Face to Face Youth Meeting

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Mrs. SuperChicken
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Face to Face Youth Meeting

Post by Mrs. SuperChicken » 14 May 2015, 07:03

I had the chance to watch the youth face to face with Elder Bednar on Tuesday. I don’t know if this is a regular thing the church does with the youth or not.
I liked the format of the meeting. It was very different than the usually church leader standing at a podium and talking in a very format way. I liked seeing one of the Apostles in a more human like way. I also thought it was good for DD to see that they are not perfect as well. When answering a question from a young woman that didn’t feel accepted because she was not pretty enough, Elder Bednar said his wife was old and wrinkly. :o Then he tried to fix it and by saying he thought she was beautiful even if no one else did. DD said to me he really stuck his foot in his mouth and might be sleeping on the couch tonight, she thought it was really funny that an apostle would say something like that. She said that is was just like when her dad says something dumb and then tries to fix it but digs a deeper hole instead. :oops: DD also noticed sometimes they would grab each other’s hands. I said maybe that was their signal to each other to wrap it up. She thought that was neat too. I want her to see that they are just like other people and just because they are a general authority they are not totally perfect.

There was some good answers to the questions asked and I liked how he really encouraged the youth to find some of their own answers to questions using the spirit and the scriptures. He said that just having a bad thought is not a sin, lingering on it is bad, and acting on it is the sin. I thought that was a great thing to say to the youth.

I was really impressed with it until the last question which really broke my heart. The question was about having questions and doubts about the gospel. Elder Bednar said we could have questions but never doubts which he defined as being cynical, disbelieving and mistrusting. Doubts mean there is something wrong with us. Sister Bednar then talked about how there are just no answers to some things so we should stop looking and instead start asking the right questions. This really contradicts their other responses where they encouraged people to search for answers. She said that God will just not answer some questions because they are not important, even if we think they are important. She did not define which types of questions she and God thought were the right ones to ask.

Did anyone else watch this. It is pretty long. What did you think of about it.

https://www.lds.org/youth/activities/sp ... ?lang=eng

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DarkJedi
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Re: Face to Face Youth Meeting

Post by DarkJedi » 14 May 2015, 07:36

I didn't watch, but I wanted to point out that this is the first of this type of thing they have done with a GA. They have done them before, but with people like David Archuleta. I like the concept. Thanks for the link - I might watch, although I'm not a huge fan of Elder Bednar.

I'm becoming a little troubled about the varying definition of "doubt" among church leadership. I fear doubt is being cast as too much of a negative word when I don't think the negative connotations are necessarily an accurate and accepted definition.
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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Ann
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Re: Face to Face Youth Meeting

Post by Ann » 14 May 2015, 09:43

Mrs. SuperChicken wrote:
I was really impressed with it until the last question which really broke my heart. The question was about having questions and doubts about the gospel. Elder Bednar said we could have questions but never doubts which he defined as being cynical, disbelieving and mistrusting. Doubts mean there is something wrong with us. Sister Bednar then talked about how there are just no answers to some things so we should stop looking and instead start asking the right questions. This really contradicts their other responses where they encouraged people to search for answers. She said that God will just not answer some questions because they are not important, even if we think they are important. She did not define which types of questions she and God thought were the right ones to ask.
I watched the first half. I liked that they were trying something new, putting everyone on the same stage and talking "face 2 face." (As his wife I'd be dismayed with the cold assessment of my physicality, but maybe that's no problem in their marriage. Or maybe he becomes stilted when discussing private thoughts in public. But I once heard him on a podcast remembering back to their BYU days and how clumsy she was with a football or frisbee or whatever; it wasn't very kind.)

But I like that they're trying to respond.

I think "we don't have the answers" is for cosmic questions like evil and suffering. For everything else let's never stop looking for answers. I don't think my seventeen year-old is going to define unanswerable the same way Elder and Sister Bednar do. Not to say she's always right, but there's a conflict coming....
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Face to Face Youth Meeting

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 May 2015, 10:13

Thanks for the report. Overall, it sounds like it is a really good thing.

I understand the view of doubt that equates it with cynicism and unwillingness to do anything without proof - but I really dislike how it is presented in many cases and your summary of how Elder Bednar and his wife interpret it. Having said that, I wouldn't expect anything else from them, since they seem to be very black-and-white, letter-of-the-law type people. I think the answer from about half of the Q12 would have been different.

