The new Young Men theme

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nibbler
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The new Young Men theme

Post by nibbler » 18 Nov 2019, 07:07

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/chu ... e?lang=eng
I am a beloved son of God, and He has a work for me to do.

With all my heart, might, mind, and strength, I will love God, keep my covenants, and use His priesthood to serve others, beginning in my own home.

As I strive to serve, exercise faith, repent, and improve each day, I will qualify to receive temple blessings and the enduring joy of the gospel.

I will prepare to become a diligent missionary, loyal husband, and loving father by being a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

I will help prepare the world for the Savior’s return by inviting all to come unto Christ and receive the blessings of His Atonement.
There's some good in the theme but unfortunately for me I feel the bad far outweighs the good.

The good:
Using the priesthood to serve others. I'd like to see that concept extended to priesthood only being used to serve others, but in our church the priesthood serves another important function, to exercise authority.

The on the fence:
My initial impression of the theme was that it appears to be the answer to the question, "How can we get more youth to serve a mission?" With that in mind, is this theme more focused on the needs of the church or the needs of the young men? And I ask that as someone that believes that their mission helped them grow. Still, the theme leads me to believe that leaders are concerned about fewer kids serving missions.

The bad:
I do not like the word "qualify" and all the baggage that comes with it. Leaders have recently replaced the word "worthy" with the word "qualified" but haven't changed the underlying teachings. There's not much difference between feeling unworthy of god's approval and feeling unqualified for god's approval.

I realize this one is personal. As an orthodox believer I was snowed under by scrupulosity. I've suffered and I've seen many members suffer because they struggle to feel accepted by god. There's always more one can do at church, so much so that enough never feels like enough. I feel it is a direct result of our focus on works at the near total expense of mercy. Go back and read the YM theme. How much of the theme is centered on works? How much of the theme speaks to mercy? Yeah. The whole thing practically screams, "Get to work!"

Our focus on worthiness, qualifying, and being without flaw absolutely sickens me. I hate to see another generation suffer under what I feel is an unhealthy obsession with perfectionism.

The theme includes a checklist of Mormon obligations. The expectation to serve a mission. The expectation to get married. The expectation to have children. What if a young man isn't interested in serving a mission, getting married, or having children? Will the young man in those shoes feel "qualified" when they recite this theme? Will this theme make them feel less than if they don't live up to the cultural obligations? Will leaders use the theme as a weapon against kids that don't want to serve missions?
He who sits alone, sleeps alone, and walks alone, who is strenuous and subdues himself alone, will find delight in the solitude of the forest.
— Buddha

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DarkJedi
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Re: The new Young Men theme

Post by DarkJedi » 18 Nov 2019, 09:18

I likewise find parts I like and don't like. As you said, the service part is great. Remembering you are a child of God is important for some (but it's more important to believe God loves you, at least in a general sense, IMO). And inviting all to come to Christ isn't a bad thing.

And I also don't like the qualify part. Jesus himself asked us to believe in Him - and that's it.

I'll be honest, I got stuck on the part about being a loyal husband and father. What about the teenager who has known he's gay since he was 11 and knows he's not going to have the role of husband or father that is acceptable to the church?

I also feel the bad outweighs the good, and I frankly don't like it. I don't have a horse in the race.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Roy
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Re: The new Young Men theme

Post by Roy » 18 Nov 2019, 12:24

I am a beloved daughter of heavenly parents, with a divine nature and eternal destiny.
As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I strive to become like Him. I seek and act upon personal revelation and minister to others in His holy name.
I will stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places.
As I strive to qualify for exaltation, I cherish the gift of repentance and seek to improve each day. With faith, I will strengthen my home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, and receive the ordinances and blessings of the holy temple.
Above is the new YW theme for comparison. I am left wondering why we even need a separate theme for YM and YW.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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mom3
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Re: The new Young Men theme

Post by mom3 » 18 Nov 2019, 14:16

I could spend hours on this entire change.

The theme is just one flummoxing aspect.

Can't we just have a youth program? Not men vs. women. Men get names. Women are numbers. Two separate Theme's. Gender roles attached. Forget being gay, what if a guy wants to be the stay at home dude. Can't that be acceptable.

Then when I calm down - I realize it doesn't matter. We are in the Aquarian age. In that age, individuals are turning to their own inner guidance. Whatever and whomever that is. And they are walking their own walk. We see it with Millennial's. It will continue with other generations. The church can write and create whatever it wants, but a tide bigger than them is on the move. No need to worry.
"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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SamBee
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Re: The new Young Men theme

Post by SamBee » 18 Nov 2019, 17:30

mom3 wrote:
18 Nov 2019, 14:16
I could spend hours on this entire change.

The theme is just one flummoxing aspect.

Can't we just have a youth program? Not men vs. women. Men get names. Women are numbers. Two separate Theme's. Gender roles attached. Forget being gay, what if a guy wants to be the stay at home dude. Can't that be acceptable.

Then when I calm down - I realize it doesn't matter. We are in the Aquarian age. In that age, individuals are turning to their own inner guidance. Whatever and whomever that is. And they are walking their own walk. We see it with Millennial's. It will continue with other generations. The church can write and create whatever it wants, but a tide bigger than them is on the move. No need to worry.
I wish I could believe the last bit. I see a world in which surveillance of the public in every way, through phone tracking, the internet, personal assistants, social media etc crossed a line years ago. And there seems to be more polarization and less acceptance of difference of opinion. And more of an urge to censor everything by younger people.

Anyway, I digress.

