Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ignoring the prophets

I remember Boyd K. Packer speaking in the October 1998 general conference—and it was striking enough that Jeanne and i looked at each other with a “Did he really just say that?” reaction—about scheduling youth activities, and the need to make sure we don’t overschedule our youth with church things. The entire address is worth reading, but here’s the money quote:

I must touch upon what must surely be the most difficult problem to solve. Some youngsters receive very little teaching and support at home. There is no question but that we must provide for them. But if we provide a constant schedule of out-of-home activities sufficient to compensate for the loss in those homes, it may make it difficult for attentive parents to have time to be with and teach their own children. Only prayer and inspiration can lead us to find this difficult balance.
We often hear, “We must provide frequent and exciting activities lest our youth will go to less wholesome places.” Some of them will. But I have the conviction that if we teach parents to be responsible and allow them sufficient time, over the long course their children will be at home.
There, at home, they can learn what cannot be effectively taught in either Church or school. At home they can learn to work and to take responsibility. They learn what to do when they have children of their own.

Or, to summarize: Please cut back on scheduled activities!

Didn’t happen, though—leading me to wonder why. Any ideas?


Heather the Mama Duk said...

I've got two thoughts here. One, that's pretty much been a focus as of late, that parents need to be the teachers and the church is a support only. Two, are there places that are doing tons and tons of youth activities? Because in our ward they have their (currently) Tuesday night activities and then Girls Camp/Scout Camp and for 14 and up there is Youth Conference (Trek this year... joy). Rarely there is something on another night, like once a year maybe. Are there places where they do more than that? (Non-BSA sponsored - they have day camps and occasional campouts)

David B said...

Both my current and previous ward/stake have gobs and tons of youth activities, and heavy discussions about kids who don’t attend them and what can be done to get them to come. (Not sure about our previous wards—which is where we lived when that address was given—because we weren’t as tuned in to the youth programs back then.)

Heather the Mama Duk said...

Our ward does tend to do the least possible... lol