Just another cog or sprocket…

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I was having a conversation recently regarding the low number of missionaries out of our ward in the past few years. One leader stated, “The young men are not to blame, the system failed.” He was referring to the weak young mens/scouting program, (in his opinion) that existed in the ward. He was not being critical of the “system” is its ideal form, just to be clear.

Are we just inputs plugged into a system, properly established and managed, will spit out celestial beings?

49 thoughts on “Just another cog or sprocket…

  1. It’s not just weak in your ward. I certainly didn’t go on a mission because of the YM programme I was in. I only went because I dated a recent convert whose enthusiasm rubbed off on me.

  2. There are a lot of problems with the YM programs, especially in wards that do not have a high average income.
    When I went through the MIA program, it did nothing to enhance my desire to serve a mission. I always wanted to, but I can’t remember any particular influence other than listening to RM’s report their missions.
    It may be a precursor to the fact that missionaries will be taken out of the nations, and the destruction of nations begins. If they are not sent out to begin with, then there are fewer obstacles in reducing the number out there.
    A horrible thought, but just that – a thought.
    As for the system spitting out celestial beings, I don’t think that those who don’t go on missions are not celestial types.

  3. No, but many Young Women leaders do think that, Larry. Unless there’s another reason they keep encouraging the young women to marry RMs.

  4. I don’t think we will see any significant change until the passing of Monson. After all, isn’t he quite the cheerleader for the scouting program?

    Every time I hear a YM report on a camp and activity, it goes something like this:

    “We went out on an activity and played paintball. Bro. Jones got hit a lot of times but he hit me really hard a few times too. It was fun”

    The YM / Scouting program seems to be more about entertaining the YM and “distracting” them from the evils of the world. What is should be about is teaching proper principles and doctrines and giving these boys the tools they need to make it in society.

  5. Actually, good recreation can be a part of that. It’s those that don’t even have activities that bother me.

    Kim,
    We have a problem with the youth that I would like to see cleaned up. So many fall for the ways of the world, but expect their mate to be perfect (read RM’s).
    At some point I would like to see someone wiser than me do a blog on divorces in the Church and tie it back to behaviour during YM and YW years.
    I believe we will find a strong correlation.

  6. Yeah, our youth programs kind of suck, I always cringe at scout camp when some leader talks about mission prep and lists a bunch of stuff that certainly wouldn’t have help at all on my mission. But the youth programs are a side issue. It seems the church doesn’t want missionaries anymore. I was “wicked” in my youth, got my act together and went on a very effective mission. I had my post mission fall from grace, but that’s another story (been happily married decades now). Today, I’d say half the young men from our ward go, and half of those come home early. In my son’s mission (has 8 months left) his Pres sends people home at the drop of a hat. I wish the church would just fess up that they don’t want missionaries, at least young ones, anymore.

  7. so Kim are you saying that if this girl’s enthusiasm hadn’t rubbed off her on you would not have gone on your mission?

  8. This last week our Stake (which has a overall strong YM Program) was touting a church survey that shows that 99% of young men that successfully complete the Duty To God Program go on to serve a mission and temple marriage.

    Serving in our ward YM program I know that about 1/3 of the requirements for DTF must be completed in the home with the family.

  9. Those church survey’s suffer from having a rather small sample size. I’m not sure how accurate they are.

    When I was EQP, I had the opportuinity to be a part of one. We were told that out of all of the stakes in the Lethbridge, Raymond, Magrath, Cardston area, we were the only ward that was being asked to participate.

  10. You don’t need that much of a sample population to conduct an accurate survey.

  11. “99% of young men that successfully complete the Duty To God Program go on to serve a mission and temple marriage”

    So 99 out of 100 of these men will either dismiss out of hand the relationship with a non member or will miraculously convert girls they date.

    Why does this statement give me the shivers?

  12. In prior times, the Lord’s prophet commanded that His people were to not marry Gentiles – period. No exceptions.

    Do you believe that this commandment/revelation was in error?

  13. tortdog

    Just to let you know, Rick is a non member married to a member of the Church. I am sure his wife (and the Lord) feel that was the right decision for them. :)

  14. what she said.
    (Mary, we must’ve posted at the same time on those last two…)

  15. …after careful consideration (2 whole minutes worth), I have decided that I shall not answer for my spouse.

    She might actually think the Lord had better plans for her and she’s made a huge mistake… it’s her call.

