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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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Because of this weekend’s General Conference, the posting schedule will be updated. My goal is to spend the weekend getting caught up on the lessons for Manual 2 so that I can be somewhat caught up. By my count, we should be at or around Lesson 39 (Moral Courage), giving us 11-12 lessons before the end of the year.

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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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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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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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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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