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How much education on LDS doctorine do children get?  Is it comporable to say the same level that some Catholics and what other high church Protestants used to get?  (I.e, catechism)  Also, those who get the missionary discussions, do they get the same amount if they chose to get baptised?

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17 minutes ago, poptart said:

How much education on LDS doctorine do children get?  Is it comporable to say the same level that some Catholics and what other high church Protestants used to get?  (I.e, catechism)  Also, those who get the missionary discussions, do they get the same amount if they chose to get baptised?

We have a 4 year seminary program that we mainly read the scriptures, one year the bible, then another year the BoM, then the Doctrine and Covenants. But It's been awhile. 

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6 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

We have a 4 year seminary program that we mainly read the scriptures, one year the bible, then another year the BoM, then the Doctrine and Covenants. But It's been awhile. 

Is that for everyone or is it mostly taken by children? 

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1 hour ago, poptart said:

Is that for everyone or is it mostly taken by children? 

There are adult and young adult classes available as well on weeknights. But during covid they may be online, or not at all, I'm thinking. Are you thinking of taking classes?

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/si/institute?lang=eng

Edited by Tacenda
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We tend to teach about how to be good Saints more than background knowledge in scriptures.  The focus is on how to use the scriptures to get answers for our struggles and to become better people, strengthen our connection with a God, our families and neighbors.  Actual scripture content can be rather repetitive.

We have the Sunday classes called Primary kids under 12 go to every week, relatively superficial which imo was only a problem around 9 or 10, by then you needed to work harder to keep attention and the kids are generally interested in more detailed stories ifyou are an okay storyteller.

Seminary starts with high school.  Very dependent on the teacher, imo.  I think they have gotten better recently but for me the only thing it did was increased my reading of all the scriptures rather than just Old Testament and Pearl of Great Price.  I guess for those who hadn't retained Primary teachings or who had teachers who mainly had you color, it was better.  The Church History year was the only one that gave me new info as background details were not in the scriptures.

In college age, they do Institute classes.  I took mine as regular classes at BYU, other nonchurch schools have these as a social and extracurricular activity.  Some were just more Sunday School classes, others were much more in depth.  All depended on the teacher and how they used the material.  I took my Old Testament Topics from a scholar and learned tons, we used additional translations. One of my BoM class was an hour's section taught by someone out of the department, it was more sitting around and just talking and I don't remember any value from it.  I think I took Isaiah instead of the Church History course as I don't remember CH at all.  New Testament was a bit more than Sunday School, but I just remember the text, so teacher was not helpful I suspect.

After college if you want to go in depth, it is mostly personal study unless you luck out and get someone passionate about the topic for Sunday classes. I had one Gospel Doctrine teacher friend come study with me when she was teaching Old Testament because she was clueless about it, so they don't necessarily choose teachers based on their knowledge.

However, with the recent change to the Come Follow Me program, there could be a significant change in material, especially if enough get into the personal study side of it and then bring their knowledge to class.  I honestly haven't been able to go enough lately (before Covid) to see how the change was affecting adult education.

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, poptart said:

How much education on LDS doctorine do children get?  Is it comporable to say the same level that some Catholics and what other high church Protestants used to get?  (I.e, catechism)  Also, those who get the missionary discussions, do they get the same amount if they chose to get baptised?

I'm not going to do any comparisons because 1) I don't know enough about educational level of other church's children and 2) in my limited experience of talking with kids whom attend other churches there's an absolutely huge variety even for kids that attend the literal same congregation.

There's also a huge variety for kids in LDS congregations depending on the family's push and the kid's own willingness/incentive  to learn (let's face, you can sit in a class and choose to learn nothing).  

For a super-involved kid/family, for traditional formal stuff: you'd have church several hours a week, wherein the kids sit in the same services as everyone else for the first hour, and then go to age-specific classes.  Even the 18 month old's technically have a Sunday School lesson - something like a 2-minute "Jesus loves me and other kids, and I should share the toys", with lots of toys and a snack.  As they get older, lessons evolve with the kids.  Teenagers also have 1 hour a 6 days week classes.  Some kids really rock it out and know an amazing amount of stuff.  Some... there's always that kid that drives the teacher crazy.  

