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Attracting Millenials--these two churches are succeeding

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6 minutes ago, rongo said:

Isn't this tacit admission that there is a competency/maturity deficiency, though? Many point out that gripes about millennials are no different from gripes about the rising generation in the past, but there is always this implicit thought that "the Church" or "parents" or "the government" or "society" or whatever need to provide "interesting things to do" or "good jobs" or "instruction and counsel on how to be a married spouse," etc. The number of millennials living at home and treading water (or not) is definitely higher with this generation --- this is a change from the past (and not a good one). There is this implicit thought that it is the responsible older adults' job to fix their problems, and that they are incapable of fixing their own or bettering their lot or improving. 

This is implied in the article referred to in the OP. What does the Church need to do to attract and retain millennials?

The average age to get married in the mid-1700s was like 30.This was the generation that fought in the Revolutionary War and gave us all the freedoms we enjoy. Although people have a hard time imagining this, living like it's the 1950s isn't the answer for all times and places. Part of the reason that a lot of young Mormons have a hard time being a single member is because people equate being married with being competent and mature. Believe it or not single adults can be competent and mature and don't need to be treated like teenagers.

I agree that having more people living with their parents can be problematic (I think its somewhere between a quarter and a third of millennials). Economic insecurity and the increasing difficulty for young people to be able to afford buying homes I'm sure has a lot to do with it. I don't think it is all people playing video games in their parents' basements. 

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14 minutes ago, rongo said:

There is this implicit thought that it is the responsible older adults' job to fix their problems, and that they are incapable of fixing their own or bettering their lot or improving. 

I don't think I was asserting that, although I think a compelling point that the job market isn't going to return to the way it was in the 90's.

The idea of "fixing" the problem wasn't what I was pointing at. Rather the point is that what keeps people at church isn't there for these people which is why so many are being pulled out. Personally I think our church services are really oriented around the needs of married people with 2 - 5 kids. That's not the current demographic and I think we need to adjust them. I don't think that's "fixing" things which implies some policy the Church could enact that would get everyone married. I honestly am skeptical there's anything the Church could do about that. But continuing to have services oriented around 1950's culture probably isn't going to be satisfying for people nor meet their needs.

Edited by clarkgoble
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1 hour ago, rongo said:

I disagree, and I don't think that lowering the bar to match the encroaching illiteracy of society is a good thing --- for missionary work, or for general intelligence. I think there is a power in the KJV English that is lacking in attempts to bring scripture "up to date." And, I find that investigators who learn to work with and understand KJV English are the ones who are going to "stick" --- and those who won't read any "scripture-ese" at all are not going to. It's actually a good indicator. 

I think Hugh Nibley made a very good point. Here is an excerpt that we included in a stake/community BoM fireside years ago:

 

 

I think that is a very powerful point. If the Book of Mormon were translated today, it would be the same. None of that, "I, Nephi, had great parents and they taught me good stuff." :) 

You just proved my point, the KJV is so ingrained in the older LDS culture, that its almost seen as blasphemy to suggest it. 

Did you ever think that the only ones staying are the ones who can read the KJV and we'd have a lot more staying if we had a modern version. that more people can read?

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20 minutes ago, rongo said:

Isn't this tacit admission that there is a competency/maturity deficiency, though? Many point out that gripes about millennials are no different from gripes about the rising generation in the past, but there is always this implicit thought that "the Church" or "parents" or "the government" or "society" or whatever need to provide "interesting things to do" or "good jobs" or "instruction and counsel on how to be a married spouse," etc. The number of millennials living at home and treading water (or not) is definitely higher with this generation --- this is a change from the past (and not a good one). There is this implicit thought that it is the responsible older adults' job to fix their problems, and that they are incapable of fixing their own or bettering their lot or improving. 

This is implied in the article referred to in the OP. What does the Church need to do to attract and retain millennials?

