Am I being honest by keeping my calling?

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Am I being honest by keeping my calling?

Post by WholesomeRecreation » 20 Mar 2018, 19:19

I'm YM President. I have kids in the organization. I also enjoy working with the youth and have managed Sunday's by delegating most all of the teaching. I also like that I can NOM things for my boys so they aren't just fed what I consider pointless doctrine- no offense to any that still find comfort and belief in it as I was there not long ago. And, I get to go on High Adventure with my boys- always a lot of fun- we do really cool things.

On the flip side, I can't say I really have the church's best interest. I don't really care of the YM actually make it on a mission or stay in the church- I just want them to all live good lives of integrity, hard work, authenticity (I don't believe in the one size fits all church approach to life) and internal peace. My secret preference would be to teach them the meat of the gospel and that way they can make an informed decision about their future in the church, but I would never do that. So I NOM my conversations and never bear testimony of doctrinal things- I defer to principles such as honesty and love that Christ and others showed.

I'm taking things slow- it's only been 5 months since my shelf crashed (well for the 3rd and apparently last time).

Any thoughts or advice on this?

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Re: Am I being honest by keeping my calling?

Post by dande48 » 20 Mar 2018, 20:23

Imagine for a moment that you belong to a group of homeopathic healers. You see all sorts of patients, and many would swear on their lives to the miraculous healing power of homeopathy. You've seen it give comfort, and have magnificant stories of how your homeopathy practice has treated the incurable.

But one day, you wake up and recognize it's bogus, that the positive effects were mostly placebo, and that homeopathy goes against strong scientific consensus. Your patients need true medicine; But they have such a testimony of homeopathy, that they would reject any true medicine as coming from the "Corperate Devil". What do you do? You can try to push the hard medicine anyways, but in the end will do very little good for the believers in homeopathy. Or you can stick to your original mission of healing the sick, and continue to practice, interjecting small tidbits of true medical wisdom, and steering your patients in a more effective direction.

It might seem dishonest, but the ultimate goal of the Church is to teach us to "live and die well". All of your desires for the YM (to live good lives, have integrity, authenticity, work hard, find peace), are in perfect harmony with the Church. In some ways, I think you could help fulfill the ultimate mission of the Church better than the Church can. The tough thing is, you'll have to walk a very fine line. It'll take more than "good desires", "right intent", and hard work to be an effective YM President. You won't be able to say whatever comes into your heart. You'll need to be as "wise as serpents and harmless as doves".
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Re: Am I being honest by keeping my calling?

Post by AmyJ » 21 Mar 2018, 06:54

I would look at it that you are being more honest in helping those young men become good men using the tools you have before you. The fact that you feel it worthwhile to you and to them and brings meaning to both yourself and them is important. You know what you know, and you know where the lines are not to cross - so you won't cross those lines. Is it traditional, no - maybe, who knows. But I would double check with any higher powers you know that you aren't supposed to be where you are before you ask to be released. It sounds like you bring much good to those young men.

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Re: Am I being honest by keeping my calling?

Post by Roy » 21 Mar 2018, 08:54

Define honest...

Honest is not full disclosure all the time. A large part of my job is conflict resolution. Full unfiltered disclosure is disastrous. I see people with no filter as less mature people with less self restraint. They "tell it like it is" and "don't sugar coat it" and feel good about that. In my observations it is the people in relationships around that individual that end up making accommodations for that person and their unfiltered 'honesty".

The church teaching does not especially help on this front - acting as though even little white lies are morally reprehensible. Very black and white.

I believe that you are in a position to steer the local church program in a way that it can be most beneficial to your boys. Adolescence is a difficult time when it is natural to question and even reject parental authority. Having the church as a support system can certainly be helpful.
WholesomeRecreation wrote:
20 Mar 2018, 19:19
On the flip side, I can't say I really have the church's best interest. I don't really care of the YM actually make it on a mission or stay in the church- I just want them to all live good lives of integrity, hard work, authenticity (I don't believe in the one size fits all church approach to life) and internal peace.
It sounds like you are not interested in sacrificing what might be best for the boys in the interest of what might be best for the church goals. IOW, you wish to place the varied and unique needs of the boys first and the needs of the institutional church as a distant second. I am having a hard time seeing the harm in that.

