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This Q&A can be found in the January 1971 New Era, found here.

Part one of my commentary can be found here.

Like last time, the questions plus my experiences and opinions plus witty social commentary means this is part 2 of the Q&A! Not as much youth-oriented issues, but plenty of snarkiness to go around!

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This is going to be a new portion of the website, where I look at some of the questions that have been submitted to the New Era since 1971, and either post witty social commentary, post my opinions on the question/answer, or offer insight into the mind of the 2010 teenager. The plan is to go through each month of the New Era, from 1971 to present, and once or twice-a-week offer my thoughts and experiences. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s (12 issues per year x 39 yrs), and if I’m doing it once a week, we’ll be at 468 weeks (or a year and 3 and a half months).

January 1971’s questions can be found here.

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Now that school is in full swing and seminary and stake dances have started gearing up, it has caused me to reflect on the summer, and many of the activities that youth participate in.  One of those is EFY, Especially for Youth, a weeklong excursion at a local university where the youth stay in separate gendered dorms and experience many of the same things at a youth conference (classes, firesides, dances, games) but on a much grander scale.  CES has been in charge of EFY since the 1980’s, and though I was a 3-year participant and at one time contemplated spending an entire summer being an EFY counselor around the entire Midwest area, I’ve developed a very passionate love/hate relationship with EFY.

However, it wasn’t always like this.

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FYI

This blog is still active. I’ve got about 15 drafts that I’ve got waiting in my queue to upload, but within the last month and a half I’ve been bombarded with a new calling, a new job, plus licensing and certification exams that have been occupying much of my time. My big examination is on Monday the 28th of August, and so on September 1st there will be no shortage of posts.
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This was given to a group of four 11-year olds at the Priesthood Preview held a couple of weeks ago.  I was asked to speak for 5 minutes on the Purpose of the Aaronic Priesthood and the Duties of a Deacon.  I am posting it here for anyone who might be able to take some insight from it in their own lessons.

The Purpose of the Aaronic Priesthood and the Duties of a Deacon

First, let me just say how proud I am of all you young men.  You have made a very good decision to live worthily to receive the Aaronic Priesthood, and I know your Heavenly Father is pleased with you.

When you become a Deacon, and when you are in our Deacon’s quorum, we will use the scriptures a lot.  I’m sure you’ve probably seen the Deacons eating donuts.  If you bring your scriptures 4 weeks in a row, I buy donuts.  But if you don’t, we start the 4 weeks over again.

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Just when I thought things were leveling out and stabilizing….

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A boy comes to you, asks to speak to you in private.  He’s 16 years old.  He says, “Brother Brandt, I think I might be gay.”

What do you do?

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I always thought I would grow out of it.  I thought, “Going on a mission will change things.”  It didn’t.  Then, “Going away to college will change things.”  It did.  Sort of.  Then I moved back to the ward that I grew up in, with my parents still within the ward boundaries.  The families were the same.  The kids I taught swimming lessons to in the back yard were now all teenagers.  The adults that used to be refered to as Brother (Insert First Name Here) or Sister (Insert First Name Here) became (Insert First Name Here).  They became equals.  And then I realized nothing had changed.

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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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