Well, I think it is important to retain our youth. If there is a wide spread problem or if certain approaches are bearing bad fruit...I think it is fine to examine a new approach that would work better for everyone. Many missionaries are returning early from missions...so the church has introduced new processes in their interview questions for prospective missionaries. They are trying something new. If you were a Bishop and many of those seeking counsel from you or confession and then soon after, left the church and went inactive, I would hope you would reevaluate your approach to better lead these young people to Christ and increase their desire to, "go and sin no more." If your Gospel Doctrine classes were shrinking and the "hall class" was growing, maybe there just might be a problem. 

If it is true, millennials are leaving  the church...there is nothing wrong with trying to think of ways to reach them or discover where the problems are. 

As far as millennials living at home, maybe its because of the recession. Maybe its the increased cost of living or the rising cost of college or health insurance. I don't think they can be blamed for these economic factors. Some may be questioning the "why" as they watched their parents work hard and overnight get fired and their house lose value or get foreclosed on. They also were raised to be less independent and have more homework and pressure to get into school and are sometimes "burned out" and "overschedule" before high school ends. All these things should be evaluated. 

Maybe a less is more approach works better to retain Millennials...maybe it doesn't but I  think, we should be open to exploring new approaches to bringing people to Christ and teaching them the doctrines of the church. I think the church has been doing these evaluations and is making changes. This makes me very happy. 

Edited by bsjkki
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19 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

It doesn't seem to me that the church is doing a particularly good job of attracting or maintaining millennials. They have their base of millennials and they are leaving out the back door, yet there doesn't seem to be much success attracting new millennials. So the church is in the position of seeing their incoming numbers shrink while the outgoing numbers rise. When businesses see this kind of model panic sets in and adjustments are made.

Do you have statistics backing that up? Just curious. While I think it's possible retention has dipped a bit, I'm skeptical there's been huge changes. Missionary work does seem a problem, although I'm more convinced that's primarily driven by having missionaries going younger. 

Honestly while I have no real solutions, my theoretical solutions are the following:

1. Less passive classes and more active learning. That's more of a move away from the 1 hour of talk with some singing and 2 hours of quasi-passive learning with some feedback. I'd like to see more mix and mingles and more focus on practically learning to identify and follow the spirit. I'm completely aware that pulling that off would be hard. Further I think it means that we have to move away from the one size fits all meeting schedule.

2. More social media outreach. I think lds.org is pretty good right now. But how about embracing virtual media for classes where you have multimedia Institute and Seminary classes where people can go at their own pace and perhaps even use them on Sundays. Have video chat with people prepared for that especially for answering difficult questions rather than only having locals from the ward or stake do it. Ideally this has to be a mix and finding that balance between using chat or social media with person to person socializing will be tricky. Further the danger will be bifurcating doctrine where people simply move to social groups they like much like I think you already see on Facebook. (Feminists critical of certain doctrines primarily socializing with people with similar views, conservatives doing the same)

3. More emphasis on doing real service. Again there's a lot one can do here. But what you can do in high density areas like Utah or Southern Idaho is going to be very different from say New England or the midwest.

4. More social activities groups done through church. Again more doable along the Mormon corridor but also doable in cities or in medium density areas like California.

5. More diversity in music. Right now we're still in low church music with no brass allowed and many strings discouraged. I'm not saying go into full evangelical rock for Church. However look at primary and the greater variety of music styles you see there. Right now we're good at providing a meditative space and really lousy for much else. I don't want to devalue meditative spaces. That's the biggest benefit of say the temple. But having a bit more invigoration might help a bit.

 

The biggest thing though is a move away from the one size fits all mentality we've have really since the rise of the modern Church in the early 20th century. What works in Provo simply might not work in Los Angeles. As I said though this really comes with a huge risk and danger due to the ways things could get out of hand and devolve into heretical movements or even apostasy. Doubly so since there are clearly people out there who'd love to reform the Church in their political image. (Both right and left - you can point at feminists but the Bundys really are doing the same sort of thing)

Edited by clarkgoble
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17 minutes ago, rongo said:

It can come across as self-righteous and judgmental. I fully realize that. And, you are correct that proponents of things often have to "eat their words" later. But the possibility that words might have to be eaten doesn't mean that things that are right shouldn't be propounded, lest people look bad later. I think this fear is all too present in our modern psyche. 

