End of Duty to God, Personal Progress, Faith In God

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
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DarkJedi
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Re: End of Duty to God, Personal Progress, Faith In God

Post by DarkJedi » 18 Jul 2019, 04:47

Arrakeen wrote:
17 Jul 2019, 14:39
I never really liked the achievement-focused approach in young mens, so I never even bothered with Duty to God. It just seemed like a checklist to get done and get an award. Scouting on the other hand was fun because a lot of our activities were focused on having a good time, and the achievements weren't the only goal. I hope they take a more activity-focused approach to learning for the new program and don't use it as just another opportunity for indoctrination and checking boxes.
This is pretty much my take on it as well. The church needs fewer "programs" and not more. I'm down with all of this. My sons did Scouts, two of them are Eagles. Some of their involvement was with troops outside the church however. The problem with Scouting, aside from the social issues in the US, is that it's not for every kid and outside the US it's not as readily available or even the same thing. If we're trying to be a truly global church, and we are whether we want to be or not, there needs to be tings that can work anywhere.

That said and in relation to this thread in general, there's this (emphasis added):
“This is going to be an exciting, wonderful enhancement to everything we have done before,” said Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “This new initiative is not only going to point them all to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, it’s going to give opportunities for large gatherings and personal development through goals and achievement of goals.
To me, that sounds like a program likely not all that different from Duty to God, etc. I think differences may be that the programs ("initiative") may not be as gender specific and may allow for more flexibility on the local level.

The above quote came from the first article here: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/you ... h?lang=eng
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."

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LookingHard
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Re: End of Duty to God, Personal Progress, Faith In God

Post by LookingHard » 18 Jul 2019, 04:53

Having spent more than a decade in YM and most of that time as a ScoutMaster I too have mixed feelings. I have seen my share of Mom's get their Eagle scout rank via their boys. But I have also seen the program work well for most boys. Most boys really like most of the outdoor activities. Quite a few LIVED for it. Especially living in a city, it is great for kids to get out into nature.

What I am actually most scared about is safety. The BSA has a fairly mature safety program/procedures. Sure they do stupid stuff from time to time like ban laser tag, but most of what is in the safety program is a result of some bad thing happening and them reacting to it. Even the General YM president came to our stake a few years ago and one of the main themes was "the LDS units have a bad track record for safety." It was evident that LDS troop leaders would ignore the safety guidelines more often than non-LDS. I myself as a youth saw things that I am bothered by now (traveling all night) and my kids have had some cases on high adventure that made me worry.

I worry that the church will not be as safety focused and it will take a few bad accidents and even deaths before they start to be serious on it. And as a scoutmaster I had some comfort that if I followed the BSA rules, they would be fully backing me in court if something bad happened and a parent pulled me into court. I am not sure if I have that under an LDS youth activity group.

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Re: End of Duty to God, Personal Progress, Faith In God

Post by nibbler » 18 Jul 2019, 06:26

LookingHard wrote:
18 Jul 2019, 04:53
What I am actually most scared about is safety.
That's definitely a concern. Boy Scouts requires leaders to attend training sessions. The effectiveness of those training sessions could be up for debate, but at least they take place. I have no way of knowing but I'd suspect that the replacement programs will not require the same level of training that leaders in Boy Scouts are expected to have.
DarkJedi wrote:
18 Jul 2019, 04:47
The church needs fewer "programs" and not more.

For me I'd say that the church needs better programs, which can mean fewer programs. One other change I'd like to see is transitioning away from the mandatory participation mindset. If a program doesn't interest you, that's okay. No need to hold meetings at church where the only goal is to guilt non-participants. No need to hound non-participants through phone calls, emails, and showing up to their door.

But I'd still say that the church needs better programs. My main worry is that whatever ends up replacing Scouts, Duty to God, Personal Progress, Faith in God, etc. will turn out to be little more than MTC-lite. More lectures on doctrines an less activity. Something that has the goal of getting more kids to serve missions rather than a program with the goal of getting kids to make social connections.

