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Messages to Young People

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    Chapter 92—Guard Well the Avenues of the Soul

    “Keep thy heart with all diligence,” is the counsel of the wise man; “for out of it are the issues of life.” As man “thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The heart must be renewed by divine grace, or it will be in vain to seek for purity of life. He who attempts to build up a noble, virtuous character independent of the grace of Christ, is building his house upon the shifting sand. In the fierce storms of temptation it will surely be overthrown. David's prayer should be the petition of every soul: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” And having become partakers of the heavenly gift, we are to go on unto perfection, being “kept by the power of God, through faith.”MYP 285.1

    Yet we have a work to do to resist temptation. Those who would not fall a prey to Satan's devices must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. The mind should not be left to wander at random upon every subject that the adversary of souls may suggest. “Gird up the loins of your mind,” says the apostle Peter, “be sober, ... not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of living.” Says Paul, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” This will require earnest prayer and unceasing watchfulness. We must be aided by the abiding influence of the Holy Spirit, which will attract the mind upward, and habituate it to dwell on pure and holy things. And we must give diligent study to the Word of God. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word.” “Thy word,” says the Psalmist, “have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”—”Patriarchs and Prophets, 460.MYP 285.2

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