But this implies that we have some moral duty to say these kinds of things.  Do we?  Are there active parents in the church who don't know this and need to be told that if their kids leave the church later, it's probably their fault?  Sure, there probably are some parents who might need to hear this from a priesthood leader, but i'm talking about general pronouncements of this kind.

Something else that is all to present in our modern psyche is saying things and making judgments about people that we have no right or ability to make.

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Still, we are rapidly losing the ability to call a spade a spade in society and in the Church. People freak out about it --- and often when it hits a little to close to home. There is no longer room to hear criticism or suggestions and say to ourselves, "Hmmm. I think you're off-base, and I disagree." There's just outrage at people being self-righteous and judgmental. 

I agree.  But too often people are being self righteous and judgmental (all while being sincerely convinced that they know best), and while that is still no reason for outrage, being able to acknowledge that is also a part of 'calling a spade a spade.'

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I think Isaiah's statement about Israel that "children are their oppressors" is true in our day. I can't tell you how many parents have expressed dismay that their children use their devices inappropriately (porn, sexting, being mean, etc.), and when I ask them why they haven't taken them away (permanently, in some cases), they are stunned with the idea. "We can't!" Why can't you? "Because --- because they have to have a phone!" Why? If you aren't willing or able to be a parent in this important instance, then there are a lot more things wrong in River City, and the prognosis isn't good for the next 20+ years. It's sad. 

I agree.

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16 minutes ago, mapman said:

The average age to get married in the mid-1700s was like 30.This was the generation that fought in the Revolutionary War and gave us all the freedoms we enjoy. Although people have a hard time imagining this, living like it's the 1950s isn't the answer for all times and places.

While marriage age did drop significantly in the 20th century, the 30 year old number was just for men in England in the 1700's (with women being around 25). However there were pretty significant variations by class. Part of this was due to men typically having to learn a trade by apprenticeship which would take a long time. By the time one could afford a family one was usually reasonably old. Many historians have argued the strongest correlation was land availability. The more workable land that's available, the earlier one could afford to marry.

Ages the last few decades have rapidly increased again although there's pretty significant differences. For one, marriage really isn't as essential for survival - especially for women. Add in birth control and the sex aspect is very different as well. However I do think a compelling case can be made that the cost of having a family remains the biggest driver. Further I think this accounts for pretty huge differences by class. University educated people by and large have strong marriages even if they marry late. The lower classes socially are becoming a mess in terms of single parent families despite the availability of birth control. That in turn tends to keep a cycle of poverty.

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2 hours ago, mapman said:

The average age to get married in the mid-1700s was like 30.This was the generation that fought in the Revolutionary War and gave us all the freedoms we enjoy. Although people have a hard time imagining this, living like it's the 1950s isn't the answer for all times and places. Part of the reason that a lot of young Mormons have a hard time being a single member is because people equate being married with being competent and mature. Believe it or not single adults can be competent and mature and don't need to be treated like teenagers.

But our modern prophets have consistently counseled and emphasized youth to not delay marriage and having kids. If Millennials are by and large not heeding this (either by choice or by ability) . . . then we should, what? Move our goal posts? Or expect/encourage them to move theirs?

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I agree that having more people living with their parents can be problematic (I think its somewhere between a quarter and a third of millennials). Economic insecurity and the increasing difficulty for young people to be able to afford buying homes I'm sure has a lot to do with it. I don't think it is all people playing video games in their parents' basements.

