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Thoughts on new Children and Youth Initiative?

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My initial thoughts are that:

1-It’s more a concept than a program. 

2- It’s great because it’s so unstructured and can be customized per individual.  

3- It’s going to throw some people for a loop since there is no Eagle or Medallion to work for. 

4- I wonder if the boys will feel let down without Scouts since the program is so not rigorous. If applied, there is potential for tons of personal growth but nothing to put on a resume with the same easily recognizable brand Power as Eagle Scout,

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I am thoroughly looking forward to it and to hear more on November 17th.

A lot of the success of this program will be the focus on home centered and church supported. The church is there to support the individual and family goals that are established in the home.

Fathers and mothers (more so fathers) to be more involved in their sons and daughters lives and their goals if we are actively pursuing this.

As with the Come Follow Me in the home, you will begin to see another diverge between families who are applying this in their home, and families who are not.

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2 hours ago, Anddenex said:

As with the Come Follow Me in the home, you will begin to see another diverge between families who are applying this in their home, and families who are not.

Exactly. I serve in the Bishopric in our ward, and with almost every family we can tell who is following the "Come, follow Me" program and who is not. Some of the youth I talk to have a different/new feeling about them as they are now in the scriptures more each week. Some homes and families, sadly, have not changed one bit, and are being left behind as others progress.

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1 hour ago, scottyg said:

Exactly. I serve in the Bishopric in our ward, and with almost every family we can tell who is following the "Come, follow Me" program and who is not. Some of the youth I talk to have a different/new feeling about them as they are now in the scriptures more each week. Some homes and families, sadly, have not changed one bit, and are being left behind as others progress.

I'll confess that for about the first half of the year I was not very good about using the Come Follow Me manual. And its not that I wasn't studying the scriptures, I was, its just that over the years I have gained a strong preference to studying topics rather than going through the scriptures from beginning to end. But recently I decided to get more serious about Come Follow Me if for no other reason than to follow the counsel of the Lord's servants. And I have found, as I have with other things, that when we take seriously what the Lord directs us to do through his chosen servants he will bless us for it. That's a lesson I thought I had learned a long time ago but I guess I had grown complacent in my approach to spiritual things.

Edited by laronius

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It feels to me like there’s going to be much more to the program than we’re currently being told.  Apps and manuals are referenced in the literature we got today, that are not online yet.  Hints are dropped of medallions/emblems for recognition, but never explicitly described.  

My biggest concern at this point is that Just_A_Girl and I will get excited and start planning a program/curriculum, only to find them incompatible with whatever specifics the Church does roll out whenever it gets around to doing so.  (I thought launch day would be today, but apparently it’s in November sometime.  Not sure how much more we really know today than we did a month ago? . . .

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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14 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

It feels to me like there’s going to be much more to the program than we’re currently being told.  Apps and manuals are referenced in the literature we got today, that are not online yet.  Hints are dropped of medallions/emblems for recognition, but never explicitly described.  

My biggest concern at this point is that Just_A_Girl and I will get excited and start planning a program/curriculum, only to find them incompatible with whatever specifics the Church does roll out whenever it gets around to doing so.  (I thought launch day would be today, but apparently it’s in November sometime.  Not sure how much more we really know today than we did a month ago? . . .

Launch day is the first Sunday in January - everything up until then is preparation.

One impression for me is that we are preparing for a time when most will not have the freedom to assemble outside of our homes for worship.

 

The Traveler

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21 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Launch day is the first Sunday in January - everything up until then is preparation.

One impression for me is that we are preparing for a time when most will not have the freedom to assemble outside of our homes for worship.

 

The Traveler

Scary thought, but it may come to pass if the radicals in this country have their way. Many of the evil practices detailed in the scriptures are not yet happening at large in the world today...the world is going to get a lot worse before it bets better.

I was reminded of this quote from Joseph F. Smith yesterday while watching the broadcast video... "We expect to see the day, if we live long enough (and if some of us do not live long enough to see it, there are others who will), when every council of the Priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will understand its duty, will assume its own responsibility, will magnify its calling, and fill its place in the Church, to the uttermost, according to the intelligence and ability possessed by it. When that day shall come, there will not be so much necessity for work that is now being done by the auxiliary organizations, because it will be done by the regular quorums of the Priesthood. The Lord designed and comprehended it from the beginning, and He has made provision in the Church whereby every need may be met and satisfied through the regular organizations of the Priesthood."

