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(The following excerpt is from the book Walk His Path: Using the Book of Mormon as your guide to Faith in God, Personal Progress and Duty to God by Rachel Rebarchik and Ken Jones.)

"One day a friend and I were on a cross country road trip heading from Wisconsin to Utah.  My friend was driving and I was reading a book out loud to help pass the time.  When out of the corner of my eye I saw a sign proclaiming, “Welcome to Missouri!” 

In case you were wondering, Missouri is not on the way from Wisconsin to Utah.  We were on the wrong road!  We had been in the wrong lane through an interchange and hadn’t been paying attention to the signs since then.  Now we were way off track.  Needless to say it was time to breakout the map and find the best way to make up for our wrong turn. After several extra hours of country highways and referring to the map and more country highways, we made it back to the familiar road towards home. 

If we had been paying attention to the signs all along we would not have made that error in the first place or we could have turned around quickly.  On our trip it wasn’t that big a deal and we laugh about it now.  But on life’s road, mistakes and wrong turns have much more serious consequences.  God loves each of us and wants us to return to Him.  He knows that there is safety and happiness on the path and only unhappiness and hurt off of it.  He wants us to walk His path so He has clearly marked it and He has given us many guides and signs to help us stay on the right track.  If we look for them we will see the path marked for us.  We just have to look.

The purpose of Faith in God, Personal Progress and Duty to God is not to add to an already large stack of homework.  It is not to give church leaders something to bug youth about.  The purpose of these inspired programs is actually to make things easier.  They are additional directions God has given for youth to clearly mark His path at their critical time of life.  Consider Faith in God, Personal Progress and Duty to God as the Driver’s Ed class that teaches safety rules, develops correct habits and allows for practice time before teens hit the road solo.

As youth work on Faith in God, Personal Progress and Duty to God and carefully set goals, study the scriptures with the intent to learn how to be a better person, listen to the Holy Ghost that will come to teach, and fulfill assignments, they will receive the many blessings Heavenly Father has especially prepared for them in their unique situation.  For youth those blessings might include the courage to stand up to friends when there is pressure to do something wrong; the capability to do homework, attend seminary and class presidency meeting, go to a sister’s play with family and still have time to go to a friend’s house; the inspiration to say the right thing when a friend asks a sincere question about the church; or the ability to help the kid everyone is picking on without worrying what other friends will think.  In addition to those, and many other blessings, youth will know how the atonement of Jesus Christ allows them to strive to be a little more like Christ each day.  They will be prepared to enter the temple now and later as an adult, to feel the peace of God within the walls of His holy house and receive specific revelation for their life.  They will have a desire to be obedient sons and daughters and loving brothers and sisters.  They will have skills and knowledge that will prepare them to be loyal husbands and wives and patient mothers and fathers.  And then, hopefully much later down the road, they will be prepared to joyfully return to Heavenly Father and live with Him forever in wonderful, righteous, happiness (see Mosiah 2:41).

That is the purpose of this life.

That is why we have come to earth.

Heavenly Father loves each of us enough and wants us back so much that He has given you and your teenagers an extra guide, a specific set of directions for this time in their life, to help make sure they are on the right path, the one and only path that leads to happiness, the familiar road back home.  His blessings are waiting for you and your family if you just walk His path!"

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