The Upcoming YSA Face to Face

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The Upcoming YSA Face to Face

Post by Beefster » 22 Oct 2017, 09:43

Elders Oaks and Ballard are doing Q&A for YSAs on Nov 19. I've asked 2 questions.

On the personal side: (I checked the anonymous box)
With all of the folklore and culture surrounding young marriage within the church (notably being "a menace to society" for being 27 and single), I sometimes feel like a second-class citizen within the church because I'm 25 and still single. I recognize that's still on the young side (at least by non -LDS standards), but when most of my friends I made at BYU are married while I'm still single, I almost feel like a failure at times because it simply hasn't worked out for me yet. I feel pressure from a few different angles, ranging from living up to my older siblings getting married at age 23-24 to families I met on my mission to well-meaning but ham-handed talks on marriage to a sealer on one occasion giving me a hard time for still being single (it was in jest, but it still bothered me a little). How can I better accept my current marital status and learn to overcome these perceptions? How can I deal with sources of pressure and distress over my singleness?
I figured this one will be frequently asked and is probably redundant, but I went ahead anyway:
What is the process of calling new Apostles?
I'm currently browsing through some of the already-asked questions and I've come across some interesting ones.

This one is pretty heavy:
Why do we use the word "worthiness" when discussing who has broken or kept their covenants in order to righteously partake of the sacrament or temple attendance? People who are unable to take the sacrament but who are trying to return to their covenants are usually struggling to overcome shame and feelings of low self-worth. Many misconstrue being called "unworthy" as an evaluation of their personal worth, instead of their standing in regards to God's laws.
Not just men struggle with sexuality
I am a young woman who has struggled with sexual addiction for more than half my life. I have done everything I know to do to repent and forsake my sin, but I still struggle. I have improved in many ways, but every so often I falter. This thing in my life has caused many emotional, mental, and physical problems for me, including the feeling of being unable to date and marry because I feel like I can't trust myself. What is the best way I can finally let go of this last bit of sin that I am unintentionally hanging onto and completely repent once and for all? I am seeing my bishop, going to therapy, reading my scriptures, general conference talks, and praying. My family knows my struggles and help me all they can. But I feel like this last part is up to me and the Savior, but I don't know what to actually do or say. I just want this done and healed. I'm ready, yet afraid. What council would you give to me?
There are quite a few questions in there about SSA. I wonder how that will be handled with Oaks on the panel...

This one also throws in women and the priesthood.
What is the reasoning of the Church to consider gay marriage a sin? I’ve read The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and I can’t quite understand a reason as to why this is. I’ve asked church leaders and they usually point me to the Proclamation, but it doesn’t seem very clear about WHY it’s a sin. Also, why can’t women hold priesthood power? I’ve struggled to find answers to these two pieces of doctrine in particular. Thank you!
One on judgementality
As the son of a single mother, an inactive sister and seen as a biker (Which by extension means I'm a trouble maker). I have to ask, why are some of the most judgmental people, people in the church? My mother has always been looked down upon since she's been divorced multiple times. Why are members of the church so judgmental?
Asexuals are people too
I am asexual, which means that I am not attracted to any gender. Am I sinning if I am not actively looking for someone to marry? Is it all right to see myself as asexual? Do I need to repent?
I can relate to this one
I have recently been trying to improve my personal studies, but I am the kind of person that has a really hard time sitting down and focusing, and so I often feel like it isn't all that effective, I end up getting distracted thinking about something else or even dozing off. And then when I can get focused I find that often times I am not getting as much as I could from the scripture, I feel like I am just reading it more than I am actually studying it, do you have any suggestions for ways I can get answers to questions through study, and to get more from my personal studies?
Residual effect from priesthood ban (asker is in Madagascar)
In Jesus the Christ, there is a mention that in the pre-mortal realm, there were those who were indecisive or rather wanted to follow Satan but because they wanted to obtain a body, they followed the plan. And just today some of my friends were discussing that African people might be those individuals due to the fact that majority of us are indecisive coupled with the fact that they notice that we are underprivileged. That conception really bothered me so, could you please give some light on that?
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Re: The Upcoming YSA Face to Face

Post by Holy Cow » 22 Oct 2017, 09:56

Wow!! Excellent questions!! Thanks for sharing, Beefster. I suspect there are a lot more members than we would guess who have deep questions like these, but never voice them out of fear of being ostracized by other members.
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Re: The Upcoming YSA Face to Face

Post by nibbler » 22 Oct 2017, 10:07

I've seen a few of these face to face events; they were all very similar in that they answered a nearly identical set of questions for each event. I'm super jaded right now but it seemed like the questions more closely followed the message the apostles wanted to deliver to the youth than they followed the actual concerns/questions of the youth.

E.g. They'll answer a question where the answer will be a way for them to reiterate how marriage is between one man and one woman, because they fear growing acceptance of gay marriage among the youth.

I hate to be this way but I don't expect this particular Q&A session to be any different from the last few I've watched.
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Re: The Upcoming YSA Face to Face

Post by DarkJedi » 22 Oct 2017, 11:50

^What Nibbler said. My observations have been the same. They also pick (or their staffs pick) which questions will be given and answered ahead of time and the answers are prepared. They will shy away from most SSA questions except to say we love everyone and to reiterate heterosexual marriage. For the most part these two are on the side of the Old Guard.
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Re: The Upcoming YSA Face to Face

Post by LookingHard » 22 Oct 2017, 15:46

I don't think you ever see anything but softball questions unless you are a significant news crew or doing an reputable expose of the church. Otherwise you will only see a polished PR presentation.