More and more responsibility for gospel learning is being placed on individuals and parents (especially Fathers). We need to buck up and be spiritually, as well as temporally, self-reliant.

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I guess I have some repenting to do, because I am not particularly excited for the program as I understand it.

I guess I have never been much of a self-starter or had much ambition, because I have never done well under these kinds of goal-setting programs.

The program also feel like it will be very open ended without much direction (like Personal Progress was). I know it is presented as a feature not a bug, and I guess we will see how it plays out -- especially in November when details of the program will be given.

I know that BSA is not the end all be all of youth programs, but there were a couple of things I liked about BSA's model. There was a wide array of interests (ie merit badges) one could explore. But, once you had chosen to explore one of those interests (geology, music, art, first aid, etc.), BSA told you what was expected of a scout who chose to explore that interest. A few of those topics (like first aid) were deemed important enough that all scouts were required to spend some time in those topics.

I guess we will see what details come out in November. Until then, I find myself feeling like I would be a poor fit for the program as I understand it now.

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3 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

I guess I have some repenting to do, because I am not particularly excited for the program as I understand it.

I guess I have never been much of a self-starter or had much ambition, because I have never done well under these kinds of goal-setting programs.

The program also feel like it will be very open ended without much direction (like Personal Progress was). I know it is presented as a feature not a bug, and I guess we will see how it plays out -- especially in November when details of the program will be given.

I know that BSA is not the end all be all of youth programs, but there were a couple of things I liked about BSA's model. There was a wide array of interests (ie merit badges) one could explore. But, once you had chosen to explore one of those interests (geology, music, art, first aid, etc.), BSA told you what was expected of a scout who chose to explore that interest. A few of those topics (like first aid) were deemed important enough that all scouts were required to spend some time in those topics.

I guess we will see what details come out in November. Until then, I find myself feeling like I would be a poor fit for the program as I understand it now.

Your post reminds me of a talk by my brother - when he got up to speak he said that the purpose of his talk was to comfort those afflicted but then he added he also intended to inflict those that are currently comfortable.

 

The Traveler

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12 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Your post reminds me of a talk by my brother - when he got up to speak he said that the purpose of his talk was to comfort those afflicted but then he added he also intended to inflict those that are currently comfortable.

I've often heard this used, to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. I'm sure it's supposed to be funny and clever. Most people probably see it as such. But my hyperliteral mind takes umbrage at the thought that, if I'm comfortable (a rarity), then I'm fair game. It's as if being comfortable is itself an evil state that deserves to be upset.

[/curmudgeon]

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7 minutes ago, Vort said:

 It's as if being comfortable is itself an evil state that deserves to be upset.

Not that it's the same thing, but this made me think of 2 Nephi 28:21,24-25 (mostly 24)

Quote

21 And others will he apacify, and lull them away into carnal bsecurity, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the cdevil dcheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at aease in Zion!

25 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!

At least that's what I think they are referencing with the second part of that saying.  

But yes, @Vort, you should be able to feel comfortable at least sometimes.  Maybe you need a new mattress.  😁

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22 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

I guess I have some repenting to do, because I am not particularly excited for the program as I understand it.

I guess I have never been much of a self-starter or had much ambition, because I have never done well under these kinds of goal-setting programs.

The program also feel like it will be very open ended without much direction (like Personal Progress was). I know it is presented as a feature not a bug, and I guess we will see how it plays out -- especially in November when details of the program will be given.

I know that BSA is not the end all be all of youth programs, but there were a couple of things I liked about BSA's model. There was a wide array of interests (ie merit badges) one could explore. But, once you had chosen to explore one of those interests (geology, music, art, first aid, etc.), BSA told you what was expected of a scout who chose to explore that interest. A few of those topics (like first aid) were deemed important enough that all scouts were required to spend some time in those topics.

I guess we will see what details come out in November. Until then, I find myself feeling like I would be a poor fit for the program as I understand it now.

I don't know that this means you have repenting to do. I think there are valid criticisms and weaknesses that will need to be recognized.

For instance, one of my first impressions was that youth how have strong and involved parents will thrive under this model. Youth who don't have involved parents may still thrive if they happen to have well organized and effective adult leaders.  But my instinct is that youth who have mediocre parents and mediocre leaders (to say nothing of just plain ineffective leaders) won't get much out of this model. 

On the other hand, with the BSA, you could have mediocre leaders, and the youth could still do really well as long as you followed the general outline of the program.  I don't think mediocre will be enough with this model.

