…growing up in my Church, when you turned 12 you moved from Primary to the Youth Program. The girls went on to Young Women and the boys went to Young Men. I remember when I was in Primary (the class all kids went to before moving up to the Youth), I looked forward to moving up to the Youth because the Youth always had the cool activities, they had the cool dances and they were just always so….cool.
My sister Ingrid was moving out of the Youth when I moved into the youth and I was glad for it because where I was always shy growing up, Ingrid was the “cool” sister because she was so sure of herself and so outgoing that everyone wanted to be her friend…well except for my friend Ralph at one time, but that’s another blog for another time. I didn’t want to live in her shadow so I was glad that by the time I came into the youth, she was moving out of it.
My years in the Youth program were the best years of my life. I mean, we had a good group of girls that came out every week and participated in the activities we planned, we had a good group of girls that I would attend Youth Dances with and Youth Firesides, Girls Camp and all those fun activities and I totally looked forward to hanging out with likeminded people who shared the same beliefs as me and had the same standards I held close to my heart. It was a good time in my life. In my day, we had about 20 girls in the Young Women and about the same amount in the Young Men and EVERYONE was active in Church, everyone came out to ALL of the activities and ALL of us were pretty close.
Yeah, we all had to come to Church or we would get sasa from our parents, we had to attend all the activities because our parents dragged us to them but when we got there, we made the most of it and always had a good time. But, nobody played softball on the weekends, nobody was allowed to miss Church to go dance in this show and that show, Sundays were a day of rest from all of that and Sundays were for Church and family.
Things sure are different nowadays.
It’s always fun to come home from a Young Adult activity and gush about what happened with who and who said what with Chloe and Chelsea. They’re always so interested in the goings on at my Singles Branch and so I always have some funny stories to share with them because my Branch totally rocks out like that but what always brings me up short is that when I was their age, I had the same amount of stories to share with everyone. There was always an activity that was worth talking about or a speaker that spoke in Youth Conference that gave me food for thought and made me want to be better and what not. There was always a good turn out to the activities we planned and there was always good leaders.
With Chloe and Chelsea, they’re the only active young women in our home ward and their activities never get approved from the Bishop because times have changed and I feel bad for them because they don’t even like going to Church but have to go because they’ll get sasa just like I did when I tried to fake sick and not go to Church. With their Dad being the 2nd Counselor in the ward, they have to go attend Church functions all the time but they’re the only girls in Church aside from one other girl who comes to Church every Sunday and they’re the only girls that show up to the ward activities. The other girls their age either moved out of the ward or are no longer active, or have this softball game or this dance function that they need to go and dance for which takes them away from Church functions and Church itself.
It’s sad to see that religion has taken a backseat in so many lives these days. It’s sad because my nieces Chloe and Chelsea are growing up with not too many good memories from their Youth days and their testimonies aren’t as strong as mine was when I was their age. I’m not the most perfect of examples for them but it’s sad to see their young women years remembered by cancelled activities or the Bishop scolding them about bowling not being a spiritual activity (hey we had bowling activities) or going to Knotts Berry Farm is too far and what not.
These are the learning years for most teenagers and if they don’t have anything fun to remember their youth years from it scares me to think about how active they’ll be when they turn 18 and will have the choice to continue going to Church or not. My Church is everything to me and I love it and it saddens me that the Church isn’t as important to Chloe and Chelsea as it should be.
What’s really going on?