This is a multi-part series on my predictions for what we will see in the new LDS Duty to God handbook and program. This is a further examination of Prediction 1. Additional information about this series can be found here , in the introduction.

PREDICTION #2

The New Duty to God will be less involved with Scouting than before.

There seems to be 2 focuses on activities at the young men’s level.  The first seems to be scouting.  The second seems to be social-type activities.  However, what about the middle ground?

What about those who want to be involved in a choir, but don’t want to sing hymns with the adults?  What about those that like to read?  Or those that like service, or service projects?  What about those who have a fancy for cooking, or plays, or dancing, or debate?  Does Scouts offer that?  Kind of. But not to the extent they would like.  Social activities?  Maybe they’ll do that once a year.  They seem to be geared towards putting the young men and young women together though, and not all youth want to be put in those mingling situations.

I think that the new Duty to God will be a place for them to find their niche.

Claudia Bushman (a fantastic historian and wife of fellow historian Richard Bushman) gave a wonderful presentation at Sunstone back in 2000 concerning the pre-correlation days.  She talked about the speaking competitions, the roadshows, and how the ward participated in activities at the buildings.  From her abstract for the presentation, “The Church was then the place to learn elocution, part-singing, and the tango, a place of extravagant events. As the generations that provided that culture and benefitted from it move on, I want to appreciate those days when “The Glory of God is Intelligence” was interpreted in the widest possible way.”

Going off what I stated earlier, what avenues do these individuals have?  I am a product of the post-correlation generation.  While there have been many, many, many, many posts within the Bloggernacle on correlation, and the good (and bad) associated with it.  Claudia speaks of a time of cultural explosion, and while roadshows might be a thing of the past, my impressions for the new Duty to God seem to be a pull to everything outside of the scouting program.

Like I mentioned previously, I think we will see “principles,” or values (like the Young Women have “virtues”).  Look at what the Young Women focus on:

  1. Faith
  2. Divine Nature
  3. Individual Worth
  4. Knowledge
  5. Choice and Accountability
  6. Good Works
  7. Integrity
  8. Virtue

Many of those are internal values (not like “Woodcarving,” or “Camping”).  Many of those require activities in learning and performing said-values.  I know none of the young men would admit this, but it would be a nice alternative to Scouting if the young men had this option.  I also wonder (if all genders were neutral), how many of the girls would want to be involved in scouting (probably a fair number) and how many of the boys would be interested in a male-crafted Personal Progress type program.  Duty to God sounds like a wonderful name, don’t you think?

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