Having said that, the BSA model didn't work for everyone. This program has more potential to reach everyone. It's just going to take more effort from leaders to teach the youth how to personalize and own their program. 

I would be much more satisfied with this model if it had just a few more components. First, I would like to see a dedicated and structured leadership training program. BSA's Troop Youth Leadership Training and National Youth Leadership Training programs are phenomenal in that they teach the philosophy and mechanics of leadership. I've seen very little of that in my Church experience. (Correction, I can't recall a single instance in my life where I've received instruction about leadership principles in a Church setting--that may be one of my goals for the coming year).  So, a leadership training module would be awesome.

Second, I would like to see more online training modules. Again, borrowing from BSA, but I find a lot of value in the weather hazards, water hazards, and other training materials the BSA has produced. I'd like to see more expectation of leaders completing training requirements before taking youth on outings.

Lastly, I'd like to see guidance on how to go about co-ed activities. One of the great values of this program is that if you have youth that don't want to do certain activities, they don't have to. In Scouts, if you had a young man who didn't want to do camping, there wasn't a good place for him in the young men program. And in our current young women's program, if you have a couple of girls who want to do more outdoor activities, it's hard to get the same kind of trips coordinated. But in this program, if there are intersections of goals and interests between the youth, it'd be nice to be able to take them all at once (I struggle to make it out with the young men on their trips now. If you were to add young women trips, I couldn't possibly make it and meet my family obligations as well). 

So yeah, don't repent of your concerns.  Voice them! As skeptical as I am of this program, I do think it can work.  And I'm hopeful that as more comes out, we'll get better tools to make it thrive.  But I don't think we should be afraid to recognize limitations and experiment with ways to mitigate them.

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1 hour ago, MrShorty said:

I guess I have some repenting to do, because I am not particularly excited for the program as I understand it.

I guess I have never been much of a self-starter or had much ambition, because I have never done well under these kinds of goal-setting programs.

The program also feel like it will be very open ended without much direction (like Personal Progress was). I know it is presented as a feature not a bug, and I guess we will see how it plays out -- especially in November when details of the program will be given.

I know that BSA is not the end all be all of youth programs, but there were a couple of things I liked about BSA's model. There was a wide array of interests (ie merit badges) one could explore. But, once you had chosen to explore one of those interests (geology, music, art, first aid, etc.), BSA told you what was expected of a scout who chose to explore that interest. A few of those topics (like first aid) were deemed important enough that all scouts were required to spend some time in those topics.

I guess we will see what details come out in November. Until then, I find myself feeling like I would be a poor fit for the program as I understand it now.

I’m thinking unless the Church comes up with something more specific, our family will probably adopt the QuestClubs program (basically, if I understand it right, FrontierGirls makes its merit badge program available to anyone for an annual subscription, without actually having to join a troop).  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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58 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

I guess I have never been much of a self-starter or had much ambition, because I have never done well under these kinds of goal-setting programs.

You are not alone in feeling that you have never done well "under these kinds of goal-setting programs." I am hoping I will become better, but more importantly to help my children to understand and follow through toward achieving a goal.

We went over last night with the kiddos their goals. We plan on having a personal one-on-one to define their goals in a measurable way, and then plan daily activities that will help them to achieve their goal. I really liked from the video how the family helped the one child in passing the reading test. Family members served their brother to help achieve a goal. Service is one of the ways to increase love also for family.

From what I can view from this program (the video and the pamphlet):

1) Home centered, it is the responsibility of the father and mother to make this happen, while the Church (wards) are their to support goal achievement. It has always been this way, but now it is much more addressed.

2) Parents who fault find with the program are going to be an impediment. There is no perfect program.

3) This may require more time on the young men and young women presidents with parents who are less-active, not active, but the program is even for them.

4) Children, as they properly apply, will come to know the Lord's voice and his love for them sooner. They will properly know come to know how to set and achieve a goal. They will also come to know how to deal with failure and how to keep moving when failure happens.

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Perhaps in response to @Traveler's comment about making the comfortable uncomfortable, I have reflected and I think I understand part of why I did not fit well into other goal-oriented programs that were tried on me. I'm not sure how to explain, but maybe like this. I entered adulthood about the same time Covey published his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. So I remember sitting through many motivational firesides and talks and seminars about becoming an amazing person. Well, as I noted, I'm not exactly a strongly motivated or ambitious person, so I always felt like I fell way short of goal oriented programs aimed at becoming great. I was content to become competent, faithful, average. I did not feel a need to become "highly" effective. Effective would be good enough for me.