I don't really "dig" the whole separation by gender thing. I think we even overdid separation by age for a while and are having to scale it back. I think we should have just stuck to broad categories - nursery, primary, adolescents (12-17) and adults. I suppose all this Mia Maid, Deacon, Beehive etc stuff is just ladder climbing. The key is making programs interesting and relevant and I often don't see that in the LDS at any level.

That said, the prevalent demonization of masculinity in the present day is harmful to the mental health of boys, and is leading to massive depression and even suicide. There are things which boys tend to like to do, and trying to drum that out of them (as is happening in schools) is as bad as forcing outdated ideas on girls. Not everything masculine is "toxic", and in my experience, women don't always get interested in some of these things in the same numbers. Some women are interested in football here, but it is in smaller numbers and their interest is often very different in flavor. Likewise, I like science fiction and heavy metal - while there are women out there who like both of these, I tend to find the numbers are lower, and the women I like don't like them!
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Arrakeen
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Re: The new Young Men theme

Post by Arrakeen » 18 Nov 2019, 19:39

I also don't get why we need to separate everything by gender. As a youth, almost all of my friends were girls. It seemed kind of ridiculous that we couldn't do the same youth activities together, and I was stuck doing the "manly" stuff with the other young men. Yes, men and women are different, but not that different. It's not like I ever had much in common with the other young men anyway. I also wonder what might change about YSA dating culture if boys and girls actually did more together as youth.

Also, why can't we just provide opportunities for youth to just get together, have a good time, and learn from each other? Why does everything need to have an agenda or theme? Can't we let them choose what kind of man or woman they want to become? I personally really hate when other people tell me what goals I'm supposed to have, which is why I've never been on board with the stake/ward/mission goals set by leadership.

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mom3
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Re: The new Young Men theme

Post by mom3 » 18 Nov 2019, 21:37

I wish I could believe the last bit.
Sam - Is this the part you don't believe?
Then when I calm down - I realize it doesn't matter. We are in the Aquarian age. In that age, individuals are turning to their own inner guidance. Whatever and whomever that is. And they are walking their own walk. We see it with Millennial's. It will continue with other generations. The church can write and create whatever it wants, but a tide bigger than them is on the move. No need to worry.
Perhaps we misunderstand each other. I am not considering technology. I am talking about inner guidance. I have Millenial kids, they know themselves much more clearly than I did at their age. They listen intuitively better than I did. I see it in many of our church youth. Right now they live at home, but I have heard plenty of conversations that tell me, that when they are on their own, they have different plans. This isn't about phone hackers or anything like that. Even if there was mass cyber issues, that wouldn't bring youth back to the church.

No human being emotionally remains where they aren't happy. They may attend out of obligation. But once the noose is released. So are they. I think the church could keep youth but it needs more than 2 separate themes. 2 gender specific programs. And a super tired Bishop at the helm.
"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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SamBee
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Re: The new Young Men theme

Post by SamBee » 19 Nov 2019, 02:56

The stuff about the "dawning of the Age of Aquarius" was going on before I was born (and is the subject of a pretty good song). I do not get that vibe off many of the under-30s at all. To be fair, I don't like to make generalizations, and I certainly do not see all of people of that age in the same light, since I count some of them.as my friends, but there are certain "currents" around just now which are not positive at all.

There is a lot of lip service paid to "diversity", "inclusivity" and other such buzzwords, but in reality I don't see that at all. Not only are some of them as bad as previous generations with their attitudes, but the ones who use the buzzwords most are often hypocrites. Terminology is changed on a regular basis on certain subjects now and if you don't get that exactly right, you are persona non grata. Verbal traps are being set all the time. (I suppose we have an element of that in the LDS - don't say "Mormon" or "Home Teacher" anymore, if you want to sound "current".) Some of the younger generation seem desperate for censorship and to only listen to one side of any given argument. Younger people often strike me as a lot more polarized than we were at that age. A lot of them have body image issues of some kind or another, which manifest in a variety of ways, not just eating disorders.

Also I don't see them as "listeners". I see many people with their faces buried in cellphones or tablets these days even when they are meeting up. Not just this age group. I went to meet a friend of mine (who is in his fifties!) yesterday at a bar, and he was doing this. The irony here is that he's told me off for it and yesterday I told him off for it... So maybe we're both part of this problem too. It seems the more social media we have, the more anti-social we become. Yes, I do see this in church too.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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DarkJedi
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Re: The new Young Men theme

Post by DarkJedi » 19 Nov 2019, 08:23

Arrakeen wrote:
18 Nov 2019, 19:39
I also don't get why we need to separate everything by gender. As a youth, almost all of my friends were girls. It seemed kind of ridiculous that we couldn't do the same youth activities together, and I was stuck doing the "manly" stuff with the other young men. Yes, men and women are different, but not that different. It's not like I ever had much in common with the other young men anyway. I also wonder what might change about YSA dating culture if boys and girls actually did more together as youth.

Also, why can't we just provide opportunities for youth to just get together, have a good time, and learn from each other? Why does everything need to have an agenda or theme? Can't we let them choose what kind of man or woman they want to become? I personally really hate when other people tell me what goals I'm supposed to have, which is why I've never been on board with the stake/ward/mission goals set by leadership.
I hear you, I don't get why the separation all the time either, especially in Primary. And why does there need to be a young men's theme and a young women's them? Why can't there be a youth theme or better yet, no theme at all? Have we really simplified?

However, if they're doing the "program" right nobody should be setting goals for any kid whether 8 or 18. That's going to be so hard for many adults (parents, bishops, YWPs) not to do and that will be the failure of the program.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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