amwill

How to help YW gone astray?

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I'm a Young Women's leader of 5 laurels. 2 of them (I'll call them Susan and Sally) don't want to come to church or mutual. They've been raised in the church and have been in this ward since they were little.

Susan has an ongoing feud with another girl that brings up drama occasionally and Susan tends to be a bully to the other girls sometimes.

Sally doesn't want to get out of bed for church and will come to mutual occasionally but recently told her mom she's had enough of church.

Both these girls have need counseling for some personal/mental health issues but Sally refused to see one. I'm sure the parents have done all they could to help their girls but now we leaders are struggling to help them want to be in YW. We have a great love for them and see the many things they are good at. But now I'm not sure what to do to help them feel loved and want to come to Young Women's. Does anyone have suggestions? 

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@amwill, if you have been called, sustained, and set apart, you have the right to receive revelation on this matter (so long as you are worthy and put forth the required effort).  If you haven't been set apart, get set apart.  That is the best advice I can give you, as I have no other experience that I think would help in this situation.  Perhaps others can make suggestions, and you can take these to the Lord, but whatever else is true, God knows what these girls need right now - if He isn't guiding you in a specific direction, that in itself may be guidance...

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Field of Dreams applies here:  If you build the field, they will come.

Basically, build a system to the best of your ability rooted in Christ that is full of love and adventure that brings out the best in young women and fulfills the young women's motto.  Then invite the young women... they will come.  If they won't, then they've exercised their free agency and there's nothing more you can do.

For specifics on what that system entails, that's where prayer and reflection and meetings with your YW leadership and Bishop comes into play.  They're the ones that know your ward well and have the inspiration of the Spirit through their authority in their callings.

 

Edited by anatess2

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It sounds like they need help understanding faith and repentance so that they can experience God in their lives. They have probably grown up thinking they understand because it's been taught all their life but it they have never really grasped how to apply it and what it would look like in daily living. Because of that they have not felt the Spirit thus don't miss It. That gives Satan a chance to tempt them to do something where they can at least feel something. Probably the best thing to do is take an active role in being interested and concerned for them so that they know that someone cares and loves them. Strive to help them have spiritual experiences. Try having activities that they might enjoy to try helping them feel involved. Try doing service projects so that they can feel the blessings and bonding from it. 

Edited by Sadliers

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38 minutes ago, Sadliers said:

they have not felt the Spirit

7b5f21d317288cd5459e83930574c02e.jpg  Once again, these are people you don't know, and you have absolutely no idea whether that's true. 

 

Anyway, in my experience with these young women, they do a fair bit of testing. Some want to see how much they can push back or resist or shock you before you'll give up and stop loving them. The answer is just to keep loving, keep reaching out, keep praying for them. We are their leaders, not their parents. We love and teach correct principles and hope and pray for them, but of course we can't force anything, and we can't force the parents to get some of them the help they need. 

Sunday, I had  couple of experiences that reminded me that we really don't know what's going on with people. There could be things going on in their lives that contribute to their behavior. Again, all we can do is teach and love and not make assumptions

We recently took our YW on a retreat for the purpose of bonding with them, and had a great fireside on truth vs. lies, especially pertaining to what the world would tell them about themselves, vs. what Heavenly Father would tell them about themselves. It was a great success, but a couple of the girls that needed it most would not come. One of them, who all of us have made great effort to love and include, refuses to be reached. She recently told someone that nobody talks to her, especially the leaders. That is so far removed from the truth that we really can't do anything to change her perception... some of it is up to them. So once again, we just love love love and teach correct principles when we have the opportunity, and don't give up on them. 

Edited by Eowyn

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9 hours ago, amwill said:

I'm sure the parents have done all they could to help their girls

That's not always a safe assumption.  Sometimes the home environment is the cause of all the issues.  Not saying that's the case here, but it might be.   And these are teens, so sometimes the home environment can be stressful and traumatic, even though there's absolutely no reason for it.  You may or may not ever know.

