It's very interesting because even the youth are diverse depending on where you live and the family structure, yet because of adulthood and agency the church seems to let us make our own choices the older we are?AmyJ wrote: ↑01 Apr 2019, 09:13Yup. The larger world of adulthood means more diverse life circumstances and its a lot harder to figure out what the program is to provide something for everyone.grobert93 wrote: ↑01 Apr 2019, 08:16Few thoughts in response to some others.
Back when priesthood and relief society were broadcast on lds.org I found myself watching the sister's as well. And my mom would watch priesthood with my dad and i. So I learned quickly that the gender separation was more cultural and focused on separate responsibilities than anything else. Of course for me as a young man back in the day, I viewed priesthood session as a rebuke and call to repentance while the relief society was more on loving each other.
I think that not only does the church have reason to be worried about the youth but also young adults, especially those who finish their mission and get married. As a youth there was always something to do, a program to be involved in and a leader to guide me. Serving a mission made my purpose clear for two years. Being a young single adult, while fun was also difficult because of the culture I personally experienced which was "get married as soon as possible", implying that the YSA ward's purpose was to lose it's members. Now that I'm married with a small family, suddenly all of the programs and support I have felt leave me. Yes, soon my children will experience the levels and programs that the church offers, but at the same time now my purpose has become vague. Raise my kids up in righteousness and have a happy eternal family. Maybe im in a poorly supported area of the church, but I found myself without much support or things to do unlike when I was a youth and even a YSA.
For women in the church, culturally it meant teach (and run) Primary/Y.W. for the first 10+ years of church service (unless called into R.S.). While I possess the ability to teach children, I do not get the same level of joy from it. While it has concerned me greatly ("Am I being more honest in my experience because teaching Primary is not rewarding to anyone - and I just admit it?", or "Am I just a non-traditional female (used to insert defunct but realized that it didn't help the situation) who can add 'teaching primary' to her list of cultural non-accomplishments (including baking, running kid play dates, or crafting)?")
I find it funny since my wife works and I stay home to care for the kids, which is very untraditional. While it is accepted by most people whom I talk with, it is still clear that the end goal seems to be taught that I should get a career so she can stay home. It's very sad that a traditional historic gender role (which was established for the purposes that were needed historically) is seen as a doctrine of sorts not just in the church but society as well. It's unfortunate that I am currently studying sociology in college, because I am learning of the loopholes, the weaknesses and the conflicts of trying to live an 1850-1950's lifestyle in 2019.
The church and us members still have a problem with calling = success. General conference still squeezes out talks about a less active or investigator who found their way back on the path and are now a bishop or stake president. Regardless of intentions, we shouldn't be taught and have the mentality of being righteous and working hard so that we can receive leadership or "important and rewarding" callings in the church. It's similar to how for the longest time missionary work success was based on staying your full mission and getting a large number of baptisms. We are a numbers society and a numbers church that wants to have the appearance of success and positivity.