  16. Yep we must have Rick :)

    Let me tell you all a story.

    Several years ago, a woman I know was meeting her niece who was engaged to marry a non member young man, for lunch. She went there with the full intention of telling her what she felt about this, that she should not marry this young man, he couldn’t take her to the temple, etc etc.

    Well, on her way, she recieved the strongest impression that she should say NOTHING at all about her feelings, nothing to discourage her niece from marrying this young man. This niece did subsequently marry this man, they have now been married over 16 years.

    What I took from this is that we do NOT know the mind of the Lord and though an ideal situation may be to marry a RM in the temple etc etc, that does not always guarantee a wonderful, happily every after outcome. Heavenly Father knows the hearts and minds of His people, whether they belong to His church or not. He has His purposes for things and what we might percieve has being a wrong decision in marrying outside of the church may not be wrong at all. I don’t presume to make these decisions for anyone or to dictate what a person should do.

    I also know some people who believe; marry in the temple at any cost. And I have seen that cost more than once. Someone I know of, not related to me, did marry the RM in the temple etc etc. In spite of having the spirit tell her at the altar in the temple, to NOT marry this person. She subsequently was divorced after six years of mental and emotional abuse at the hands of her husband.

    The Lord knows our hearts, members or not. A person being a member “in good standing” and able to take one to the temple (on the surface at least) does not mean that is the person the Lord wants for someone. Always the Spirit guides, members or non members. He loves His children, whether they know Him or not.

    Now having married that RM in the temple, I know I made the right decision. But that’s for me. :)

  17. That’s fine. My question is fit for any person who believes in the Bible.

    It was:

    >In prior times, the Lord’s prophet commanded that His people were to not marry Gentiles – period. No exceptions.

    >Do you believe that this commandment/revelation was in error?

    I think rick may have answered, “Yes.” Meaning, that such a command is in error.

    Is that right, Rick?

  18. What do you do with the portions of the Bible that you consider to be an error?

  19. Well, to the extent that I let the bible influence my life at all … yes.

    I think it’s more of an “Oh the bible says that? Yeah I agree with that” rather than a “Oh, I don’t know how to act in this situation, I better check the bible.”

  20. What if your view of the rules is contrary to God’s view?

    How do you determine that if you do not have a belief in a set of scriptures that you accept as God’s word?

  21. I don’t particularly care what God’s view is…

    No matter what book (or individual) is purportedly speaking on His behalf.

  22. I prefer to use the ordinary definitions. Webster’s defines “supreme being” as God, or:

    1. the supreme or ultimate reality: as the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe; or

    2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship.

    If you want the terms individually, supreme means “highest in rank or authority.” Being means “something that actually exists.” So “supreme being” means something that is highest in rank or authority, i.e., God.

    I think you get the gist, no?

  23. It’s like Kim is channelling me or something…

    The Big Bang is one interesting theory that has many corroborating evidences in it, but I’m also open to some of the boundary-less theories; which are both interesting and mind-blowing.

  24. So you believe the organization of the universe with the associated laws are the result of chance or what? if there wan nothing to organize it, what are the chances that this world results?

  25. who said anything about chance? The Big Bang theory isn’t necessarily just chance (or is it?)

    I personally believed the Lord used natural laws to create the world.

  26. Going back to the original question…. what happens in our home is more important then the programs.
    I must admit though it is hard when you see YM playing bball every activity.

    Our stake president is setting the program straight right from the top. They have stake youth activities monthly sometimes bimonthly. The stake will plan great service projects that will end with an afternoon of fun. He announced the new temple first to the youth, the plans of the temple first to the youth, and tomorrow will have the YM come clear the land for the temple not the EQ…of course with a fun activity afterwards. He has brought scouting back almost with a vengeance! I’m certain this enthusiasm will rub off to the wards and we will see stronger youth in the near future.There will be positive peer pressure that will help others along the way.
    So personal spirituality is most important but the programs can help guide you at the right times.

    As for marrying RM’s….I hated it when YW leaders would say that. You need to look at the whole picture. I knew many RM’s in my YSA days that I wouldn’t date. Personally, I married a convert who didn’t go on a mission and is more spiritually mature than many RM’s I know.

  27. “…what are the chances that this world results?”

    I would say that the probability is equal to 1 since the Universe is, and therefore its’ creation is self-evidently highly probable.