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9 hours ago, amwill said:

I'm a Young Women's leader of 5 laurels. 2 of them (I'll call them Susan and Sally) don't want to come to church or mutual. They've been raised in the church and have been in this ward since they were little.

Susan has an ongoing feud with another girl that brings up drama occasionally and Susan tends to be a bully to the other girls sometimes.

Sally doesn't want to get out of bed for church and will come to mutual occasionally but recently told her mom she's had enough of church.

Both these girls have need counseling for some personal/mental health issues but Sally refused to see one. I'm sure the parents have done all they could to help their girls but now we leaders are struggling to help them want to be in YW. We have a great love for them and see the many things they are good at. But now I'm not sure what to do to help them feel loved and want to come to Young Women's. Does anyone have suggestions? 

I don't have a lot of ideas, but I just wanted to commend you for being such a loving and conscientious leader. I hope my two daughters always have leaders like you.

Certainly, prayer and seeking the guidance of the Spirit for these girls would be important. The Lord loves these girls so I would expect he will help you to help them.

Also, talking with the bishop, and bringing up the issue in the bishop council, whatever it's called (ward council?).

 

Edited by tesuji

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57 minutes ago, Eowyn said:

 We are their leaders, not their parents.

True, but the principles of being a good parent are the same in being a good leader. It requires authority, respect, love, discipline, etc.  A good leader is not a "friend", they are a leader. One cannot be both a friend and a leader because the moment the leadership responsibility requires enacting some measure of authority over the other person the "friendship" cannot last. Friendship is built on an equal relationship, being a leader is built on an un-equal relationship-to confuse the two is a recipe for disaster.

For example, Susan is a bully and brings drama to the class; as much as we as leaders want Susan to attend and participate allowing her to be a bully and to bring drama into the class is irresponsible.  A leader is shirking their responsibility by not enacting some measure to stop the bullying and the drama.  If a leader does not do so, they risk losing the respect of the other girls who see the drama and bullying.  The entire class can be brought down.

amwill, don't know if you have kids or not-but I would employ some parental tactics to Susan the next time she bullies or brings drama-either send her outside (or if two are involved send both of them out), give 'em the look (if you are a parent you better have a look that could cause boiling water to instantly freeze), something.

As a leader trying to be their "friend" is the absolute last thing you want-that is what kids their age are for.

For Sally, not a whole lot you can do about it-you should not be driving over to get her involved-her church friends should be.

I highly doubt they have mental health issues-they more likely than not have child-hood issues-quite frankly they probably haven't learned how to grown up and are simply still a regressed child. Being surly-not being obedient, bullying,etc. those aren't mental health issues those are "'ain't got no proper fetching up" issues.

Honestly, mental health @ 16?  Unless the individual has been abused, what major problems does a 16 year old have? No boyfriend?? not liked?? That's called growing up, life ain't all full of sunshine and roses, but it doesn't mean we can't be happy regardless.

Edited by yjacket

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14 minutes ago, yjacket said:

enacting some measure to stop the bullying and the drama.

Love comes in many forms. Setting limits is a form of love. 

I just meant that our authority is limited. 

 

15 minutes ago, yjacket said:

Honestly, mental health @ 16?  Unless the individual has been abused, what major problems does a 16 year old have? No boyfriend?? not liked?? That's called growing up, life ain't all full of sunshine and roses, but it doesn't mean we can't be happy regardless.

That's an extremely naive, narrow, uncharitable view of mental health issues, and of the horrible things that people much younger than 16 sometimes deal with, unbeknownst to us.

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55 minutes ago, Eowyn said:

  Once again, these are people you don't know, and you have absolutely no idea whether that's true. 

"And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10:5)

You have a point that it should have been more clear. Revise to "felt the Spirit in a great measure".

Doesn't it better help to identify what lacked thus where a focus would be most effective?

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The Holy Ghost told you that some young women who you don't know in a ward of indeterminate location have never felt the Spirit? 