For the informal stuff: at home you have lessons with your family, reading scriptures, prayer, random talks in the car, etc.  Honestly that's where the biggest learning happens and also where the big emphasis is the last few years.  And now with everyone being at home, it's pretty much everything.  

You have some kids that have read all 4 Standard Works cover to cover, whom can explain things like a champion, and rock solid applied relationship with the Gospel.  Some that know things and have a testimony, but aren't very good at the academic articulation of things.  Some that have just been bench warmers.  And everything in between.

2 hours ago, poptart said:

Also, those who get the missionary discussions, do they get the same amount if they chose to get baptised?

Children under 8 aren't yet eligible for baptism, but will (ideally) get the same education as their parents during missionary discussions and normal kids.  This will include chatting with the bishop before baptism at 8 about things and their testimony.

Kids 9 and over technically count as converts, and go through the same process as adult converts.  Obviously there will be age/circumstance adjustment to lessons.  Example: talking about sexuality is only for marriage is very different with a 10 year old, versus a 23 year old living with her boyfriend.  

 

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Here are the links to current Seminary manuals if you want to get an idea on what is to be focused on:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/si/seminary/manuals?lang=eng

Institute:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/si/institute/manuals?lang=eng

Missionary lesson manual:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/missionary?lang=eng

The Church also puts out a monthly magazine, one for adults, another for teens, one for Primary age.

The adult ones used to be very informative, then they went to a share stories about the Gospel in your life topic, with relatively superficial stories on the scriptures we were studying that year.  I haven't read them for several years to be honest except on occasion, so I don't know how much they have changed with the current emphasis on putting more info online such as the expanded church history section that have background stories for Doctrine and Covenants, Revelations in Context along with just interesting bios and such.  The Ensign (adults) has had some excellent articles on mental health and other family and personal issues over the years, usually told by those who have experienced the problems in some way with additional more professional info, but also articles by professionals...focus is on getting help from God and others or helping others.

Edited by Calm
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If people want to personally study more academically, there is tons of material online these days supported by the Church directly or indirectly, mostly through BYU, but also the Church Historian department with the Joseph Smith Papers Project.  

https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/

Also talks of all kinds

https://speeches.byu.edu/

There is a big push in personal study not only for yourself, but to then teach your children.  We get scripture as well as modern talks all the time of teaching your children the gospel not only by how you live, but by talking to them about it, reading scriptures with them, having formal and informal lessons.

I think we were pretty successful with our first kid as he was inclined to ask questions (I taught him about negative numbers and square roots in kindergarten).  When our daughter got diabetes when turning 12, every time we tried to do semi organized teaching it brought on massive anxiety because of her schooling issues, so we backed off and just went to passing comments in discussion, sharing what I was talking about on the board and FairMormon, that kind of stuff.  I thought she would absorb it like our son did. I couldn't imagine a child in our family not being interested in religion, not with my parents and siblings and our first kid and my husband and my own obsession.  No go.  Her anxiety had her shutting out a lot.  She is now agnostic.  I wish I had persisted and figured out some nonthreatening, didn't  feel like school way of teaching her, but we were so overwhelmed by just trying to keep her from withdrawing from life, it never penetrated she was blocking stuff out because she talked about so few topics.

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

There are adult and young adult classes available as well on weeknights. But during covid they may be online, or not at all, I'm thinking. Are you thinking of taking classes?

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/si/institute?lang=eng

Up until now didn't know an outsider could.

1 hour ago, Calm said:

We tend to teach about how to be good Saints more than background knowledge in scriptures.  The focus is on how to use the scriptures to get answers for our struggles and to become better people, strengthen our connection with a God, our families and neighbors.  Actual scripture content can be rather repetitive.

