In order to do this, each of us must be guardians of virtue. Young women, guard your personal virtue. It really is, as Mormon described, “most dear and precious above all things” (Moroni 9:9), and so are you. You are daughters of God. You carry within yourselves the sacred power to create mortal life and to become mothers of Heavenly Father’s choice and pure spirits. It is one of God’s greatest gifts to His precious daughters. Safeguard that power by living the standards, dressing and acting modestly, and remaining virtuous. Safeguard your power through purity of thought and action. Do not allow anyone to tamper with your God-given gifts. By so doing, you, your family, and the generations that follow will be strengthened and blessed.
Young men, you too are guardians of virtue. You hold priesthood power—the power to bless and to act for God here on the earth. The Lord has said to all priesthood holders, “Practise virtue and holiness before me” (D&C 38:24). Guard your personal virtue, your thoughts, what you view, what you say, and your actions. Do not allow pornography to diminish your personal power. Remain pure so that you can exercise the power of the priesthood with which God has entrusted you. Moroni summarized the ancient prophetic teaching about virtue when he told us, “Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God” (Mormon 9:28).
Several years ago I was running early in the morning on the day before Thanksgiving with a group of women. We called it our Thanksgiving run, and as we ran we called out things for which we were thankful. I had just finished saying that I was thankful for a strong, healthy body when I slipped and fell on a patch of black ice on the road. As I tried to get up, I realized that I was badly hurt. I knew I had broken my leg just above the ankle—and I won’t say how I knew or I could faint right here on the spot. My husband said that if I had been an NFL football player, I would have made the highlight films that night.
As I lay there in the road in the shadows of the early morning light, waiting for help to arrive, I saw the lights of a car come speeding down the road right toward where I lay. The car screeched to a stop, and a man jumped out. He said he had thought I was a garbage bag in the road and almost kept going. I asked if he were a member of the Church, and he replied that he was. I asked if he could give me a blessing because the pain was so severe I didn’t know how long I could stay in that condition. He paused and then said: “I can’t. You better wait for your husband to do that.” Then he got in his car and drove away.
When I arrived at the hospital, I was wheeled into a little cubicle in the emergency room where I waited to be taken into surgery. As they moved the curtains to the side, there were my husband and all five of our sons. As they encircled me and laid their hands on my head, I felt their purity, their power, and their strength. Young men, priesthood men, keep yourselves pure so that you may be able to use your priesthood power at a moment’s notice. That day I was blessed by their priesthood power, which they exercised in virtue and holiness.