From Kelly: When it comes to our youth and what we need to do for them, I feel very strongly that doing our part to bring the Spirit to a lesson/activity is what makes the difference. I think as leaders we need to bear real testimonies, not fake ones because the lesson told us to. The kids can tell the difference, and they sit up and take notice. The Spirit is the key.
I think what used to be sufficient in the past (the things that we did as youth) are not necessarily going to be good enough when we raise our kids. Infrequent family and individual scripture study and occasional family home evenings are not going to cut it.
AMEN!!! You said what I was trying to say but failed to say. What we have done in the past will not be sufficient in the future. That's what I feel. I'm just not sure about the implementation part. However, Kelly mentioned bringing the Spirit in with us and it reminded me of something I think is critical. When I was in YW (so glad that torture is over), I had at one point the most remarkable YW's president. She was older, she was single, and she took care of her handicapped brother her whole life. She was amazing. Every single lesson she gave she started and ended with her testimony. Elder Eyring has called us to repentance on this issue saying, something along the lines, that we need to bear testimony more. Not just say "I feel" but say, "I testify." I'm kind of squirrely about it, not being very comfortable with emotions.
Back to the point. This YW president did more to help me strengthen my testimony than any seminary teacher or speaker or anyone besides my mom. Every single Sunday I felt the Spirit. Every single lesson was focused on Christ.
Then she was released and we got a new set of leaders who wanted us to call them by their first names so they wouldn't feel old (blah) and planned fun activities and presented very entertaining lessons on Sunday. It was so depressing. The worst part is that with leaders trying so hard to be friends the cliquishness and meanness of the girls escalated rapidly and dramatically.
Maybe the answer is very simple and Kelly already stated it. Maybe the answer is that we have to be focused on bearing testimony--often, sincerely--and preaching, teaching, and declaring Christ to our youth.
And by not letting the youth call you by your first name. Such a pet peeve of mine. BE THE ADULT. Sorry. Lost control there for a minute.
Thank you for teaching repentance to your girls. As the "good girl" in church, I found it impossible to talk to my Bishop about a problem I was having even though I knew I should because the leaders and Bishopric heaped so much praise upon my head for being such a good girl that I couldn't burst their bubble. Nobody should be put in that position. Nobody is perfect--especially not the youth!!! (I do agree with Misfit that we talk too much about how great our youth is without any great behavior to back it up.)
Everyone needs to know they can repent.