We have the Sunday classes called Primary kids under 12 go to every week, relatively superficial which imo was only a problem around 9 or 10, by then you needed to work harder to keep attention and the kids are generally interested in more detailed stories ifyou are an okay storyteller.

Seminary starts with high school.  Very dependent on the teacher, imo.  I think they have gotten better recently but for me the only thing it did was increased my reading of all the scriptures rather than just Old Testament and Pearl of Great Price.  I guess for those who hadn't retained Primary teachings or who had teachers who mainly had you color, it was better.  The Church History year was the only one that gave me new info as background details were not in the scriptures.

In college age, they do Institute classes.  I took mine as regular classes at BYU, other nonchurch schools have these as a social and extracurricular activity.  Some were just more Sunday School classes, others were much more in depth.  All depended on the teacher and how they used the material.  I took my Old Testament Topics from a scholar and learned tons, we used additional translations. One of my BoM class was an hour's section taught by someone out of the department, it was more sitting around and just talking and I don't remember any value from it.  I think I took Isaiah instead of the Church History course as I don't remember CH at all.  New Testament was a bit more than Sunday School, but I just remember the text, so teacher was not helpful I suspect.

After college if you want to go in depth, it is mostly personal study unless you luck out and get someone passionate about the topic for Sunday classes. I had one Gospel Doctrine teacher friend come study with me when she was teaching Old Testament because she was clueless about it, so they don't necessarily choose teachers based on their knowledge.

However, with the recent change to the Come Follow Me program, there could be a significant change in material, especially if enough get into the personal study side of it and then bring their knowledge to class.  I honestly haven't been able to go enough lately (before Covid) to see how the change was affecting adult education.

Does organization vary from place to place or is it uniform?  Sounds like the Come Follow Me program was an attempt at reform/consolidation.

57 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

I'm not going to do any comparisons because 1) I don't know enough about educational level of other church's children and 2) in my limited experience of talking with kids whom attend other churches there's an absolutely huge variety even for kids that attend the literal same congregation.

There's also a huge variety for kids in LDS congregations depending on the family's push and the kid's own willingness/incentive  to learn (let's face, you can sit in a class and choose to learn nothing).  

For a super-involved kid/family, for traditional formal stuff: you'd have church several hours a week, wherein the kids sit in the same services as everyone else for the first hour, and then go to age-specific classes.  Even the 18 month old's technically have a Sunday School lesson - something like a 2-minute "Jesus loves me and other kids, and I should share the toys", with lots of toys and a snack.  As they get older, lessons evolve with the kids.  Teenagers also have 1 hour a 6 days week classes.  Some kids really rock it out and know an amazing amount of stuff.  Some... there's always that kid that drives the teacher crazy.  

For the informal stuff: at home you have lessons with your family, reading scriptures, prayer, random talks in the car, etc.  Honestly that's where the biggest learning happens and also where the big emphasis is the last few years.  And now with everyone being at home, it's pretty much everything.  

You have some kids that have read all 4 Standard Works cover to cover, whom can explain things like a champion, and rock solid applied relationship with the Gospel.  Some that know things and have a testimony, but aren't very good at the academic articulation of things.  Some that have just been bench warmers.  And everything in between.

Children under 8 aren't yet eligible for baptism, but will (ideally) get the same education as their parents during missionary discussions and normal kids.  This will include chatting with the bishop before baptism at 8 about things and their testimony.

Kids 9 and over technically count as converts, and go through the same process as adult converts.  Obviously there will be age/circumstance adjustment to lessons.  Example: talking about sexuality is only for marriage is very different with a 10 year old, versus a 23 year old living with her boyfriend.  

