(This is an excerpt from 21 Principles , by Richard G. Scott.)
One of the great sources of help we can receive as we make our way through mortality comes from the presence in our lives of mentors, people who want to help us, who are interested in our well-being, who may have had greater experience than we have. Such a person need not be older than we are, but should be someone who is willing to give counsel that is founded in principle and doctrine.
Some of the greatest lessons I have learned in my life have been taught to me by those brethren and sisters who have mentored me, given me counsel, seen me struggling with an issue and taken the time to share their experience and provide tremendous encouragement.
Let me share with you an example of that. President Spencer W. Kimball was a very powerful mentor in my life. On one occasion I was really struggling with something and he taught me a lesson with an example. He said, “What would happen if I put a rotten apple in a barrel of good apples?” Well, I am not a horticulture expert, but I knew the answer that they would go rotten. He said, “What should you do?” I said, “Turn the barrel upside down, dump it out, and put more apples in it.” He said, “Would that work?” I said, “Sure.” He said, “No.” Why wouldn’t it work?
What was I missing? He taught me that you’ve got to get down in there and clean that barrel out, get rid of all of the rot. Then you can put good apples in and they will stay secure. What was he teaching me? How to live life. When you make a mistake, you want to correct it, clean it out, so that the barrel is full of good apples.
To serve and to intentionally reach out to help each other is a great blessing. When you can become a mentor for another because of personal experience you have gained, do it. Age does not matter; experience does. It is very feasible for an experienced youth to be a mentor to someone very much his or her senior.