I refuse to have this conversation with you again, but I won't sit by and let you spread this "you haven't REALLY felt the Spirit" hogwash. It's a lie, in most cases, and a harmful one. 

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31 minutes ago, yjacket said:

Honestly, mental health @ 16?  Unless the individual has been abused, what major problems does a 16 year old have? No boyfriend?? not liked?? That's called growing up, life ain't all full of sunshine and roses, but it doesn't mean we can't be happy regardless.

Mental health issues such as depression and critical lack of self-esteem are VERY really issues, even at the age of 16.  And there very well could be trauma which has occurred in that person's life.

Do not dismiss another person's issues simply because of their age or "small" world.

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32 minutes ago, Eowyn said:

Love comes in many forms. Setting limits is a form of love. 

I just meant that our authority is limited. 

 

That's an extremely naive, narrow, uncharitable view of mental health issues, and of the horrible things that people much younger than 16 sometimes deal with, unbeknownst to us.

Very true on the 1st statement.

On the 2nd.  lol, compare a study of mental health issues of children today vs. 50 years ago.  No where even close. Kids 50 years ago were more mentally stable than today; what happened? Lack of parenting and psycobabble.

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52 minutes ago, yjacket said:

Honestly, mental health @ 16?  Unless the individual has been abused, what major problems does a 16 year old have? No boyfriend?? not liked?? That's called growing up, life ain't all full of sunshine and roses, but it doesn't mean we can't be happy regardless.

Hi yjacket,

Just FYI, I had my first thoughts of suicide at age 10.  I began acting out in various ways at age 14.  I was never abused.

yjacket, you and I argue a lot.  But this is different.  It's 2016, and your ignorance on the presence and reality of mental illness in children is not acceptable.  You're way too bright and well read to have this idealistically-driven gaping hole in your worldview.   You need to fix this.  There's more than psycobabble at work here - there's an evolving better human understanding of things.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death in people between 10 and 24.  Source 

Myths about Mental Illness October 2005 Ensign - Elder Alexander B. Morrison Of the Seventy

Quote

[Myth]6. Mental illness doesn’t strike children and young people. As noted by the National Institute of Mental Health, the truth is that an estimated 10 percent of children in the United States suffer from a mental health disorder that disrupts their functioning at home, in school, or in the community. 2 The majority of children who kill themselves are profoundly depressed, and most parents did not recognize that depression until it was too late. I reiterate: no one is immune to mental illness.

Edited by NeuroTypical

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Fifty years ago or maybe a little more, a man could put his wife in an asylum for "melancholy" if she had postpartum blues, or he found a younger model he wanted to trade her in for. I seriously doubt there were many (if any) good studies on mental health issues for anyone then, least of all children. 

Also, as I'm sure you're aware, laughing at and mocking what people say doesn't generally invite dialogue. 

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13 minutes ago, Eowyn said:

Fifty years ago or maybe a little more, a man could put his wife in an asylum for "melancholy" if she had postpartum blues, or he found a younger model he wanted to trade her in for. I seriously doubt there were many (if any) good studies on mental health issues for anyone then, least of all children. 

Also, as I'm sure you're aware, laughing at and mocking what people say doesn't generally invite dialogue. 

lol  . . . pot meet kettle; I love the hypocrisy.

You can call me "  extremely naive, narrow, uncharitable view of mental health issue " yet when I type lol, I'm the one who is laughing at and mocking others? 

I'm told " ignorance on the presence and reality of mental illness in children is not acceptable " and I'm the one that doesn't invite dialoge.  Pot meet kettle.

No, I actually have studied this quite a bit and psychology in general is a bunch of junk. it's not science, it's made up crap. Freud was on drugs when he wrote his stuff.

All pyschology is is a bunch of individuals who have gone to college and sit and think then they write books on what they think. Some of it might be true, most of it probably wrong. People will say, they have a "chemical imbalance", okay can you measure it? Nope. Those drugs that "cure it", not even proven.  To get approval they only need  tests saying it worked, yet how many unsuccessful test did it require to get that 3? 100, 1000?

