Wednesday, November 9, 2011


You all pretty much covered everything that I think.  I just have a few comments.

First of all, I am surprised at the huge youth budgets.  I remember being in a bigger ward and the FIGHT for money that went on every year (and how much money we were getting - wow!).  Now in a tiny branch/ward we hardly even turn in receipts because we know the ward budget is minimal.  Seeing tithing funds used for non-essentials bothers me.

Misfit's problems with EFY and Youth Conf. are lame.  I loved my experiences and consider them as vital.  That is where I found out that I wasn't the only one in the world with my beliefs.  My stake activities were the monthly times when I didn't feel like a total pariah.  Even if socialization was the only thing happening at that event, it was still good for me to be there.  Is the music overly emotional?  Yes.  Did it support me as I went through rough times in high school?  Again, yes.  Listening to MoTab wasn't cutting it. 

Andrea, I totally share your deep concern about us failing our youth in helping them develop their testimonies.  In my opinion, it is a HUGE problem.  I remember what our young men's program was like when I was in Mutual.  Let's, basketball...and, oh yes, more basketball.  Not really testimony building.  Also, remember when the new dance cards/standards came out?  Our leaders had a blow up fight in front of us about those.  Our young men's president wanted us to pander to the lowest common denominator (which included his son), while the young women's president thought we should aim for the higher standard.  Honestly, if we had lowered our standards those kids wouldn't have come anyway.  If they really want to be there, they will rise up and meet the standard.

This year at Girls' Camp my husband came back from "testimony" meeting just horrified at the thanktimonies/therapy session that went on.  But the Stake President thought it was beautiful.  I think he felt like these girls are living so ALONE.  So many of them are the only members in their families and they are struggling to live the Gospel in a world that's constantly telling them that they are wrong and that the abusive/alcoholic families that they're from are the best that they can hope for.  Sometimes those emotional meetings are what get them through.  It might not be ideal, but it's not necessarily a bad thing.  Different perspectives.

Do not get me started on the Scouting program, where a man leaves his family one or two weekends a month to help the young men.  What about his daughters, small children, and pregnant wife?  If that does not interfere directly with family unity and activities, I don’t know what does.

I do think that sometimes Scout Leaders put the program before their families.  They should not be giving up vacation time (as my brother in law and my husband have done).  It's a support program.  Not the be all, end all.

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.  
Misfit's stricter than I would be, but in her long lists of inappropriate activities there weren't any that I thought she was going overboard on.  Do these things really happen?  Dr. Suess themed Girls Camp?  How lame.  Activities based on Reality Shows?  Again, lame.

So Julia, Marilyn and Andrea - an enthusiastic yes to everything you said in your posts.

No comments: