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

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This lesson can be found here.

When I was younger, Patriarchal blessings were always something that seemed so full of wonder.  I would hear people reference them, and speak of certain things “making sense” or as a roadmap to their lives.  I thought of them more like turn-by-turn navigation instructions from a GPS rather than a starting point-to-destination (with whatever road you want to take) mindset.

In the “Note” at the beginning of the manual, it says some may have their patriarchal blessings.  Well, I’m pretty sure my Deacons don’t have it, but the ages for receiving a Patriarchal Blessing are all over the map.  I received mine when I was 18, my friend received his when he was 14, my brother when he was 14, my dad when he was 18, my mom later in life, and everywhere in between.

That being said, there’s a few different ways this lesson can be structured.
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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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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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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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This weeks lesson was at the request of the ward Young Men’s president.

As usual, I overprepared so I had to cut a lot out of what I was planning to teach.  Here’s the original lesson plan, plus what I taught, plus some of their comments
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This lesson can be found here

I found it interesting that the objective specifically linked the faith in Christ of the young men to understanding the atonement better.  This thought stuck in my mind the entire time while I planned out this lesson.  I struggled, because dealing with sometimes rowdy 12 year olds can cause one to gloss over the important lessons that the boys need to take with them.  I didn’t want to use hokey analogies.  I wanted to treat this as serious.  The other thing that stood out to me was in the “Note” section of the lesson:

This lesson provides you an opportunity to help each young man understand the life and mission of the Savior. Some young men are entering the mission field without understanding the atonement of Jesus Christ and the ways it blesses their lives and the lives of others.

Wow.  So this needed more than object lessons and analogies.  This is serious stuff.

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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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