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Re: The Upcoming YSA Face to Face

Post by Beefster » 22 Oct 2017, 16:04

It's something they can get away with considering the sheer volume of questions being asked. They probably will just stick to the most frequently asked questions, especially the easy and less personal ones. Which is a real shame because it makes all this seem like a charade.

I don't expect my questions to be answered. They simply don't have that kind of time.
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Re: The Upcoming YSA Face to Face

Post by Curt Sunshine » 22 Oct 2017, 17:25

Elder Cook attended our Stake Conference last month, and he presided over a session for the youth and YSA that included a Q&A session.

He said the second most asked questions/topic was about the church's stance on same-sex issues - and that this was consistent throughout the sessions the apostles attend. They are getting the message very clearly from the youth.

He spoke movingly and beautifully about his time as a Stake President in San Francisco during the height of the AIDS epidemic there, when members were dying regularly. He stressed first that he learned directly how badly our actions as members had hurt them, and he cited several experiences that were heart-breaking.

I know the top leadership isn't going to support same-sex sealings in the immediate future, but I am convinced the lower apostles generally view the overall issues differently than the top apostles - and that they understand the youth in the church see those issues differently, as well. Much will continue to change in my lifetime, I am sure.
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Re: The Upcoming YSA Face to Face

Post by Beefster » 19 Nov 2017, 20:15

The Face to Face wasn't anything all that special... Pretty standard questions with pretty standard answers.

However, there was one thing Elder Ballard said about those addicted to pornography. He said something like, "we have unintentionally demonized those who struggle with pornography" and stated a number of things I have been peddling around here lately.
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Re: The Upcoming YSA Face to Face

Post by Always Thinking » 20 Nov 2017, 16:17

Here are my pros and cons about the Face 2 Face event. Like you said, beefster, I like how Ballard said we shouldn't demonize the PERSON having a problem with porn. I think that was a good thing to say. As well as a couple other things I can't remember which I thought were good, even a couple jokes that made me chuckle. Now for the downside, I did NOT like when Ballard started talking about how the church leaders have NEVER hidden anything because that's not part of the Lord's program, and to just trust them. Bothered me a LOT, since we literally have proof of things being hidden from the members in church history, and the church currently hides its finances. I felt like it was a flat out lie. Here's the whole quote:

"It’s this idea that the Church is hiding something, which we would have to say as two apostles that have covered the world and know the history of the Church and know the integrity of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve from the beginning of time--there has been no attempt on the part, in any way, of the Church leaders trying to hide anything from anybody.

Now we’ve had the Joseph smith papers. We didn’t have those where they are in our hands now. And so we’re learning more about the Prophet Joseph. It’s wonderful we are. There’s volumes of it. There’s so much in those books now on my book shelf. Maybe you’ve read them all [gestures toward Oaks], but I haven’t got there. I’m a slow reader.

So, just trust us wherever you are in the world, and you share this message with anyone else who raises the question about the Church not being transparent. We’re as transparent as we know how to be in telling the truth. We have to do that. That’s the Lord’s way."

The other thing that was at the top of my list for bothersome things said, was Oaks saying this (on how to know whether answers to prayers are from ourselves or from God):
"If we get an impression contrary to the scriptures, to the commandments, to the teachings of his leaders**, then we know that it can't be coming from the Holy Ghost. The gospel is consistent throughout." (Asterisks added)

It mainly bothered me because it touched on one of the problems I see in the church where your inspirations have to line up with what the GA's say, or you're feeling the spirit wrong. Even though we have so many examples from church history of church leaders being wrong, if we get an answer from the holy ghost saying the leaders are wrong, we aren't supposed to listen to that. He could have meant it differently, but that was what I heard.

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Re: The Upcoming YSA Face to Face

Post by Roy » 20 Nov 2017, 16:59

Always Thinking wrote:
20 Nov 2017, 16:17
So, just trust us wherever you are in the world, and you share this message with anyone else who raises the question about the Church not being transparent. We’re as transparent as we know how to be in telling the truth. We have to do that. That’s the Lord’s way."
I went to church yesterday. The SS teacher asked if anyone had any personal experiences with the Q15 brethren. One shared about staying in the same hotel and how he was the nicest man and particularly attentive the children. Another shared about shaking his hand and talking to him and how there was an almost palpable electricity flowing from that handshake. The teacher bore testimony that these men are the Lord's mouthpieces.

It is pretty much a given that things shared in church will be pro-church. That's just the way it is. It is not fair and balanced reporting. An apostle could have a bad day and be very gruff or he might just not like children and still be an apostle. However those are not the sort of stories that you are going to share when the SS teacher asks about personal experiences with the Q15.

Therefore these things that I am hearing in church meetings are not lies, nor intentionally deceitful. They are Hyperbole, praise, rhetoric, puffery, tribalism, peer-pressure, and white-washed. They are presented in a way that is designed to promote faith, loyalty to the church, and feelings of safety and security in the LDS path.

Technically, this is not the same thing as "transparency" in the same sense as "full-disclosure". But, OTOH, the entire concept of a church (especially one that contains any sort of superiority towards granting salvation and eternal life) seems to be at odds with full disclosure.

I believe that church leaders are being as Honest "as [they] know how to be in telling [their understanding of] the truth." Particularly because the heart of their truth is that the LDS church is the doorway to exaltation and if members fall away over trifles and misunderstandings they will become eternally disadvantaged. That, IMO, is their overarching truth and justifies withholding certain concerning details that are not central to one's personal salvation. They are being true to themselves. They are being true and honest to their belief and faith.
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