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Your ward / stake level of activity for youth?


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23 hours ago, BlueDreams said:

You're allowed to find it weak. I don't I know she uses more quotes that are more recent. She had an Oaks talk bingo card in one of her articles with varying jargon labels to look for in the talk. My problem with both her using old quotes and what you describe here is a problem of balance in critique and display. It gives a stagnant absolutist church, when we're more dynamic and have more variety in positions than we're given credit for. With the balance many (if not most) of her arguments to pidgeon us in the BITE model of cults begins to fall apart. Because for every Oaks talk there's a lovely Uchtdorf one to balance it out. There are talks trying to address compassionately issues of abuse and depression in just about each GC in the last couple of year. We are not a monolith in how we engage , not even in the highest levels of leadership...but especially in how it is applied in the ward, peer, and family level. 1 Earrings lasted a couple years, it wasn't super unreasonable at the time, but became anachronistic when trying to convey keeping a nice presentable appearance . Similar to how long skirts died out. At this point several people have multiple earings and few think twice about what it "says" because it's just a common beauty option. Heck with my migraines, I've had more than 1 active member ask me if I'll get a second piercing in my cartilage to help. Similar to beards. Though The temple is yet a great example of the balance trying to be struck by rules and compassion. Temple workers often have a different set of rules to follow. They're more strict than average callings. Yet they've also loosened somewhat, and what is officially directed to workers in temple lesson videos is one of open compassion and reducing judging patrons based on appearance among other things. It's NOT to over-police patrons into following what we may deem "respectful" or "better" for the temple.

Not to belabor this issue but I did have a few thoughts.  I will readily agree that Church leaders have made some strides in some areas that are less harsh and hard and more compassionate and caring.I do think there is a long ways to go though.  However I think it is an error to think one can simply dismiss something because it was said a long time ago.  Some things said a long time ago that were harmful, still find their way into talks in wards, stakes and even GC.  Remember the references a few years ago to Bensons 14 fundamentals of a prophet?  And still what was taught has an impact. I am 63. You are 34.  I grew up with a lot that molded me and shaped who and what I became both good and bad.  It had impact and still does.  I believed what prophets and apostles said.  And I was taught I should.  We could debate how much has changed and how much has not.  Anyway, I do not dismiss your opinion because you  are young. I find you very thoughtful and bright.  I do think you like many I know that may have concerns about Church things but still stay, are very nuanced and have molded your beliefs to work for you but I still am not convinced that the Church leaders would see the Church in the same way you do or the way a few of my close active but very nuanced friends do. And I cannot simply dismiss what was taught decades ago because I have lived it.

 

Thanks!

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16 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

Personally I agree that there is, for many members I’ve been engaged with, a certain comfort in Group Think and a sense that we need to retain our youth by pressing for high involvement and lots of activities.  The church itself might not gain money necessarily but there is often a need to maintain activity(it’s a conversation in nearly every leadership meeting I’ve ever been part of) and I think the Group Think is, we need to maintain activity for those in our care.  Our own children , our youth groups, our wards etc.  And I have had leaders who think more is better.  I appreciate leaders who value family time and try to minimize busy- ness. 

Totally agree.  In my other post I showed where I don't feel things have changed timewise, but I do think we need to think of more effective ways than more time.  

Personally, I felt all the treats in my last ward were ineffective. There is a big thing where people feel you have to entice with food and to some extent that may be true, but if you focus your time on helping others to feel the Spirit rather than food it is more effective and if the Spirit is there then it is a bigger draw.

And please, others who read this, don't think I mean quiet, pious, serious time.  That's not the same as feeling the Spirit.  It may be quiet sometimes when you feel the Spirit, but they are not the same thing.

Edited by Rain
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5 hours ago, Teancum said:

Not to belabor this issue but I did have a few thoughts. 

I don't mind at all :) 

 

5 hours ago, Teancum said:

I will readily agree that Church leaders have made some strides in some areas that are less harsh and hard and more compassionate and caring.I do think there is a long ways to go though.  However I think it is an error to think one can simply dismiss something because it was said a long time ago.  Some things said a long time ago that were harmful, still find their way into talks in wards, stakes and even GC.  Remember the references a few years ago to Bensons 14 fundamentals of a prophet?  And still what was taught has an impact. I am 63. You are 34.  I grew up with a lot that molded me and shaped who and what I became both good and bad.  It had impact and still does.  I believed what prophets and apostles said.  And I was taught I should.  We could debate how much has changed and how much has not.  Anyway, I do not dismiss your opinion because you  are young. I find you very thoughtful and bright.  I do think you like many I know that may have concerns about Church things but still stay, are very nuanced and have molded your beliefs to work for you but I still am not convinced that the Church leaders would see the Church in the same way you do or the way a few of my close active but very nuanced friends do. And I cannot simply dismiss what was taught decades ago because I have lived it.