One wonderful thing Curt often says is that if they call you, they get you. Be you! :thumbup:
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Re: Am I being honest by keeping my calling?

Post by mom3 » 21 Mar 2018, 10:50

Enjoy being there. I know TBMS who are super scout driven. They are YM Presidents. Their inner goal is scouting.

You didn't ask for this calling. You accepted it. What if you were totally TBM but seriously lousy with teenagers? Is the person who fits that description being dishonest? No.

Right now I serve in a calling that works for me. From everyone's viewing point they assume that I am whatever they are (devout, believer, etc.) I am fine with that. I share many Christian values with them. Now if my calling were to bare witness that Polygamy or the WoW were fully inspired - I might be in trouble.

No guilt. Enjoy. Read Lowell Bennion. He was a big believer in the things you are talking about. He was an LDS pillar during his time. President Hinckley's friend and neighbor. Channel your inner Lowell. Keep on connecting. Youth need that more than tradition. They get tradition during SS hour.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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Re: Am I being honest by keeping my calling?

Post by On Own Now » 21 Mar 2018, 11:57

WR, I hope for the best for you. You are in a bit of a fix, and hopefully, you can find a way to navigate it. For context, I taught the NT in Gospel Doctrine a few years back. When the BofM was next, I asked to be released. I have accepted teaching callings with young people when I felt I could deliver the message fairly, and I have rejected similar callings where I felt I couldn't.

There are two factors: you and the YM Organization. They are not the same and they have competing needs. Any decision you make has to consider both factors.

You - see the comments above. Be as authentic as you like, don't cross into uncomfortable areas. You can do this as the pres, because you, as you mentioned, can delegate any task you choose. Make a difference at a different level and find a way to balance yourself by doing so. Totally doable.

YM Organization - remember that you are leading the children of other people. In doing so, you absolutely must be able to meet the expectation of their parents. Imagine for a moment that you send your son to a charter school that specializes in pre-med studies, hoping that this will lead to a career down the road as a doctor. But the teacher that your son is assigned to doesn't believe in modern medicine, so never leads discussions about surgery. Lab work is with essential oils and healing stones. The teacher doesn't seem to follow the curriculum or work toward the goals of the school. Your son comes home and says he's not sure if he wants to be a doctor. Would you be OK with this? Would other parents? Should the school?
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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Re: Am I being honest by keeping my calling?

Post by SamBee » 21 Mar 2018, 12:52

As YM leader you may be setting a good example for the boys. There are too few decent male role models around.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
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Re: Am I being honest by keeping my calling?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 Mar 2018, 15:02

As long as you are not actively discouraging the youth from doing what is expected (explicitly or implicitly), you are fine. You are loving them and serving them, and that is the heart of what is important.

I believe in creative honesty. I try not to lie, but I try just as hard sometimes to phrase things creatively in order to say what needs to be said without coming across as attacking, argumentative, confrontational, etc. It requires effort sometimes, but I have been practicing long enough that it is second nature by now in most situations.

Look at the other side: Would you want a more hardline member serving in your calling - for your own children but also for the others? If not, then stay and continue to love and serve them. They deserve that.
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Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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Re: Am I being honest by keeping my calling?

Post by SilentDawning » 23 Mar 2018, 09:34

I like Curt Sunshine's comments. And guess what? Sometimes the people who are not in your face about things all the time are the most successful. If you were YM president, and someone like my son was under your wing, I'd be cool with it. My son is not bound for a mission, not for seminary, and I know you would simply nurture him and be friends with him. I wouldn't be afraid he'd be alienated by a hardliner. So, I would stay with it. You are being honest by delegating the teaching, by loving and accepting the boys, etcetera. Keep it up!!! It's what we need!
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