    I see very little room for a creator from my current perspective.

  28. Tortdog, since the relevance of God cannot be established via the scientific method, the only legitimate evidence one can accept is direct contact from God himself. Thus a more appropriate discussion would be whether or not communication from a spiritual source is merely an emotional feeling (and therefore not to be considered scientific evidence) or an actual sensation that can be considered proof of something being real.

    Is communication from the Holy Ghost as real as communication from a fellow human being via the various mediums we are already familiar with? Under what circumstances is an audible voice (or other perceived form of communication) to be considered coming from an external source that is real?

    Even if an agreement could be established in answer to the above questions, what if I have witnessed evidence through what could be considered an acceptable means(such as direct contact)but my friend has not? This could also apply to testimonials of alien encounters or any other concept not univerally accepted by the scientific community. One cannot be expected to accept that something is real or even relevant based on probabilities or for the lack of alternate explanations.

    Of course, multiple corroborating testimonials could bring one to ponder the possibility of something being relevant and thus worth exploring. If hypothetically speaking, many people I knew and trusted, claimed to have had direct contact with aliens I might begin to wonder, at least, if aliens exist and what relevance they might possibly have. However I would need an alien to directly interact with me in order to accept that they exist. I would need to be sure that this direct interaction was real. In the meantime, whether or not aliens exist is irrelevant to me. And so it goes with God from the perspective of many people as well.

    Meanwhile, I assume the question of whether or not the scripture was is error was originally meant to be rhetorical. Perhaps a better debate would be what the actual meaning and application this scripture has in the LDS church.

  29. Rick:

    >I would say that the probability is equal to 1 since the Universe is, and therefore its’ creation is self-evidently highly probable.

    That is based on your supposition that the big bang was the cause for the Universe. First, to my knowledge, that’s just a theory. Not a proven fact as you assume here. Second, even were there a “big bang,” that theory does not exclude the possibility that it was part of some ordered event.

    My own view is that the order of the Universe is far more persuasive that there is a creator/manipulator of the universe than that it is by happenstance. Chaos is the natural state of things, not order. The order evidences a creator.

    Nerm:

    >since the relevance of God cannot be established via the scientific method, the only legitimate evidence one can accept is direct contact from God himself.

    I think that’s pretty close to my belief.

    >Thus a more appropriate discussion would be whether or not communication from a spiritual source is merely an emotional feeling (and therefore not to be considered scientific evidence) or an actual sensation that can be considered proof of something being real.

    Mostly agreed, even though definition of emotional gets us into science as well.

    >Is communication from the Holy Ghost as real as communication from a fellow human being via the various mediums we are already familiar with? Under what circumstances is an audible voice (or other perceived form of communication) to be considered coming from an external source that is real?

    Things necessary to be answered.
    On the latter, do you need the scientific method to prove that someone is talking to a group of people? Do I need the scientific method to inform me that a speaker is talking to me at a conference if I am with others who are also hearing the address? Isn’t it enough to ask the fellow next to me if he is hearing the same thing?

    Direct observation is a very powerful device (and one used in the scientific method).

    >Even if an agreement could be established in answer to the above questions, what if I have witnessed evidence through what could be considered an acceptable means(such as direct contact)but my friend has not? This could also apply to testimonials of alien encounters or any other concept not univerally accepted by the scientific community. One cannot be expected to accept that something is real or even relevant based on probabilities or for the lack of alternate explanations.

    That goes to witnesses of events. Just because only a few people have visited the moon does not make it less likely to exist as they described it. Just because I am the only witness to a storm on an island does not mean that storm did not hit. Which gets us to your next point:

    >Of course, multiple corroborating testimonials could bring one to ponder the possibility of something being relevant and thus worth exploring.

    Maybe even MORE than possibility.

    >If hypothetically speaking, many people I knew and trusted, claimed to have had direct contact with aliens I might begin to wonder, at least, if aliens exist and what relevance they might possibly have.

    Agreed. In fact, if more than a few people whom I know to be trustworthy (and sane) witnessed these encounters. I don’t believe that I would need to personally witness the aliens. Their testimony would be sufficient.

    >However I would need an alien to directly interact with me in order to accept that they exist.

    That goes to YOU and YOUR personal needs to believe. It does not alter reality.

    >Meanwhile, I assume the question of whether or not the scripture was is error was originally meant to be rhetorical. Perhaps a better debate would be what the actual meaning and application this scripture has in the LDS church.