One problem with kids from 18-30 is that they expect to "own a home" out of the gate and have all of the trappings it took their parents decades to be able to afford. Why can't they get a job and live in an apartment and pay for their adult life? My kids know that they are on their own after they graduate (college, missions, and then adult life). And, they're looking forward to all of it. We seem to have many parents who refuse or are reluctant to insist that their children make their own way.

Edited by rongo
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44 minutes ago, rongo said:

But our modern prophets have consistently counseled and emphasized youth to not delay marriage and having kids. If Millennials are by and large not heeding this (either by choice or by ability) . . . then we should, what? Move our goal posts? Or expect/encourage them to move theirs?

Well I'd think the first thing is to figure out why it's happening. If the answer is simply tell them to marry early and then let them all leave the church then that's probably not fulfilling ones stewardship terribly well.

Assuming it's all just people choosing to do it for bad reasons seems dubious to me. 

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6 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Well I'd think the first thing is to figure out why it's happening. If the answer is simply tell them to marry early and then let them all leave the church then that's probably not fulfilling ones stewardship terribly well.

Assuming it's all just people choosing to do it for bad reasons seems dubious to me. 

My dad was a YSA bishop for six years (three past the "usual and customary" for that), and I have had my share of YSAs in my wards over the years. I don't think it's "choosing not to get married" so much as it is an issue of competency (life, relationship, school, employment, etc.). And, as much as some don't like to hear it, when your kids grow up with competency issues, that falls more on the parents than anyone else. Parents are the ones who have the most ability and opportunity (and influence) to remedy these things as they grow up. 

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3 hours ago, Gray said:

So God chose a really archaic form of expression that most people have trouble understanding because it takes some effort to revise texts every once in a while?  It certainly wouldn't have to be redone every 30-40 years.

People don't really have trouble understanding KJV English. Or, they shouldn't: Shakespeare, Milton, et. al. are still widely taught in high school and college. 

In any case, intelligible scripture isn't going to solve anything. People don't go to church for that kind of thing, generally. Church generally functions as a social network.

I fully agree. Making a Revised Standard Book of Mormon would have zero effect on retention or activation. People don't go inactive or missing because of thee and thou. 

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3 hours ago, bsjkki said:

Well, I think it is important to retain our youth. If there is a wide spread problem or if certain approaches are bearing bad fruit...I think it is fine to examine a new approach that would work better for everyone. Many missionaries are returning early from missions...so the church has introduced new processes in their interview questions for prospective missionaries. They are trying something new. If you were a Bishop and many of those seeking counsel from you or confession and then soon after, left the church and went inactive, I would hope you would reevaluate your approach to better lead these young people to Christ and increase their desire to, "go and sin no more." If your Gospel Doctrine classes were shrinking and the "hall class" was growing, maybe there just might be a problem. 

If it is true, millennials are leaving  the church...there is nothing wrong with trying to think of ways to reach them or discover where the problems are . . . Maybe a less is more approach works better to retain Millennials...maybe it doesn't but I  think, we should be open to exploring new approaches to bringing people to Christ and teaching them the doctrines of the church. I think the church has been doing these evaluations and is making changes. This makes me very happy. 

I think it's important to retain our youth, too. But I don't want to retain them at the expense of Plan of Salvation rigor (lower the bar of expectations to retain them by way of making it easier than it should be). Innovative ideas are good, but when they go in the direction of lowered expectations . . .

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As far as millennials living at home, maybe its because of the recession. Maybe its the increased cost of living or the rising cost of college or health insurance. I don't think they can be blamed for these economic factors. Some may be questioning the "why" as they watched their parents work hard and overnight get fired and their house lose value or get foreclosed on. They also were raised to be less independent and have more homework and pressure to get into school and are sometimes "burned out" and "overschedule" before high school ends. All these things should be evaluated.

None of this really works out. A single person on his own who works can live and maintain the responsibilities of adulthood. Lifestyle and cost of living are things that people have a say in. With grants, scholarships, and work, people can afford to go to college (if college is right for them). It might not be a university with major loans, though (an associate's degree is free to residents in my county who graduated from a county high school. My wife just got her associates after two years under a Pell Grant). 