As noted so much depends on implementation. I might have done better in goal oriented programs if there was more emphasis on my real goals rather than trying to motivate me to have goals well beyond what I was motivated to accomplish. Aiming high and falling short did not help me. Aiming low and succeeding was much more effective for me. If the new program can work with both approaches to goal setting, maybe I would fit into it. My past experience (a sample size of 1) suggests that goal-setting program tend to work better for those who are motivated to aim high.

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56 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

As noted so much depends on implementation. I might have done better in goal oriented programs if there was more emphasis on my real goals rather than trying to motivate me to have goals well beyond what I was motivated to accomplish. Aiming high and falling short did not help me. Aiming low and succeeding was much more effective for me. If the new program can work with both approaches to goal setting, maybe I would fit into it. My past experience (a sample size of 1) suggests that goal-setting program tend to work better for those who are motivated to aim high.

Yes, what you suggest is part of the program. Either way works. Remember, children are to set their own goals. Whether that goal is aiming low or aiming high doesn't matter. What matters is that children are progressing toward some goal. What matters is that if they fail they understand this is not a "blemish" on their soul, worthiness, or character. It is simply a point of learning.

I am hoping they do not define it, as they have not defined "ministering" except with one statement, "A more genuine care and love for those we serve."

I am curious though how the medallions and emblems are going to be a part of this. I would assume right now, the Church might have some goals (i.e. reading the Book of Mormon -- spiritual) for all youth. How they set that goal, how they achieve that goal, will be between the youth and parents. YM and YW presidencies will assist on those goals. The youth will help each other achieve these goals.

Obviously, every ward's activity and in-activity will have an impact. That is going to be only resolved through "ministers" seeking to help. So in essence, one way a ministering companionship can show love for their ministering families is to help assist with goal achievement. This means we have to be more open to our ministering brethren and sisters.

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@Anddenex I too have been wondering about medallions/emblems/trinkets. As a cub scout leader, I find that some boys and parents are not too worried about the trinket. Others really look forward to receiving their trinket "award". I recall a mention of medallions on Sunday, but I seem to recall it was part of an If statement. If you as leaders or parents decide to include medallions (or other trinket) you may. It was unclear to me if those optional medallions would be officially part of the Church's program, or if each unit would decide what trinkets (if any) and would then source those trinkets from outside sources. I am expecting that this will be part of the "flexibility" of the program, where local units/parents/leaders will decide if the trinkets will help motivate their youth or not and choose how to include those trinkets when motivating their youth.

 

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6 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

@Anddenex I too have been wondering about medallions/emblems/trinkets. As a cub scout leader, I find that some boys and parents are not too worried about the trinket. Others really look forward to receiving their trinket "award". I recall a mention of medallions on Sunday, but I seem to recall it was part of an If statement. If you as leaders or parents decide to include medallions (or other trinket) you may. It was unclear to me if those optional medallions would be officially part of the Church's program, or if each unit would decide what trinkets (if any) and would then source those trinkets from outside sources. I am expecting that this will be part of the "flexibility" of the program, where local units/parents/leaders will decide if the trinkets will help motivate their youth or not and choose how to include those trinkets when motivating their youth.

In the pamphlet they have a section "Adjust and Adapt" which you may like. As it gives some detail right now pertaining to the uniqueness of wards, families, and children. I love how they are emphasizing personal revelation.

The pamphlet specifies three rewards: rings, medallions, and emblems in the "Motivation and Recognition" section. True, my experience is the same as you with regards to rewards/trinkets and parents and youth. I remember one youth though when he completed his task, "Where's my reward"? The parents didn't care, but he cared a lot.  Yes, I am thinking right now, parents and wards will have more flexibility. They can add to what the Church is already doing. The hope in that though is that we are careful of "comparisons." We humans have a tendency to look for the limelight -- "look at what my ward is doing with our youth." And that personal choice becomes a "judging" tool on others --- hope not.

Not to be negative, but the example that comes to my mind is the policy/practice change from my mission with 30 discussions. Instead of judging how well a missionary is doing by things that matter, 30 discussions turned into the battling ram by zone leaders even if you were baptizing but not achieving 30 discussions they made you appear as a disobedient missionary. I didn't disagree with the promise and target, but how it was implemented by 19-21 zone leaders -- eh, not so much. Especially when you are baptizing and they are not, but hey they made sure they always achieved that 30 discussion goal.