 

It varies especially nowadays.  I had Protestants and Catholics, back before I was born their education was superb, from what i've heard the Protestant bodies in Germany still have that organization, Catholics are as excellent as ever in that regard.  From my experience, biggest problem Protestants had here is the lack of organization and especially in the past decades slitting each others throats.  I knew someone who was a sunday school for the ELCA branch of Lutheranism (My personal fav), was right around the 90s he noticed the change, all about politics, money and using people as free daycare vs. making sure they fulfilled their role as Christian parents.  From what i've heard, in a lot of Protestant churches now it's a joke.  The ELCA has managed to hold on quite a bit I think, the main protestant body in Germany works with them here in some places.  This is one of the ones that the EKD has relations and I think communion with. 

https://www.stmatthews-sf.org/

That's right, keep forgetting you guys don't do infant baptism.  I got dunked/sprinkled as an infant.

1 hour ago, Calm said:

Here are the links to current Seminary manuals if you want to get an idea on what is to be focused on:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/si/seminary/manuals?lang=eng

Institute:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/si/institute/manuals?lang=eng

Missionary lesson manual:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/missionary?lang=eng

The Church also puts out a monthly magazine, one for adults, another for teens, one for Primary age.

The adult ones used to be very informative, then they went to a share stories about the Gospel in your life topic, with relatively superficial stories on the scriptures we were studying that year.  I haven't read them for several years to be honest except on occasion, so I don't know how much they have changed with the current emphasis on putting more info online such as the expanded church history section that have background stories for Doctrine and Covenants, Revelations in Context along with just interesting bios and such.  The Ensign (adults) has had some excellent articles on mental health and other family and personal issues over the years, usually told by those who have experienced the problems in some way with additional more professional info, but also articles by professionals...focus is on getting help from God and others or helping others.

That's what gets me, that's all out there, free as it should be.  Anymore so many churches here charge for everything.  That's one reason why a lot of churches do the contemporary music bit, a lot of traditional music is copyrighted here stateside, it's disgusting.  I can walk into a more traditional parish and still hear hymns in latin, when I do go it's usually around Christmas/Easter when they have their best stuff.  Good luck finding a Lutheran church here with the old school music that they used to play.  It's out there but it's so hard to find.  Irony is i've seen a mighty fortress is our God in LDS hymnals, one of Luther's favorites.

54 minutes ago, Calm said:

If people want to personally study more academically, there is tons of material online these days supported by the Church directly or indirectly, mostly through BYU, but also the Church Historian department with the Joseph Smith Papers Project.  

https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/

Also talks of all kinds

https://speeches.byu.edu/

There is a big push in personal study not only for yourself, but to then teach your children.  We get scripture as well as modern talks all the time of teaching your children the gospel not only by how you live, but by talking to them about it, reading scriptures with them, having formal and informal lessons.

I think we were pretty successful with our first kid as he was inclined to ask questions (I taught him about negative numbers and square roots in kindergarten).  When our daughter got diabetes when turning 12, every time we tried to do semi organized teaching it brought on massive anxiety because of her schooling issues, so we backed off and just went to passing comments in discussion, sharing what I was talking about on the board and FairMormon, that kind of stuff.  I thought she would absorb it like our son did. I couldn't imagine a child in our family not being interested in religion, not with my parents and siblings and our first kid and my husband and my own obsession.  No go.  Her anxiety had her shutting out a lot.  She is now agnostic.  I wish I had persisted and figured out some nonthreatening, didn't  feel like school way of teaching her, but we were so overwhelmed by just trying to keep her from withdrawing from life, it never penetrated she was blocking stuff out because she talked about so few topics.

Your so fortunate the LDS church has these resources available for you.  Hope it stays that way.  I had clergy in the family, sadly I know some of the not so nice details on how religion here declined and why, charging for everything and not having genuine support for your church was one of them.  Really hope all of you learn from all that and keep supporting each other with stuff like this, it's the only way you'll survive. 

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9 minutes ago, poptart said:

Does organization vary from place to place or is it uniform?  Sounds like the Come Follow Me program was an attempt at reform/consolidation.

Organization is the same, manuals are the same, even globally, but teachers vary and are given limited oversight in my experience.  Leaders are supposed to or were when I was teaching sit in on classes and hold teaching training meetings, but it rarely happened in any ward .I was in.  They had too much to do with their teaching duties as they would teach the whole group (or rather teach half of the group thecfirst hour, the second the second hour).