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DarkJedi
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Re: End of Duty to God, Personal Progress, Faith In God

Post by DarkJedi » 18 Jul 2019, 18:45

nibbler wrote:
18 Jul 2019, 06:26
DarkJedi wrote:
18 Jul 2019, 04:47
The church needs fewer "programs" and not more.

For me I'd say that the church needs better programs, which can mean fewer programs. One other change I'd like to see is transitioning away from the mandatory participation mindset. If a program doesn't interest you, that's okay. No need to hold meetings at church where the only goal is to guilt non-participants. No need to hound non-participants through phone calls, emails, and showing up to their door.

But I'd still say that the church needs better programs. My main worry is that whatever ends up replacing Scouts, Duty to God, Personal Progress, Faith in God, etc. will turn out to be little more than MTC-lite. More lectures on doctrines an less activity. Something that has the goal of getting more kids to serve missions rather than a program with the goal of getting kids to make social connections.
I began The Next Mormons this week and so far I am enjoying it. I like the little raised eyebrow "hmm, well I'll be" moments as I go along. One of the stories Jana Riess tells (related from the interviews) is from an "older" Millennial who recalls girls camp as a young woman. Back then, she says, it was free fun, more like Scout camp and less "spiritually" oriented (which I suppose could be translated less indoctrinating, depending on your point of view). There was the obligatory closing testimony meeting, but otherwise it was swimming, hiking, etc. Now as an adult with children of her own the interviewee laments what girls camp has become, with the aim seeming to be indoctrination (my word) presided over by men as opposed to a fun time spent with other girls and women. Several years ago when I was YMP, the change had already taken place in our area. The YWP, who had only one child who was male and not overly interested in the Scouting part of things, was always on us to have more "spiritual" activities - like the YW do. Even in those TBM days my Jedi mind was strong enough to resist her attempted mind trick because I knew that's not what boys wanted. I still don't think it is, and I don't think it's what girls really want either, they just don't know any better (and in fairness we had another YWP after the aforementioned who did understand that but couldn't get through to the stake that "girls just want to have fun" like the boys). I do see in the church published materials that part of the aim of the new program - and that is what it is (lipstick on a pig) - is to "equalize" the YM and YW programs. I'm honestly all for that, spending on boys far outweighed spending on the girls and that was only partly (but a large part) due to the cost of Scouting. My fear is that the equalization will finally bring what the earlier YWP wanted - faith walks, etc., for boys. Boys also just want to have fun. Just being together with like believers is uplifting for them, no testimony meetings or faith walks needed. Our current stake YMP understands and does that but alas he is being released and his replacement is about as TBM as they come. :cry:
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."

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Roy
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Re: End of Duty to God, Personal Progress, Faith In God

Post by Roy » 19 Jul 2019, 09:36

FYI, the new program has a name! "Children and Youth"

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900 ... ormon.html
"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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DarkJedi
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Re: End of Duty to God, Personal Progress, Faith In God

Post by DarkJedi » 19 Jul 2019, 10:16

I just received a communique from SLC announcing ''For the Strength of the Youth Conferences" being implemented in North America (apparently they have been done elsewhere for some time). While I think that in and of itself is a change, the letter did specifically refer to Young Women camps and Young Men camps (as in don't schedule them to conflict with FtSotY conferences). That's just the first reference I have seen specifically referring to Young Men camps.
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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Holy Cow
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Re: End of Duty to God, Personal Progress, Faith In God

Post by Holy Cow » 19 Jul 2019, 10:23

Roy wrote:
19 Jul 2019, 09:36
FYI, the new program has a name! "Children and Youth"

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900 ... ormon.html
Wow, what a creative and inspiring title for the new program... :roll:

Thanks for sharing that link. Reading through this information, it makes it sounds like they're going to turn it into the kind of program that I was worried about:
The goal of the new initiative is to deepen conversion through gospel learning, personal development and service and activities. It is based on the church's renewed emphasis on home-centered, church-supported learning, which has led to major changes, including a new churchwide curriculum for Sunday School and other classes and more family gospel study in place of one hour of Sunday meetings.
It sounds like it's going to suck the fun out of the youth programs by putting even more focus on gospel study. Somebody mentioned MTC-Lite, and it sounds like that's pretty accurate.
One known goal of the initiative is to equalize experiences for girls and boys. Another is to equalize them for youth and children in North America and around the world.
This is another point I'm not thrilled about. I'm all for equalizing the funding of the boys and girls programs. But, when it comes to equalizing the activities for youth and children, I'm not a fan. It sounds like they're just going to be putting more of a gospel-focus on things, and they're going to extend that to primary age children too. Probably one reason they'll start doing annual bishop interviews for kids that are 8 and older. I thought one of the greatest pros of the scouting program was that it was easy to include boys who had no interest in church. About 50% of the boys in our troop are boys who never show up to church and have no interest in missions/seminary/church/priesthood. But, those boys love being a part of scouting. A program that is gospel-focused as it's main goal is going to chase those types of youth away.
When I click on the links in this article, it says I don't have access. Is anybody able to access the links?
My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6139

nibbler
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Re: End of Duty to God, Personal Progress, Faith In God

Post by nibbler » 19 Jul 2019, 11:50

Roy wrote:
19 Jul 2019, 09:36
FYI, the new program has a name! "Children and Youth"

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900 ... ormon.html
What I want to know is who exactly is the new program aimed at? :angel:
Holy Cow wrote:
19 Jul 2019, 10:23
One known goal of the initiative is to equalize experiences for girls and boys. Another is to equalize them for youth and children in North America and around the world.
This is another point I'm not thrilled about. I'm all for equalizing the funding of the boys and girls programs. But, when it comes to equalizing the activities for youth and children, I'm not a fan. It sounds like they're just going to be putting more of a gospel-focus on things, and they're going to extend that to primary age children too.
Yeah, equalizing could always mean making both programs suck. :P

I could be wrong, but I believe funding for YW/YM is up to the BP's discretion. Historically most of the budget went towards Scouts (and by extension YM) because it had to. Now I imagine the YW and YM will be seen as one entity. Equalized in the sense that all youth together have one budget to work with as opposed to the two there were before.

Arrakeen
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Re: End of Duty to God, Personal Progress, Faith In God

Post by Arrakeen » 19 Jul 2019, 13:00

I don't get why they feel the need for even more indoctrination. They already have Sunday church and seminary every weekday. I don't think force feeding more of the gospel is going to keep kids in the church. It's just going to appeal to the super spiritual types and alienate everyone else. We might be about to see youth program involvement drop dramatically next year. Honestly the youth just need an opportunity for wholesome fun, and a lot only show up because of the fun activities. No amount of instruction in the gospel can compensate for the church experience not being enjoyable.

I remember as a youth a lot of the young women were jealous that we got to have fun running wild at scout camp while they were stuck doing testimony-building activities at girl's camp. Now I worry that both youth camps will become Sunday school in the woods.

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Rumin8
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Re: End of Duty to God, Personal Progress, Faith In God

Post by Rumin8 » 22 Jul 2019, 12:34

I'm trying to keep an open mind. That said, I agree with others who have verbalized being worried about it being more indoctrination.

Our stake, like many others, just completed a Pioneer Trek. I am not a fan, but my wife is. As in many things, I support her in this. I had two of my kids attend. It was held at Martin's Cove, Wyoming. Our stake was only able to secure the two day version of trek. The feedback I had from my kids was: 1) it was too easy (they only walked 8 miles over 2 days), 2) they had 17 devotionals over two days, and 3) they are sick and tired of the same pioneer stories.

This wasn't a bad experience for my kids. But it wasn't what it could have been. 17 devotionals?!?!? They were exhausted after trek. But not physically. They were emotionally and spiritually spent.

This kind of thing would be my worst nightmare for the new program. More doctrine, less fun. My memories of growing up in the church as a youth were not the devotionals, firesides, or other such. It was getting to know my leaders who were brilliant, fun, driven, and imperfect people. Those people gave me hope that even at a young age there was a place for me in the church.

I'm afraid the new program will miss the mark. But I'm willing to give it a chance.
"Moderation in all things, especially moderation." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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