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I think we are all familiar with Pres Nelson's statement from his first GC as the prophet:

"In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost."

If we combine that with the whole idea of a home centered and church supported approach I think we are being told that gone are the days (if those days ever existed) where parents can delegate part of their responsibilities to the Church in raising their kids. The world is simply becoming too dark to expect a couple hours on Sunday and a couple more during the week to keep our youth safe. If parents and families don't raise the bar and start creating a Proclamation on the Family home their children will be in grave danger notwithstanding the Church's efforts. Remember, half the virgins were foolish and not ready for the Bridegroom's coming. Imagine how many youth will be raised in those homes. Its a sad thought but we live in a sad world. Of course we do what we can to save as many as possible but we fool ourselves if we believe this new youth program needs to be some all encompassing venture to be successful. The whole point of the program is to help youth and families learn to become more spiritually self-sufficient.

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6 hours ago, laronius said:

The whole point of the program is to help youth and families learn to become more spiritually self-sufficient.

This is the new model in general, the church realizes that they no longer have the same micro control overs its members. The irony is that there have always been philosophers through out time that taught that the power of God is within us all. "Self-sufficient, home centered, at ur own pace", is all signs that we need to discover that power within us (within the teachings of the gospel) rather than rely on a church leader to tell us if we are worthy or not.

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2 minutes ago, priesthoodpower said:

This is the new model in general, the church realizes that they no longer have the same micro control overs its members. The irony is that there have always been philosophers through out time that taught that the power of God is within us all. "Self-sufficient, home centered, at ur own pace", is all signs that we need to discover that power within us (within the teachings of the gospel) rather than rely on a church leader to tell us if we are worthy or not.

PP, you really seem to have no idea what you're talking about. The new changes are not and never have been about us signing our own temple recommends. The changes reinforce what the Church has taught since the very beginning of the Restoration. And your crowing about the supposed loss of "micro-control" is absurd. You sound like one of the anti-Mormon agitators.

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4 minutes ago, Vort said:

PP, you really seem to have no idea what you're talking about. The new changes are not and never have been about us signing our own temple recommends. The changes reinforce what the Church has taught since the very beginning of the Restoration. 

I never said that and u r jumping to conclusions. "worthiness" from a LDS perspective means a lot of things not just a question in a bishops interview. 

I think u r too bias to see that changes in the church are "free'ing" up members and their time. Less hours in church (from 3 to2) equals less callings, equals less saints baring testimony at the pulpit about how unworthy they feel about not living up to said callings.

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40 minutes ago, priesthoodpower said:

This is the new model in general, the church realizes that they no longer have the same micro control overs its members. The irony is that there have always been philosophers through out time that taught that the power of God is within us all. "Self-sufficient, home centered, at ur own pace", is all signs that we need to discover that power within us (within the teachings of the gospel) rather than rely on a church leader to tell us if we are worthy or not.

The only time the Church truly "micro" managed the people was during the Law of Moses; however, one might say the Church "micro" managed during the New Testament as they were seeking to live the Law of Conservation (i.e. two people gave up the ghost because they did not give up all they had to the Lord).

Joseph Smith taught the following that we are governed by principles. The Church has been obeying that principle since the beginning of the restoration. How individual local leaders have implemented and acted isn't "always" the Church.

Now, we may have a different connotation behind the term "micro" control/manage. If we look at scriptural history, we ought to be wary when the people tune out the Lord's servants and do as they wish. We can find plenty of evidence from scripture how this turned out for the people.

Duty to God. Personal Progress. Faith in God. These were never programs that "micro" managed.

We are in full agreement though that we need to discover the power within us; although, the concepts of being self-sufficient, home-centered, and moving at your own pace aren't new principles of this program. Our modern day prophets have been teaching for a very long time, at least since Joseph Smith, that we need to discover the power within us as Brigham Young taught that we live far below our privileges (i.e. Holy Ghost, Personal Revelation).

All the programs previously were aimed toward the same goal. The problem though, not the Church, is that members were relying on the Church to teach their children.These programs are to help us more fully recognize our responsibility as parents, and the responsibility our children have to learn on their own also.

This new program really doesn't have anything to do with the Church "micro" managing its members. I have never felt "micro" managed by the Church. By some members, sure, not the Church.

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