I think this is a great opportunity to talk with your daughter about not having to agree with apostles about everything while still accepting them in their positions - that the foundation for that talk was laid well by the other stuff she observed. I wish everyone who attended could look at it that way, but we all are different and I need to respect that.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

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.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SilentDawning
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Re: Face to Face Youth Meeting

Post by SilentDawning » 14 May 2015, 10:56

Ray DeGraw wrote:I think this is a great opportunity to talk with your daughter about not having to agree with apostles about everything while still accepting them in their positions - that the foundation for that talk was laid well by the other stuff she observed. I wish everyone who attended could look at it that way, but we all are different and I need to respect that.
I think this is a good way to look at it. Yes, you can disagree with a prophet, even, while still maintaining your commitment and respect for his position.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

startpoor
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Re: Face to Face Youth Meeting

Post by startpoor » 14 May 2015, 18:08

Mrs. SuperChicken wrote:Elder Bednar said we could have questions but never doubts which he defined as being cynical, disbelieving and mistrusting. Doubts mean there is something wrong with us. Sister Bednar then talked about how there are just no answers to some things so we should stop looking and instead start asking the right questions. This really contradicts their other responses where they encouraged people to search for answers. She said that God will just not answer some questions because they are not important, even if we think they are important. She did not define which types of questions she and God thought were the right ones to ask.

Did anyone else watch this. It is pretty long. What did you think of about it.

https://www.lds.org/youth/activities/sp ... ?lang=eng
Man, that is terrible. Did they actually say doubts mean there is something wrong with us???
I could rant but you all already have the same problems with this as I do.
Ray, I agree with you that there would be a different response from other apostles. I'm just upset that this is the guy talking to our youth and answering their questions.



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Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Face to Face Youth Meeting

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 May 2015, 19:07

Based on the overall summary, I am sure they define doubt as "active disbelief and refusal to consider anything not visible" - like "Doubting Thomas".

I am NOT excusing it by saying that, since I dislike that definition greatly, but it helps to step back and realize they probably aren't talking about uncertainty or questions.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

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.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

startpoor
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Re: Face to Face Youth Meeting

Post by startpoor » 14 May 2015, 19:50

"...in this quest to seek and find God in all things there is still an area of uncertainty. There must be. If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good. For me, this is an important key. If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble. Uncertainty is in every true discernment that is open to finding confirmation in spiritual consolation." -Pope Francis

I realize it's easy to take pot shots at Bednar or his statement regarding doubt. I just had to post this to bring balance back to the Force.


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Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

university
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Re: Face to Face Youth Meeting

Post by university » 14 May 2015, 20:04

I apologize if I come off angry. I'm hurting right now.

I was dreading this event. Facebook kept trying to promote it to me and people kept sharing it. People were excited. I had a feeling this wasn't going to bode well for me. I intentionally didn't watch this. Sometimes I think about how we got to this position where people are so fixated on the rules of the church and all the little "you're supposed to's" of our church, which I feel distract from the gospel. Then I remember we probably did it to ourselves. People often want a detailed list of instructions on how to live their lives so it takes the pressure off of them to have to make those decisions. We're created this culture where we want answers from the General Authorities and want to hear from them all the time. I understand that this brings peace to some people, but I think it can be problematic. Personally, I'm of the opinion that less is more in regards to "answers" from the General Authorities.
Ray DeGraw wrote:Based on the overall summary, I am sure they define doubt as "active disbelief and refusal to consider anything not visible" - like "Doubting Thomas".

I am NOT excusing it by saying that, since I dislike that definition greatly, but it helps to step back and realize they probably aren't talking about uncertainty or questions.
I think that's a hopeful way to perceive his definition of doubt, Ray. I'm glad that works for you. For me, I wouldn't go as so far as to say "refusal to consider anything not visible." Rather, I'd think his definition of doubt is more aligned with what Mrs. SuperChicken articulated Elder Bednar said, " cynical, disbelieving and mistrusting." It means something else to me. To me, this goes along the same lines I got fed last year from my Bishop and ward leadership, "The Church wants you to know it's okay to have questions, just not disagreements. If you don't understand the Church on this one, that's okay, as long as you don't go the other way." It's okay to have concerns, as long as you still trust the Church. You can have some reservations, but you need to be on the path to accepting the Church's positions.

So basically, I can't even say I have "doubts" anymore to TBM friends without trigging something that implies I am sinning :roll: :( :cry:

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Face to Face Youth Meeting

Post by hawkgrrrl » 14 May 2015, 20:20

Well, my view of what church leaders decry when they decry "doubting" is yet another definition. It seems to me that they mean inaction or being indecisive and uncommitted. I think what most doubters mean is that they have questions, but church leaders are from another generation. I've been thinking lately about how much military service has colored that generation's perspective. When you doubt orders, you don't obey quickly and lives are lost. It's a soldier mentality. But we are in peace time, and our thoughts are not war thoughts.

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