Life for Mormon teenagers has been changing lately. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are often nicknamed Mormons, has always asked more of its teens than most churches do. Some researchers have credited the high level of participation, responsibility, and leadership given to these teens for the fact that they are less likely than other teens to leave their faith. Researchers have also noted they are among the few teens who have a faith vocabulary—the ability to communicate their beliefs to others in intelligent, well-thought out ways. They are more likely than other teens to voluntarily live their faith. Although the bar has always been high, it is even higher today.
Today I read yet another article about how today’s teens are all selfish, demanding, and entitled. People have made that claim since the beginning of time. It was made about my generation, my children’s generation, and will probably be made about my granddaughter’s generation.
Not many teens would be moved to develop a large service project after watching a video about a moment in history, but a group of teen girls did just that. They collected hundreds of coats they donated to homeless shelters after watching a video of Heber J. Grant.
A new study from the Federal Alcohol Use report shows that Utah has the lowest number of teens using alcohol. It also has the lowest number of adults who use alcohol, due to the high number of Mormons in the state. Mormon is a nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. Mormons are taught, in a health code called the Word of Wisdom, to avoid alcohol use.
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Children, Choosing the Right, Discipleship: Following in the Savior's Footsteps, Finding Happiness, Finding Truth, Fruits of gospel living, Gospel & Doctrine, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A, Parents/Leaders, Teens & Seminary, Youth Programs
Part one of a series
A new report from the Council of Churches states that while most church membership numbers are declining, Mormon membership is growing. Mormons are the fourth largest religion in the United States and the church with the highest growth among the top ten this year and second among all churches reporting numbers.
Mormonism isn’t an easy church to join. You have to participate in a series of “discussions” about the church first and complete assignments designed to help you learn what you’re signing up for and to help you find out if the Mormon Church is true. To this end, you are required to pray and ask God to tell you, since God is the one source you can always trust when you want the truth. You are then asked to commit to living specific Gospel principles and to live a moral lifestyle.
Then, if that’s not enough, you’ll probably get put to work. The Mormon religion is a lay church, so we don’t have paid ministers, organists, or other workers. This means everyone pitches in to help with one or two tasks. For instance, I assist a toddler with a disability in the toddler nursery each week.
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Finding Happiness, Living the Gospel, Service Opportunities, Teens & Seminary, Youth Programs
Are Mormons allowed to have fun? Of course we are–but our concept of fun might take a little getting used to.
When I first became a Mormon, someone asked what I did for fun, since I didn’t drink, smoke, use drugs, or participate in a number of other activities common to college students. When I teasingly—but truthfully–told him I’d been on a hayride the night before, he stared at me as if I’d lost my mind. He didn’t think that sounded like fun, but it had been (and it was where I met my husband, making it even more fun in retrospect.) I became Mormon the last year of high school, and soon after starting to visit Mormon activities, I said to a friend, “I’ve figured out why Mormon teens don’t get into trouble. They don’t have time.” I was always busy with the Church’s many activities for teens, including dances, parties, sports, service projects, campouts, and canoe trips.. There was always something fun to do and something new to work on. Read more
Filed under: For the Strength of the Youth, Life Lessons, Making Decisions, Old Testament
In order to learn to make wise use of our eternal gift of agency, we must understand that each choice we make has consequences. These consequences can affect our entire lives and even our eternities. They also affect others. When we learn to evaluate the consequences of our choices, we are better able to make wise choices and get the most from our agency.
In the past, many Mormons used the term “free agency” to describe our God-given right to choose for ourselves. Today, church leaders discourage that term, because agency is not free, and they want us to understand this. Instead, they encourage the use of the term “moral agency.” Read more
Filed under: Becoming More Christlike, Discovering Yourself, Finding joy within the gospel, For the Strength of the Youth, Living the Gospel, Making Decisions, Peer Pressure, Teens & Seminary
The teen years are filled with temptation. The media, peers, even teachers and other adults can try to convince a young person that sin is okay, natural, normal, and fun. For a teenager with high standards and an eye for eternity, it can be a challenge to stay on the right path, when so many people are determined to take her off that path. Fortunately, God and His servants have outlined effective ways for teens—and adults—to stay safe.
Staying safe is a matter of choices, and to make wise choices, we have to understand the concept of agency. This article will focus on agency, and future articles in this series will walk through the process of using that understanding to make eternally safe choices. Read more
Filed under: Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ, Young Women
Recently, we’ve been studying how the Mormons are teaching their teenagers to live a virtuous life. The girls-and in some areas, the boys-work to achieve goals in a number of areas known as values. The newest value is virtue. As part of completing the Virtue Value, the teenagers are asked to read the entire Book of Mormon. Read more
In our continuing series on the new Virtue value program for the Young Women in the Mormon Church, we today focus on the requirement to prepare to go to the temple. Many people wonder about Mormon temples and what happens inside them. What are young girls expected to do to prepare to attend? Read more