    No. It was a direct question so that I could assess the beliefs of the person I was addressing.

    >Perhaps a better debate would be what the actual meaning and application this scripture has in the LDS church.

    Only if you do not believe that God’s history with man thousands of years ago is also important.

  30. “That is based on your supposition that the big bang was the cause for the Universe.”

    Not necessarily ‘THE’ cause, but a pretty good one of the few I’ve seen.

    “First, to my knowledge, that’s just a theory.”

    Right, whereas the existence of God has been proven beyond all resonable doubt – oh wait a second…

  31. >Right, whereas the existence of God has been proven beyond all resonable doubt

    It has to those who have seen Him.

  32. Oh. Then problem solved.
    I don’t know what I was thinking.
    What’s the missionaries number again?

  33. The question isn’t whether the ultimate evidence has not been seen by man. It’s whether YOU have seen that same evidence.

    What makes you so sure that Washington crossed the Delaware?

  34. Tortdog, yes of course, direct observation is an excellent device in determining reality as long as one is sure they are not being fooled by an innacurate interpretation of that observation.

    >just because I am the only witness to a storm on an island does not mean the storm did not hit.

    Agreed. However, I am not talking about what is true or untrue, rather under what circumstances should our observation be convincing to others. If no scientific evidence can be found to support a storm on that particular island, than you could not expect that everyone would believe you.

    So here are some questions for you Tortdog. If your entire lifestyle and eternal beliefs depended on whether or not the surface of the moon was exactly as the astronauts described, wouldn’t you start to wonder if their claims are exactly accurate. Wouldn’t you rather see see the moon for yourself before you could be sure? It all depends on what the stakes are really. I can accept what others claim a lot easier when the stakes are low. As for corroborating evidence, there is a lot of corroborating evidence that little green aliens exist. So does that mean you believe without ANY doubt that there are aliens (assuming you haven’t encountered one yourself of course.) And furthermore, are you saying that one should have a testimony of the church just because all of their family and friends do?

    And of course God’s history with man is important (once God’s existance is established), however, I’m sure you realize that many things that were applicable in the Old Testament are not applicable to the LDS church today (the Law of Moses for example). Been sacrificing animals lately? The Bible says you should right?

  35. >However, I am not talking about what is true or untrue, rather under what circumstances should our observation be convincing to others. If no scientific evidence can be found to support a storm on that particular island, than you could not expect that everyone would believe you.

    Agreed.

    >So here are some questions for you Tortdog. If your entire lifestyle and eternal beliefs depended on whether or not the surface of the moon was exactly as the astronauts described, wouldn’t you start to wonder if their claims are exactly accurate. Wouldn’t you rather see see the moon for yourself before you could be sure? It all depends on what the stakes are really. I can accept what others claim a lot easier when the stakes are low. As for corroborating evidence, there is a lot of corroborating evidence that little green aliens exist. So does that mean you believe without ANY doubt that there are aliens (assuming you haven’t encountered one yourself of course.) And furthermore, are you saying that one should have a testimony of the church just because all of their family and friends do?

    Absolutely! The neat thing is that God HAS provided man with a means to test whether He lives. There is a method. It’s up to man to choose to get it done.

    Now, some men don’t like that method. They want to go about it a different way. Since the goal is to determine whether a Supreme Being exists, if a methedology is laid out by that Supreme Being, wouldn’t it be wise to use that method rather than one of our own creation?

    >And of course God’s history with man is important (once God’s existance is established), however, I’m sure you realize that many things that were applicable in the Old Testament are not applicable to the LDS church today (the Law of Moses for example). Been sacrificing animals lately? The Bible says you should right?

    The Bible relates a time in which the law required man to sacrifice animals to God. The Bible further relates that this law would be fulfilled, and that more sacrifice would be required. So we follow the laws required of man for our days.

    Right?

  36. “Since the goal is to determine whether a Supreme Being exists, if a methedology is laid out by that Supreme Being, wouldn’t it be wise to use that method rather than one of our own creation?”

    Do you see the circular nature of this argument?

    God exists because the Bible tells me so, and the Bible wouldn’t lie, it’s the word of God. etc.

  37. I don’t mind missionaries, I just love Duncan so much, his little beard. He’s just so interesting and damn sexy. All the guys and gals from BCIT.

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