 

Thanks!

I would Like to premise what I'm about to say by noting I hope nothing I said indicates that your experiences are dismissible. I certainly don't think that. To me there's a difference between dismissing and deciding whether an experience represents the whole of the church. I don't think any one experience does, including my own. Your story and experience tells a part of a story within an LDS framework. Mine tells another. They have overlap I'm sure, as well as differences. My biggest problem isn't that you had a story where you can resonate with the book you've referred. The problem I have is that that story is disproportionately given space to define the entirety of said organization. 

That said, I have some spazzy thoughts when i was reading your post. Both are one where I can relate and/empathize and then differ a bit on your experiences. I don't think I dismiss the past per se. I'm young-ish, yes. That doesn't mean the past hasn't effected me. The biggest one was probably on racial concerns. And to work through those entailed heavy study off and on for years on several fronts around the topic. I met plenty, including my own mother, who still subscribed to what I see as racist interpretations and ideology. My conclusions that allowed me a comfortable space with the topic were at times dismissed by others who could not see past the model they'd been given and worked with (in both defending and critiquing the church)...well until similar outlooks to my views began to gain traction in circles and bolstered by things like the gospel topics essay and historians. Suddenly I was less the oddball and those that kept hold of the past interpretations were the odder ones.   

 The other is that I've never had a faith crisis...the closest I've had is a "faith" crisis in my country. It has similar elements that I've seen of those who describe a faith crisis. Namely an over-idealistic and selective image given of both our history and present actions that get chipped at through experiences and learning other things about our past...which mixed with some negative experiences caused my views of my country to drastically shift. Things I used to love now make me sad or uncomfortable. Anger creeps in when certain views or problems I see are on display. It's not always safe or good to share my problems with it. I'm still working through it. I don't know what it'll mean for me down the road. I assume I'll have a different experience with how I view my country than I had years prior. I hope it changes. I doubt in some ways that it will or at least in a timeline I'm comfortable with. 

For a while now, I've been thinking about what's made the difference for me in terms of keeping a strong faith. I don't think it's just that I have a nuanced view. I do on some things, on others I'm about as TBM as they come. I think it comes down more to how I've engaged and been engaged within a church setting. I haven't just been valued in spite of my views. Often I've been valued because of them, in varying ways. I know that my views do not consistently line up with every leader/member I've met, but with most it's been a boon to how I relate to those in my wards/religion. Or at the very least something they think about. I've never been punished or questioned because of my views. Many of my views are actually fairly common, at least at a distance. For example, most people I meet agree with me that how we teach about sex needs to change. They may not agree with every last idea I have around that, but that main idea is still there. I don't hide my oddities much....maybe because of that I don't feel odd. I don't feel like I'm swimming up stream against a current of rigidity and HDG characteristics. Due to my job, I've gotten to engage with more bishops than the usual and my opinions and perspectives are generally valued and taken into careful consideration. And I guess that's part of it. My experience is not just me accepting the words and ideas of leaders or dismissing parts I don't like, it's me interacting and engaging with leaders in ways that are more collaborative in our different rolls and experiences. It participating in a changing landscape with balance. Where my input can shift conversation I think if that wasn't there I'd have a far harder time being in the church and an easier one placing the church strongly in the HDG camp, as opposed to a "B" rated cult (jk).

 

I have work, I hope that made some sense.

With luv,

BD 

 

Edited by BlueDreams
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  • 1 month later...
On 9/19/2022 at 5:21 PM, Hamba Tuhan said:

I no longer have access to the stake's report, but here are the relevant stats for my ward from last quarter:

  • Young men with priesthood office appropriate for their age: 88 per cent.
  • Young men attending priesthood and Sunday School meetings: 82 per cent.
  • Young women attending Young Women and Sunday School meetings: 33 per cent.
  • Youth with a current proxy baptisms and confirmations temple recommend: 50 per cent.

All of these show an increase over four years except for young women attendance, which has declined 57 per cent! I've worried for some years that we were getting something very wrong in our Young Women program. Apparently I haven't been wrong ...

Quick update from our latest quarterly report:

  • Young men with priesthood office appropriate for their age: 89 per cent (+1).
  • Young men attending priesthood and Sunday School meetings: 83 per cent (+1)
  • Young women attending Young Women and Sunday School meetings: 63 per cent (+30).
  • Youth with a current proxy baptisms and confirmations temple recommend: 73 per cent (+23).

The YM increases are statistical noise, but I'm happy to see sizeable increases in the other two metrics!

Our ward was created exactly three years ago, so I thought it might be interesting to have a look back over 12 quarters of attendance figures. Here they are for youth (YM = orange, YW = red):

image.png

 

And here they are for adults (MP = black and RS = purple):

image.png

As elders quorum president, I'm very pleased at where our quorum (and the whole ward) appears to be headed!

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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