This is quite simple, look at behaviors. A 3 year-old throws a fit, has a tantrum and acts like a bully, we don't call them mentally ill-we say they are being a toddler. You look at behaviors because unless Neuro (addressing now) had someone hook 'em up to a machine and actually measured chemicals in the brain no one knows why he had suicidal thoughts. Most times in life, I have found what we dwell on becomes reality, if a child has drama in their life-giving said drama more stage ("what's wrong, what's wrong, etc") encourages the behavior.

In fact the child understand that the adult is worried about them and starts thinking, well maybe there is something wrong with me, then they get themselves all in a twist.

Yes, I'm very well educated, but psychology while very interesting is in general a load crap (and yes I have read a good bit on it, I've studied Freud, Skinner, Erickson).

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55 minutes ago, Eowyn said:

The Holy Ghost told you that some young women who you don't know in a ward of indeterminate location have never felt the Spirit? 

I refuse to have this conversation with you again, but I won't sit by and let you spread this "you haven't REALLY felt the Spirit" hogwash. It's a lie, in most cases, and a harmful one. 

Are you the one that determines to whom God can and cannot reveal things?

Is this anger and divisiveness from the Spirit?

Edited by Sadliers

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Sadliers, I will tell you one thing, and this is in complete sincerity. I believe all that He has revealed, and that He will yet reveal much. I also believe that His is a house of order. I believe His counsel to the populous comes through His anointed leaders, and that revelation for or about anyone is given to those who have the correct authority and stewardship (namely, parents and set-apart leaders), and not random people. Not because He can't, but because that's not how He has told us He will work. If everyone was receiving revelation for everyone else, things would get pretty muddied and confused, and no doubt people would use "revelation" as a tool to manipulate and lead astray. 

My advice to you is to spend some advice with the scriptures and the Holy Ghost, studying stewardship and proper authority, and the last I'll say to you on the topic.

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25 minutes ago, yjacket said:

lol  . . . pot meet kettle; I love the hypocrisy.

I'm told " ignorance on the presence and reality of mental illness in children is not acceptable " and I'm the one that doesn't invite dialoge.  Pot meet kettle.

You miss my point.  I'm not inviting dialogue here.  I'm not offering to discuss the merits of your perspective on mental health vs mine.  I'm telling you, you need to change something about yourself, in order to have dialogue be possible.  Again, it's 2016, and you're tenaciously clinging to your 1970's worldview on mental health.  Your current worldview excludes you from meaningful dialogue.  It's simply not worth talking to someone that believes what you believe about mental health.  I mean, I'll respond to you, because such things need to be responded to, but that isn't dialogue.

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1 hour ago, NeuroTypical said:

 Again, it's 2016, and you're tenaciously clinging to your 1970's worldview on mental health.  Your current worldview excludes you from meaningful dialogue.

And so the 2016 world view is wrong.  

Hey don't you know it's 2016 being against homosexual marriage is a 1970s worldview and you're tenaciously clinging to your 1970's worldview on homosexuality.  Your current worldview excludes you from meaningful dialogue.

I can play that game too.  You are the one who is shutting down dialog not me.  You are in effect saying, it's okay if you want to discuss this as long as you think like I do.

In what world is that dialog?? That ain't dialog-you are shutting down the dialog not me.

Right, I'm the problem here. I have done nothing to you except say that the current mental health view is wrong. I know it is wrong because I have raised my kids two ways, one according to the so-called psychology experts and one according to this worldview (take a wild guess which one works better).

I've never said some people don't have serious issues (indeed I think some people do), but the vast majority of mental health issues isn't because it's an actual diagnosable disease.

You come back to me when there is an actual physical test that measures "chemical imbalances" and can scientifically tell me that xyz chemical is out of whack compared to the normal range of individuals.  Then I will say, yes in that case someone has something identifiable wrong.