I know youth/teens are supposed to be more teachers of their own classes now, but I have no clue how that works when working and how much it is done as it should.  We are a volunteer organization and outside the safety training, I am not aware these days of any dealbreakers of not doing training that will get you pulled as a teacher.  Hopefullythose involved in youth and child teaching these days will speak up as I am 10-15 years out of date besides what .I read of others' experiences.

Edited by Calm
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11 minutes ago, poptart said:

Hope it stays that way

I can't imagine it changing, but who knows.  The Church has the money now to do it, if in decades to come that changes and they need to put more money to physical needs of members or BYU gets shut down, I suppose we might have to go to limited resources online, but education is a major principle of LDS culture and belief...it is talked about in out scriptures, learning out of the best books, etc, so I will be very surprised if it ever happens without an economic collapse kind of thing.

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51 minutes ago, Calm said:

Organization is the same, manuals are the same, even globally, but teachers vary and are given limited oversight in my experience.  Leaders are supposed to or were when I was teaching sit in on classes and hold teaching training meetings, but it rarely happened in any ward .I was in.  They had too much to do with their teaching duties as they would teach the whole group (or rather teach half of the group thecfirst hour, the second the second hour).

I know youth/teens are supposed to be more teachers of their own classes now, but I have no clue how that works when working and how much it is done as it should.  We are a volunteer organization and outside the safety training, I am not aware these days of any dealbreakers of not doing training that will get you pulled as a teacher.  Hopefullythose involved in youth and child teaching these days will speak up as I am 10-15 years out of date besides what .I read of others' experiences.

Do any of the mandatory reporter laws or fear of being accused of sexual misconduct affect your teachers ability to do their job?  I'd be scared out of my mind if I was in that position.  I'll admit it, i'm not fond of children nor am really the most trusting individual so yeah I do have a bias.  That being said, considering the lawsuit coming out of Oregon i'd be leery one way or another.  Not like people were exactly nice from the get go but geez, the actions of some people are outright vile. 

45 minutes ago, Calm said:

I can't imagine it changing, but who knows.  The Church has the money now to do it, if in decades to come that changes and they need to put more money to physical needs of members or BYU gets shut down, I suppose we might have to go to limited resources online, but education is a major principle of LDS culture and belief...it is talked about in out scriptures, learning out of the best books, etc, so I will be very surprised if it ever happens without an economic collapse kind of thing.

So did the Lutherans and other denominations, it's mind blowing how much they used to do.  I grew up hearing stories about how extensive the reformation education they received was, some even learned German.  That was a long time ago sadly, it's a far cry from what it was.  From what i've seen the LDS are just hard to pin down in a religious discussion, most people here i've seen who try to argue with them never actually listen to them, it's just bashing.  Sit down and talk with the ones who grew up with the faith and wow, they are grounded in it, it's admirable.  That and the continuing education is mindblowing, like the apps they have. 

Sure hope that doesn't happen but at the rate things are going, well, I have a bad feeling.   Education really is everything, so many have forgotten that. 

Edited by poptart
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42 minutes ago, poptart said:

Do any of the mandatory reporter laws or fear of being accused of sexual misconduct affect your teachers ability to do their job? 

We have to have two deep, which can make staffing hard, but lightens the teaching load as they alternate.  Other than that, I don't think so.  I haven't heard anyone complain about what is happening, though worried about what might.

They aren't as affectionate to the kids as we once were, which is unfortunate, but what kids are used to now, I suspect.

Edited by Calm
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10 hours ago, Calm said:

We have to have two deep, which can make staffing hard, but lightens the teaching load as they alternate.  Other than that, I don't think so.  I haven't heard anyone complain about what is happening, though worried about what might.

They aren't as affectionate to the kids as we once were, which is unfortunate, but what kids are used to now, I suspect.

I doubt there would be many complaints, would think most parents would not mind a break from their children. 

