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Out here in the Midwest our New Duty to God program has officially started.  We had the meeting last week for all the youth and their parents, and the feedback seemed to be generally positive.  Many people liked the new emphasis on personal development in the program, many liked how it simplified a lot , and most importantly, the boys didn’t look at Duty to God as something impossible to be attained.  If you have had the new Duty to God presentation in your ward or stake, let me know in the comments how it was received, and the general feedback of all that’s going on, as well as your additional thoughts and opinions on the new program and what it means long-term for your boys!

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Well, my sources came through.  I got a chance to not only see the new Duty to God book over the weekend, but to flip through it and do a little bit of reading as well.   My predictions were close, but the book is not what I expected it to be.

My sources tell me that many of the Stake Presidencies/Stake Young Men’s presidencies have copies of the book, and they are planning an official roll-out in August.  Why they don’t start getting the books out to the parents to drum up interest is a bit confusing to me, but that’s what they’ve decided to do.  And let me tell you.  THE BOOK LOOKS GREAT!  I’ve got pictures at the end of the post.

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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?

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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 #1
The New Duty to God program will be patterned similarly to the Personal Progress award for Young Women. I think we’re going to see similar “values” for the young men (or “principles,” as President Beck put it). They’re going to Learn, Make Plans, and Share. The “Sharing” part sounds like a project of some sort, and the “Making Plans” sounds like something a leader could work with the youth on (like a Personal Progress Leader/Adviser in Young Women’s).

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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 part one, the Introduction.  Further posts will examine in detail each of my predictions, and finally, what the new program means overall.  Without further ado, Part 1: Introduction.

There has been a lot of speculation and questions concerning the new Duty to God program that will be instituted by the Church starting in June 2010. Here is the information I’ve been able to gather on the program, based on personal conversations and the information given both at General Conference and through LDS Newsroom sources.
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My writing has been sporadic over the last month because of licensing exams, but here’s some of the things that have happened (with my colorful commentary)

Dances

I’m primarily over the Deacons, however many of the younger teachers we have (probably 5-6 of them) were in Deacons with me, and thus, we’ve kept our ties up.  As a matter of fact, the boys still come in after Sunday meetings to see if I brought food, still sit near me during Priesthood opening exercises, friend-request and chat with me on Facebook, and generally give me a good-natured hard time about everything.  On February 13th, one of the wards in our stake sponsored a dance, and invited the stake to attend.  After much finagling and the loss of my sports privileges to American Idol, I convinced my wife to go up with me and we had our first experience chaperoning a dance, something I’d wanted to do for a while.

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Here’s a situation: You have a group of 15 youth (both young men and young women). They attend their mutual activities every week (in this case, Thursdays). There is strong youth leadership at the ward level, which has equated in loyal attendance at said mutual activities. Many of the youth not only come, but have a good time and generally look forward to the next week.

The stake puts on activities. Attendance is minimal. The youth aren’t excited about the next activity. They begrudgingly attend (at the behest of their parents). Instead of talking the next day about the positive experience, the conversation overheard revolves around how “stupid” the activity was.

Sound familiar? If not, consider yourself lucky. If so, you’re not alone.

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2010 Mutual Theme – Joshua 1:9

Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

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