Mormon Times: Quorum or Posse?
Orson Scott Card has written a very insightful columm over at Mormon Times about the transition of Priests into the Elder’s Quorum at age 18.
In our ward the Aaronic Priesthood Quorums tend to be very tight knit. We are not very dense in members, the total population of people living in our stake boundaries is about 1.8 million. Typically we have less than a dozen LDS kids in a high school of 1800+ kids, so all their LDS friends are from their ward. For that reason it is tough to leave the Quorum
One way we manage the problem is keeping the boys in the Priests Quorum, and have them attend Youth activities until they are out of High School, even if they turn 18 in their senior year. Not sure what the Church policy is on that, but that is what we traditionally do. After that they typically will go away to college, so there is a forced transition.
I do notice that when they are home from School, they do seem to be in limbo. Card’s post is mainly about what the Elder’s Quorum can do to help, but there are some things that our YM leaders have stumbled upon that seem to help. I recently posted about having our 4 Priest Quorum Alumni that were home on Christmas break come into the quoum and talk about college life. That was a rite of passage that benefited both the alumni and the current Priests (this time it was out of necessity, because we didn’t have a lesson ready, but it turned out very well, and we will repeat it annually). We also have had good luck in getting the 18 year olds interested in our High Adventure trips. The preparations and social aspects of preparing for that can help keep them plugged in during the summer between High School and College.