If they are treading water because they are burned out before high school ends, shouldn't the parents bear some responsibility for that? Don't let your kids get burned out and become a drifting millennial.

My oldest is a senior this year, and will be our valedictorian. It has been a real eye-opener for us doing this for the first time. We have learned that if you do your very best in school, schools will pay for everything. He has a variety of full-tuition and full-ride scholarships --- to the point where the scholarships will be able to pay for his mission (surplus money after tuition, room, board, and fees/books are paid). But he's also one of only a few priests/laurels in our stake to even have a driver's license. 

Edited by rongo
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3 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Do you have statistics backing that up? Just curious. While I think it's possible retention has dipped a bit, I'm skeptical there's been huge changes. Missionary work does seem a problem, although I'm more convinced that's primarily driven by having missionaries going younger. 

Anyone with any knowledge or experience with YSA wards and stakes can confirm that retention of 20somethings is a huge problem. The logistical nightmare of tracking and keeping track of them from a unit/clerk/leader standpoint alone . . . Many do not willingly allow their Church records to be moved. 

I'm not convinced that this is due to Church incompetence or them leaving the Church or having testimony issues. It seems to be much more that they don't care, and that they don't care about anything other than tapping and swiping (it isn't anything personal towards the Church) and have general massive competency issues with all factors of adult life. 

Edited by rongo

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49 minutes ago, rongo said:

People don't really have trouble understanding KJV English. Or, they shouldn't: Shakespeare, Milton, et. al. are still widely taught in high school and college. 

 

Maybe not people in your social circles. But a lot of potential converts have trouble.

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5 hours ago, bluebell said:

I get what you are saying, but when i hear this kind of thing, it always comes across like "if people just raised their kids and parented like my wife and I have/did/do, we wouldn't be having these problems in the church."  And full disclosure, i haven't had a child stray and I'm not letting my little kids play with tablets (I don't even have a tablet), but it still makes me cringe when I read thoughts like this.  

I've heard these kinds of words from parents who got to eat them later when one or more of their kids left the church.  I just think we have to be careful expressing these kinds of things that can easily come off as really self-righteous.

Funny story.  My brothers and me are like three peas in a pod.  All three are a little over over average in weight.  Not too much, but a fair amount I guess.  One day one brother called to tell me he had lost twenty pounds.  He said "If you would only pay attention to your carbs and push yourself away from the table when you feel full, you could lose twenty pounds just like me, and boy would you feel good.  

I thanked him and told him I felt pretty good over all, but will try some of his pointers.  A  couple months later, he called and said "I'm really sorry.  It just dawned on me that I had been condescending about losing weight.  I just put the twenty pounds back on plus another five.  I feel so foolish."  We had a good laugh about it, and decided to be content with our heredity and try to improve things in a natural way.  

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9 hours ago, rongo said:

Churches and groups who "attract" typical millennials won't hold them or their interest ---- they are too ADHD for that. And more bright lights, short meme-ish sound bites, loud noises, and electronic gimmicks will be required to get and hold their interest, which soon wanes and they search elsewhere for entertainment and stimulation.  

I don't know, if we could create an advancing series of really addicting video games like Captain Moroni's Call of Duty...or something like that... to use for Sunday School, etc.

"Call of Duty has been experienced by over 100 million players [see, we could increase membership by nearly 10 fold!] in multiple countries. The man hours that have been put into Call of Duty are nothing short of astonishing. With 25 billion hours (2.85 million years) of total gameplay, people have played Call of Duty for longer than the course of human existence. During that time, players have fired over 32.3 quadrillion shots, according to IGN."

For millennial investigators, we could have a Pokemon type game where they have to go into a baptismal font for points. 

Sacrament would be Takis chips and mountain dew with a state of the art virtual reality experience for the lessons.  

...then we might retain millennials, because they will be gaming even in their death bed.   