This isn't hard, take any other medical illness, cancer, blood pressure, etc. and you can see plain as day on a chart your levels of XYZ (cholesterol, pressure, ABP, etc.) are at this level and it should be at that level. To regulate your body we are giving you this medicine.

Even ADHD is messed up; they diagnose it based on behaviors! And if you look at the list of behaviors, they are typical behaviors for a 3-4 year-old.  So simply based on behaviors they diagnose it based on what is appropriate and expected at one age and not appropriate at another age. So they give kids major jacked up chemicals simply based on behaviors (not scientific tests).  

Let me think, not having age appropriate behaviors . . . that in my book is called parenting.

When science has advanced to that point, then we can talk about an actual mental illness, until then it's all just a bunch of gobbly-goop to rationalize and explain why people feel and do certain things. Some of it very good, most of it very bad.

Edited by yjacket

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1 hour ago, yjacket said:

And so the 2016 world view is wrong.  

Hey don't you know it's 2016 being against homosexual marriage is a 1970s worldview and you're tenaciously clinging to your 1970's worldview on homosexuality.  Your current worldview excludes you from meaningful dialogue.

I can play that game too.  You are the one who is shutting down dialog not me.  You are in effect saying, it's okay if you want to discuss this as long as you think like I do.

In what world is that dialog?? That ain't dialog-you are shutting down the dialog not me.

Right, I'm the problem here. I have done nothing to you except say that the current mental health view is wrong. I know it is wrong because I have raised my kids two ways, one according to the so-called psychology experts and one according to this worldview (take a wild guess which one works better).

I've never said some people don't have serious issues (indeed I think some people do), but the vast majority of mental health issues isn't because it's an actual diagnosable disease.

You come back to me when there is an actual physical test that measures "chemical imbalances" and can scientifically tell me that xyz chemical is out of whack compared to the normal range of individuals.  Then I will say, yes in that case someone has something identifiable wrong.

This isn't hard, take any other medical illness, cancer, blood pressure, etc. and you can see plain as day on a chart your levels of XYZ (cholesterol, pressure, ABP, etc.) are at this level and it should be at that level. To regulate your body we are giving you this medicine.

When science has advanced to that point, then we can talk about an actual mental illness, until then it's all just a bunch of gobbly-goop to rationalize and explain why people feel and do certain things. Some of it very good, most of it very bad.

Just because something is hard to measure by science doesn't mean it's not real.

I believe God exists and in a Holy Spirit that testifies of him. I've felt it, I know it's real, but science can't easily measure that either.

Psychology is a young science and I think it has a long way to go. But that doesn't mean it's worthless. Ask a mental health counselor if mental illness is real - they deal with it every day.

If you have no experience with mental illness, then I can understand why you don't understand about it. It doesn't sound to me that you do.

[added]
In my opinion, psychological health or illness is much harder to evaluate than a physiological condition. We are talking about the sum of many things - the brain, the mind, the human psyche. These are very complex things, as is their interrelation. And the mind, the eternal human spirit? That's might be the deepest subject of all.

So you're not always going to be able to come up with an easy test for chemical imbalances or whatever. 

Even regular medicine, the physiological type, is far from understanding everything. 

 

Edited by tesuji

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Getting back to the OP about the girls. I  also commend you on your caring and effort. I agree that it really needs to be the girls their age who do the fellowshipping.

I think you can fast, pray and seek inspiration. Mostly I think you need to give them unconditional love. Extend a hand of friendship  (I think you can be a friend and a leader). They need to know that you care about them as a person, not simply that you want them to come back to church. I think that is particularly important when there are mental health issues involved. If the girls feel, even in the smallest way, that you are only caring about them as part of your duty in your calling they won't respond. Ask yourself, if you were released today, would you still be reaching out to these girls tomorrow or next week?If the answer is no, then you are doing this out of duty and not genuine love and they can sense that. If your efforts are genuine love, then you will accept them whether or not they come back...and then you  might have some influence. But only if they know you care more about them than their church activity.

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