knowledge” such proxy saviors possess are the terms of the Davidic Covenant that assure God’s response.
But we must learn the tools for searching the scriptures that reveal their deeper levels of truth. By first ministering to our families, we may yet expand and grow into the role of God’s endtime servants—proxy saviors who restore the house of Israel prior to Jesus’ coming to reign on the earth. Has our young people’s falling away created the occasion for our assuming this very role of spiritual kings and queens of the Gentiles, a role Isaiah, Jesus, and Book of Mormon prophets affirm?