LDS Young Men

Greatest LDS Halloween Costume ever

Posted in Weird by ldsym on October 28, 2008

At our Ward Halloween party a couple of the Young Men showed up in great costumes, they were Missionaries from the South Pacific.   Two of the Deacons wore a white short sleeve shirt and tie, but with a Lava-Lava (Man skirt that Polynesians wear) and lei.    They looked great.

It reminded me of the best LDS Halloween Costume that I have ever seen.  Times and Seasons posted it back in 2005.


Note to LDS Scouts: Stop Acting Like Hobos

Posted in Scouting by ldsym on October 25, 2008

The Deseret News’s Mormon Times has a report on a the “LDS Church and Scouting Relationships Conference” held last week(Oct 2008) in the Ogden Tabernacle.

To me, one of the more interesting tidbits was about how there is a very real struggle for many new Elders at the MTC, they are having a tough time beating their addiction to cell phones and other electronics:

(Elder Keyse) stressed that Scout leaders should make sure cell phones, cards, iPods, magazines and the like are all left home during Scout camps. He said the only exception are some cell phones leaders take for emergency use.

Elder Keyes also challenged Scout leaders to get all the training they can.

“If you get trained, you won’t run a hobo (scout) camp,” he said. “Young men who go to hobo camps learn nothing and do nothing.”

There is a lot more, very relevant to every LDS Scout Leader,  read the whole article here

The “Byetheway”ing of YM & YW General Presidents

Posted in Lessons & Talks by ldsym on October 23, 2008

In the preview of the new LDS video meant to be shared with youth to support New Years celebrations in North America (info on video from a recent post), the narrator makes a point of saying the leaders have “inspiring interaction” with the youth.   What is “inspiring Interaction”?  I am guessing it is what you see in these screencaps from the video:

Young Men General Presiden Dahlquist, and Young Women General President Dalton seem to be engaged and energetic, what I would call “rocking the house”.  Put another way, they are appear to be doing a presentation that can not be confused with a Sacrament Meeting talk, not unlike the superb youth speaker John Bytheway.   A little enthusiasm, humor and energy doesn’t hurt a message (as long as it is doctrinally correct), in fact appropriately used, it can give you a better shot at connecting with your audience.

I know at least some Brethren are concerned that the Church move it’s video productions past “white guys behind a podium”, and this seems to be an attempt to do just that.     I for one am pleased to see this attempt to come down from the podium, but to call it “inspiring interaction” may be overstating it a bit.   We will have to see the entire DVD to decide.

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New Church Video for your Youth

Posted in Lessons & Talks by ldsym on October 22, 2008

The Church has a new video to get your youth fired up for 2009.  It is called “A Brand New Year: A Celebration for Latter-day Saint Youth”  The Church will mail a DVD to every ward/unit in early December.   See a preview on the Church Site ( Link Here )


A Brand New Year: A Celebration for Latter-day Saint Youth, will contain highlights from a youth celebration held at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. The DVD will feature three segments:

* A message to youth from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of Quorum of the Twelve (15 minutes in length)
* A celebration of youth activities around the world in 2008 (30 minutes in length)
* An introduction of the 2009 Mutual theme by the Young Men and Young Women general presidencies (30 minutes in length)

I am anxious to see this, it sounds like it could be good.

Church Done With Boy Scouts if This Crosses the Pond!

Posted in Scouting by ldsym on October 20, 2008


According to an article in England’s Daily Telegraph (here) the Scouts in Britain are now planing on giving out birth control to the  young men-

Under new guidelines issued by their Scouts Association, they should feel able to hand out condoms “if they believe the young person is very likely to begin or continue having intercourse with or without contraception”.

They will also take them on outings to family planning clinics

I do not know if there is any connection, other than historical, between the British Scouts and the Boy Scouts of America, but this is something to keep an eye on.  I also do not know if the LDS Church in England particpates in the Scouts.

I have to believe if anything remotely like this enters into the BSA program the Church in America will drop them like a hot potato, so it won’t happen.    Keep in mind, hardcore scouters don’t necessarily love the Church, they think we put too many novices into the leadership ranks, which we do, but they are addicted to our money so they’ll stay strong in staving off wild PC ideas like this.

Facebook: The Bishop was stunned.

Posted in Online by ldsym on October 13, 2008

I gave a fireside for a neighboring stake last night on New Media, we focused mostly on Facebook   It was a lot of fun.    The chapel was filled with youth.   I asked how many were on Facebook, a good 80 percent of the kids raised their hands!  This is an affluent, educated area, and I was thinking maybe half would raise their hands, but even I was shocked at the high number of kids who Facebook.

After the fireside I was talking to a local Bishop, he said he was stunned at how many kids raised their hands.   He said he has been considering getting on Facebook for a while and now, after seeing how pervasive it is,  was convinced he needed to do it now.

Accepting Facebook

Posted in Online by ldsym on October 10, 2008


There is a post about Facebook on the church’s semi-official IT blog.   It sort of says facebook is like terrorism, you will never eliminate it, so you better learn to manage it.    Those are my words, not his.

Here is some of the post encouraging parents and leaders to get involved online:

if you are a parent of a teenage or a youth leader, you are probably less technically savvy than the youth you work with.  Many parents and youth leaders I have spoken with don’t really understand what Facebook is and most have never visited the Web site.  I’m not advocating spying on your kids (I’ll leave that up to your own discretion) but I do think parents and leaders should visit Facebook and see what the youth are doing online.

For the record, I absolutely advocate spying on your kids, and telling them that you are doing it.  They secretly like the attention, it is like you are paparazzi.. and they are the celebrities.

The posting is authored by Jimmy Smith, a new contributer over at LDSMediaTalk.   He is a the Web Analytics Product Manager at the Church.

Is Someone Trying to Hack President Monson’s Teleprompter?

Posted in Weird by ldsym on October 8, 2008

OK, this is really weird, but I am wondering if someone is trying to mess up President Monson’s Teleprompter.   I certainly hope not.  I have to assume Church IT Security takes that stuff pretty seriously, and has it well protected.

So why am I wondering about this? (more…)

Youth Sound-off About on General Conference

Posted in Lessons & Talks by ldsym on October 8, 2008

Photo from Deseret News

Here are interesting new feature, feedback from youth on their personal General Conference experience. It is on a blog called “Mormon Magz” which is put up by the LDS magazines. The blog describes itself as ” highlights and insights from LDS Church Magazines” It looks like the blog has been around since March.

I Need Your Help: LDS Youth & Online

Posted in Online by ldsym on October 5, 2008

Elder Ballard's message of spreading the Gospel on the Internet was the cover story in the July Ensign

I am in the process of writing a talk to give at a fireside next week for a neighboring Stake.   The topic is the Internet and new media.   I will of course cover Internet safety.   But I may surprise some youth there with my pretty positive take on the Internet and it’s potential for good in our lives.    The Church it seems to  now realize that online is going to be a critical dimension in spreading the Gospel from now on.   I wonder if at some point we will see cyber-missionaries called, Young Men or women who may have heatlh or other reasons why they can not be called into the traditional Mission field, who live at home and live a missionary life, but are teaching and spreading positive messages about the Church online.   Heck, maybe they will go trackting in second life.

I am interested to hear from you, have you had any good experiences with your youth online?    Unfortunately the examples of problems online for our youth are not hard to come by, so I am more interested in hearing about positive experiences.   I would also love to hear what you are doing in your Ward or Stake to deal with the reality of the Internet and New Media.