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20 hours ago, bsjkki said:

“Clearly enough people are having it, including those in the church” Lady J says, laughing. “Why avoid the issue? Millennials want to address these issues; they’re seeking answers to the tough questions and wanting to have the tough conversations. They are inquisitive and want to know answers to certain questions.”

I've been to a Mormon ward several times as a visitor.  They are not doing anything that would prevent millennials from
thinking about joining.  The mission of the church is to preach the gospel, not to be concerned with the size of membership.

Jim

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2 hours ago, rongo said:

People don't really have trouble understanding KJV English. Or, they shouldn't: Shakespeare, Milton, et. al. are still widely taught in high school and college. 

I fully agree. Making a Revised Standard Book of Mormon would have zero effect on retention or activation. People don't go inactive or missing because of thee and thou. 

That's your belief. I hated Shakespeare and we never read Milton in school, I tried to a few years back but put it back on the shelves when I saw the language.

again its your OPINION about a modern language version.

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2 hours ago, rongo said:

People don't really have trouble understanding KJV English. Or, they shouldn't: Shakespeare, Milton, et. al. are still widely taught in high school and college.

I teach 14-17 year olds.   Almost all were born in the church, have active parents,  who read scriptures with them.  They are not stupid.  They all struggle to read the scriptures out loud and do not understand quite a lot of the words. They do study Shakespeare at school but don't understand him either.  The meaning of the words doesn't seem to be explained to them and they don't seem to understand them in context.  Because they don't understand the words reading scriptures is a chore and they don't understand the stories.  I spend a lot of time explaining. They do like the church videos. 

Personally,  I love the KJV, Shakespeare and Milton but I have always loved words and reading and I have always looked up words I don't know. I like dictionaries.  Most people I know don't like to read. If you don't understand what you are reading or hearing, why wouldn't you drift away,  or be persuaded by those using language and ideas you can relate to?

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1 hour ago, rongo said:

 None of this really works out. A single person on his own who works can live and maintain the responsibilities of adulthood. Lifestyle and cost of living are things that people have a say in. With grants, scholarships, and work, people can afford to go to college (if college is right for them). It might not be a university with major loans, though (an associate's degree is free to residents in my county who graduated from a county high school. My wife just got her associates after two years under a Pell Grant). 

If they are treading water because they are burned out before high school ends, shouldn't the parents bear some responsibility for that? Don't let your kids get burned out and become a drifting millennial.

My oldest is a senior this year, and will be our valedictorian. It has been a real eye-opener for us doing this for the first time. We have learned that if you do your very best in school, schools will pay for everything. He has a variety of full-tuition and full-ride scholarships --- to the point where the scholarships will be able to pay for his mission (surplus money after tuition, room, board, and fees/books are paid). But he's also one of only a few priests/laurels in our stake to even have a driver's license. 

It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job raising your children, and are a great example to those who know you and your family.  Hopefully that will continue and you have no sorrows in the future.

I remember attending Church as newly baptized members.  We were newlyweds with no children.  Seeing children making noise, llclimbing over and under the pews with cheerios everywhere, we gave each other a knowing glance: "When we have children, they won't behave like that.  They will be quiet and respectful and they will obey us because they love us." 

With children of our own, we learned that yes, we can keep them quiet in the pews.  But it requires significant energy, and taking them out in the hall and restraining them from time to time as we taught them the importance of reverence.  We had a policy of never letting their feet touch the floor.  It worked for the most part.  But with so many moving parts, it is understandable that parents would pick their battles, and decide which of their actions will best express love to their children.  It's different for every family.  And the children are also different as they come from God.

We saw each of our children grow and accomplish every milestone of faithful membership, proving their worth and ours as a spectacular family (and especially parents.)  I hope our pride wasn't as obvious as how we felt about the great job we were doing--   the prayers, the scripture study, the family home evenings, Temple work, family fun and vacations, the serving in the Church.  Check any box, it was done, and done pretty well.  