That's common with a lot of things here i've noticed.  It's interesting, I have friends with Asian spouses and while things change the orgs they belong to still treat the kids quite well.  Doesn't matter, be it a christian church or buddhist temple, the mentoring those kids get is amazing.  Can't help that's a holdover from many E.Asian immigrants having to build things from the ground up in the face of horrible racism vs. people here just being handed whatever their parents and grandparents had. 

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15 hours ago, poptart said:

Up until now didn't know an outsider could.

You can freely learn / remote / attend any LDS Christian class.

15 hours ago, poptart said:

Does organization vary from place to place or is it uniform?  Sounds like the Come Follow Me program was an attempt at reform/consolidation.

Basic ordination is the same globally, with minor tweaks for local needs (like how many kids' classes do you have).  

"Come Follow Me" is actually more flexible for teaching local / individual needs that the previous program.  We should each be learning individually. 

15 hours ago, poptart said:

Your so fortunate the LDS church has these resources available for you.  Hope it stays that way.  I had clergy in the family, sadly I know some of the not so nice details on how religion here declined and why, charging for everything and not having genuine support for your church was one of them.  Really hope all of you learn from all that and keep supporting each other with stuff like this, it's the only way you'll survive. 

I don't ever see that changing.

14 hours ago, poptart said:

Do any of the mandatory reporter laws or fear of being accused of sexual misconduct affect your teachers ability to do their job?  I'd be scared out of my mind if I was in that position. 

Not really.  Things are two-deep and there's mandatory training.  

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By the time a child whose parents are practicing members reaches the age of 8 when they are baptized, they've been in primary classes that teach about God, and at least three years of lessons based on scriptures every sunday, plus weekly family home evening, and daily family scripture reading.  An 8 year old has probably memorized a few scriptures, and a fair number of primary songs, and a couple of Articles of Faith perhaps.   They've likely given talks in primary five or six times.   I don't think you can compare it exactly to catechism, simply because that is geared to the developmental level that is older than 0-7 years of age largely.   But they would often know a fair number of the scripture stories, for sure.

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1 hour ago, Jane_Doe said:

You can freely learn / remote / attend any LDS Christian class.

Basic ordination is the same globally, with minor tweaks for local needs (like how many kids' classes do you have).  

"Come Follow Me" is actually more flexible for teaching local / individual needs that the previous program.  We should each be learning individually. 

I don't ever see that changing.

Not really.  Things are two-deep and there's mandatory training.  

Wow that is generous, pretty sure that's how it used to be here with a lot of churches. 

That standardization is impressive, considering how well made LDS media is i'm not suprised, pleased actually.

Hope it doesn't change, I have my doubts.  Then again, I don't view people in general the same as you and a lot of people here do, that's just me.

The part about mandatory reporters not affecting your teaching is what I hope stays the same the most, it's disgusting how that has destroyed so many institutions that made life better here.  We partially lost the boy scouts over stuff like that. 

13 minutes ago, rpn said:

By the time a child whose parents are practicing members reaches the age of 8 when they are baptized, they've been in primary classes that teach about God, and at least three years of lessons based on scriptures every sunday, plus weekly family home evening, and daily family scripture reading.  An 8 year old has probably memorized a few scriptures, and a fair number of primary songs, and a couple of Articles of Faith perhaps.   They've likely given talks in primary five or six times.   I don't think you can compare it exactly to catechism, simply because that is geared to the developmental level that is older than 0-7 years of age largely.   But they would often know a fair number of the scripture stories, for sure.

Depends on the parish, I went through Catechism as an adult but i've seen it for kids.  You have things for when they're really young then around like 9-12 ish a lot of parishes gear them up for communion/confirmation.  The Lutherans weren't that different in that regard, in some cases quite identical.  Think a big reason why Catholics still pull a lot of that off is it's cultural, once Lutherans lost their German/Norweigan American roots, that was it.  Catholic parishes still seem to pour a lot of time and effort into faith development, you see it with SSPX parishes.  Those places on Sundays have standing room only. 

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