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

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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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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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