Fast forward, we have three very faithful, dedicated, active wonderful children who are successful in their families, careers and Church responsibilities including Temple attendance.  We have two other wonderful children who have left the church, their Temple covenants and families after earning their Eagles, graduating from Seminary serving missions, marrying in the Temple,  graduating from college and having children.   One served as an AP on his mission and EQ Pres. when he was married.  The other was an all around good guy, until something happened to change all that.

The Lord knew them before they came to our family, and I wouldn't trade any of them.  Going through the deep valleys with them has been an experience I wouldn't have wanted to miss because of what it has taught us about the healing power of the Savior and His Atonement.  We love them and see God answering our prayers.  It is a slow process. But we have moved through the grieving process to acceptance and now hope.  We could have parented better, had we known then what we know now.  I don't know if it would have made a difference. 

Maybe the three who are successful have accomplished what they have in spite of our best efforts.  Maybe our youngest boys left the church and family because of us.  Hard to say.  Thankfully, we have a Savior who understands all circumstances and has given us examples of the Prodigal Son, the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, plus Matthew chapter 5 and Matthew chapter 7, etc. that are humbling and give us hope.  We're still working on our happiness, but a little more subdued than earlier on.

I am heartened when I hear stories like yours, and wish you the very best.

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4 hours ago, rongo said:

But our modern prophets have consistently counseled and emphasized youth to not delay marriage and having kids. If Millennials are by and large not heeding this (either by choice or by ability) . . . then we should, what? Move our goal posts? Or expect/encourage them to move theirs?

One problem with kids from 18-30 is that they expect to "own a home" out of the gate and have all of the trappings it took their parents decades to be able to afford. Why can't they get a job and live in an apartment and pay for their adult life? My kids know that they are on their own after they graduate (college, missions, and then adult life). And, they're looking forward to all of it. We seem to have many parents who refuse or are reluctant to insist that their children make their own way.

No offense intended, but this post and the ones you posted following may be part of the reason many millennials are leaving the church.  It is like they are getting judged by the criteria of a completely different generation.  Their needs are not like any other generation.  And sweeping judgements are unfair and insulting.  Perhaps the expectations of church leaders don't match up with their realities.  An 80 something general authority has completely different issues to deal with than a millennial.  And when church leaders impose their world view on this generation, it can make them feel like the church does not fit their life.  So they leave.

I will give an example, and why I quoted your post.  The church leaders want young people to not delay marriage or having a family.  Do church leaders really realize what they are asking of this new generation?  To buy a simple condo in San Francisco starts close to a million dollars.  Rent for a 2 bedroom apartment runs about $3,500 a month.  While there are some less expensive communities outside of San Francisco, commute costs are easily $10-20 a day, or 300-600 dollars a month.  Very few single people can live by themselves.  Having someone to share the rent is a necessity.  Having a wife with a child completely eliminates that option without putting the child in daycare from day one.  Do you even see how laughable this sentence is?

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One problem with kids from 18-30 is that they expect to "own a home" out of the gate and have all of the trappings it took their parents decades to be able to afford

Yet I think this is how a lot in the church views millennials.  With the expectation of the church and the path that the church pushes, is there really a path for them to follow?  Does the church help them navigate  the life that they find themselves in?  Do they stay in the church and feel guilty for not doing what is expected of them?  Or do they start to believe that the church doesn't have the answers they need in life.  

I am just presenting a different perspective that I honestly don't think church leaders have.  Wait until your daughter graduates from college.  You may have a completely different perspective on what is wrong with millennials today.

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

I don't know, if we could create an advancing series of really addicting video games like Captain Moroni's Call of Duty...or something like that... to use for Sunday School, etc.

"Call of Duty has been experienced by over 100 million players [see, we could increase membership by nearly 10 fold!] in multiple countries. The man hours that have been put into Call of Duty are nothing short of astonishing. With 25 billion hours (2.85 million years) of total gameplay, people have played Call of Duty for longer than the course of human existence. During that time, players have fired over 32.3 quadrillion shots, according to IGN."

