Thursday, December 10, 2009
Youth of Isreal or Scraping the Gene Pool
I am going to try my best to not make this a bitter diatribe against the youth of today and the youth of the church but it might be difficult. Some background in where I am coming from on this topic might be helpful as well. About 6 months after I got married to my beautiful wife her mother passed away from breast cancer leaving behind four children, two of which were still teenagers. As the only married sibling and perhaps the most stable family my wife and I were asked and decided to move into my mother-in-laws home to take care of the two younger siblings. Within a few months of moving in we were able to help the oldest enter the mission field and only had the youngest, a senior in High School, left at home with us. The year that followed as we strove to help her finish high school and enter college was riddled with difficulty that came down to one thing. My sister-in-law was immature and selfish and even with every sacrifice my wife and I had made for her she seemed to believe that we didn't care about her and did not do anything for her. I thought for a moment that perhaps this was just her way of dealing with her mother's passing until I realized that she had always been this way. It has caused me to take a serious look at the youth around me and pray that the line in the song stating that "the children are our future" is horribly wrong or at least giving them more credit than reality will come to show us.
Working with the youth in the church now I worry about the mentality that a lot of the youth are being brought up with. I worry about the future of the church and of our nation and now that my wife and I are going to be starting our family I worry about how to raise my children in order to help them over come the selfishness, the dim-wittedness, and the gross incompetence that seems to be in abundance with some of our youth. I was attending a scout/youth training meeting a few weeks ago and heard a startling statistic. The speaker told us that only 3 out of every 10 deacons in a quorum would end up serving a mission. That since the church has "raised the bar" the number of missionaries in the field has decreased by over 30,000. I was also startled to learn that the number of sister missionaries went from totalling 10% of the mission force to now over 20% of the active mission force. What has happened to our young men? What can we do with our youth? As parents what can be done?
I didn't write this post as a solution that I have found at all. Having started at the opposite end of the spectrum raising a 19 and a 17 year old instead of starting with a baby and going the normal route I am actually at a loss for words and worry about my future kids. I guess that this post is more of a search for advice more than a giving of advice. So parent's of the church and progenitor's of our future leaders, what are some of the things you have done to help your children? What are some of the tactics/teaching methods you have employed or have seen employed to help our children and youth develop into strong members of the church and intelligent members of society? I don't want to hear why you believe the kids are screwed up. This country has become so accustomed to playing the blame game and pointing fingers instead of taking the initiative to clean up the mess that it makes me sick. No blame game, solutions are what we need. What do you have?