For millennial investigators, we could have a Pokemon type game where they have to go into a baptismal font for points. 

Sacrament would be Takis chips and mountain dew with a state of the art virtual reality experience for the lessons.  

...then we might retain millennials, because they will be gaming even in their death bed.   

Great ideas.  A friend of mine also suggested vending machines in the cultural hall in place of Friends of Scouting, and 5 percent tithing for those who join this year only!  His ideas were lightweight compared to yours!  I'd call it Pogimon. 😈

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5 hours ago, rongo said:

But our modern prophets have consistently counseled and emphasized youth to not delay marriage and having kids. If Millennials are by and large not heeding this (either by choice or by ability) . . . then we should, what? Move our goal posts? Or expect/encourage them to move theirs?

One problem with kids from 18-30 is that they expect to "own a home" out of the gate and have all of the trappings it took their parents decades to be able to afford. Why can't they get a job and live in an apartment and pay for their adult life? My kids know that they are on their own after they graduate (college, missions, and then adult life). And, they're looking forward to all of it. We seem to have many parents who refuse or are reluctant to insist that their children make their own way.

I think that most people still want to get married and have kids. I don't know all the reasons why people don't get married as soon, but I think its partly economic insecurity and a reaction to all the divorces in our parents' generation.

I was trying to think about if I know someone my age (mid 20s) still living with their parents, but I couldn't think of anyone other than someone with mental health issues, so I don't know who all these people are and why exactly they are in that situation. I rent an apartment and I imagine will do that for a long while still. It is a lot easier to do that though when you are single because you have roommates who are also paying rent. I guess it's just a matter of it being cheaper to live with relatives so you get a chance to save up more money.

Edited by mapman

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2 hours ago, pogi said:

I don't know, if we could create an advancing series of really addicting video games like Captain Moroni's Call of Duty...or something like that... to use for Sunday School, etc.

"Call of Duty has been experienced by over 100 million players [see, we could increase membership by nearly 10 fold!] in multiple countries. The man hours that have been put into Call of Duty are nothing short of astonishing. With 25 billion hours (2.85 million years) of total gameplay, people have played Call of Duty for longer than the course of human existence. During that time, players have fired over 32.3 quadrillion shots, according to IGN."

For millennial investigators, we could have a Pokemon type game where they have to go into a baptismal font for points. 

Sacrament would be Takis chips and mountain dew with a state of the art virtual reality experience for the lessons.  

...then we might retain millennials, because they will be gaming even in their death bed.   

I know this is supposed to be funny, but we need to be clear that Millennials aren't teenagers any more. Millennials are people born between early 1980s to the mid-90s. Most of them are adults with careers and a lot of them have started their own families.

I enjoy video games, but I haven't actually played any in about a month because finals are coming up and I also have work. I've never played Call of Duty myself nor Pokemon Go. I have a friend that plays Pokemon Go regularly, but its not like its taking up a significant amount of his time. The dumb stereotypes and hilariously shallow understanding of what it is like to be a Millennial shown in this thread goes a long way to explain why Millennials have been abandoning their parents' churches.

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21 minutes ago, mapman said:

I know this is supposed to be funny, but we need to be clear that Millennials aren't teenagers any more. Millennials are people born between early 1980s to the mid-90s. Most of them are adults with careers and a lot of them have started their own families.

I enjoy video games, but I haven't actually played any in about a month because finals are coming up and I also have work. I've never played Call of Duty myself nor Pokemon Go. I have a friend that plays Pokemon Go regularly, but its not like its taking up a significant amount of his time. The dumb stereotypes and hilariously shallow understanding of what it is like to be a Millennial shown in this thread goes a long way to explain why Millennials have been abandoning their parents' churches.

This is my point as well. Millennials are trying to figure out a new way of dealing with the real world they face.  They can't always do it the same way as previous generations.  

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