The Sad Reality of Youth Who are Bullied at Church

The Sad Reality of Youth Who are Bullied at Church

Bullying can be defined in many different ways. A standard dictionary definition of the word “bully” is “the use of superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.” Synonyms for the verb “bully” include: persecute, oppress, tyrannize, browbeat, harass, torment, and intimidate. It is interesting to note that the United Kingdom has no legal definition of bullying, while some states in the United States have strict laws governing the bullying of others. Normally when the subject is discussed its reference is to incidents that occur among students in schools. Unfortunately, the school campus is not the only place where bullying occurs. It may also occur among youth in the Church. Made to Feel as an Outcast among Peers Bullying, which can be classified into four different types – verbal, social, physical, and cyber – is a serious problem, especially among youth. It can range from simple one-on-one bullying to more... Read the rest of this entry »

How to Survive Post-Mission Depression

How to Survive Post-Mission Depression

In a recent article, this author wrote about what a missionary can expect after the mission is complete and he or she returns home. In that article, it was brought out that while serving a mission a missionary leaves behind the cares of the world, and the primary focus is on teaching the gospel to the people in his or her assigned area. Although there are challenges in the mission field, none of those challenges perhaps remotely compare to the trials that a missionary faces upon returning to “normal” day-to-day living. There are some who even find themselves slipping into what may be referred to as Post-Mission Depression or PMD. Recognizing the Symptoms and Learning How to Cope A standard dictionary definition of depression states that it is the “severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.” Any type of depression, regardless of how mild or severe, can have adverse effects on a person’s life.... Read the rest of this entry »

Latter-day Saints Singles Wards – Perfecting the Saints

Latter-day Saints Singles Wards – Perfecting the Saints

Why does there appear to be a vast number of 20-somethings who are leaving religious institutions of all faiths? Christian author Naomi Schaefer Riley addresses this important question in her new book Got Religion? She answers the question from an optimistic viewpoint as she discusses ways some religious communities are actively engaged in helping to make sure that number of 20-somethings who are exiting remains at a minimum. How Religious Communities Can Help Perfect the Saints Jana Riess in her Religion News Service (RNS) article dated 18 July 2014 points out that Riley cites three important key elements that the most successful religious communities incorporate in order to help retain their number of 20-somethings: They provide stability during a period of transience. . They give them important things to do to make the religious community work. They help them form spiritual habits to last a lifetime. An entire chapter in Riley’s book is devoted to discussing how Mormon singles wards... Read the rest of this entry »

Soldiers and Missionaries – Serving on the Battlefield

Soldiers and Missionaries – Serving on the Battlefield

When we think of a person as being a soldier, we generally picture someone who dons a military uniform, puts his or her life on the line each day defending the freedoms that we at home so dearly cherish, and stands a vigilant watch by land, air, or sea. These are valiant men and women who consider it a great honor to serve, some giving their last full measure of devotion, to protect the country that they love. Their life is not necessarily a glamorous one. They face day-to-day challenges as they fight to stay alive, and not everyone, including some of their own countrymen, is appreciative of the service that they provide. The service that they provide is strictly voluntary, and in most cases they spend days, weeks, months, or even years separated from their families. Missionaries are Also Soldiers Contrast that to the life of a missionary. He or she willingly leaves their family for a period of 18 months to two years to also provide a service. The service that they provide is going throughout... Read the rest of this entry »

Liahona Children’s Foundation – Humanitarian Service to the Children

Liahona Children’s Foundation – Humanitarian Service to the Children

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a global Church, which according to the latest Church statistics, has 15,082,028 members worldwide and still growing. One of the overarching goals of The Church of Jesus Christ is to fulfill the Lord’s Great Commission to take the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ to the far-reaching corners of the earth. As members go forth to share the “Good News,” they find that a large part of having an effective ministry involves providing humanitarian assistance to those who live under less fortunate circumstances. It is for this reason that the “Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them” (Moses 7:18). As members strive to emulate the life of the Savior, they begin to fully understand what it means to “lift up the hands which hang down, and [stable] the feeble knees” (Hebrews 12:12). The Church of Jesus Christ and Humanitarian Aid The... Read the rest of this entry »

Family History: Moving Mountains

Family History: Moving Mountains

I recently had an aha moment. Fascinated by the fact that men have been commanded to keep records for their families, capture proceedings of the Church, and chronicle words of the prophets and the Savior for centuries—back when it was really difficult to molten ore, engrave the messages into metal, and lug around plates of brass or gold—today members of the Church are asked to do the same thing by writing histories for our own families. Yet, rather than engravings on precious metals, we press keys and slide our fingers across screens we hold in the palms of our hands. Libraries of data are literally now at our fingertips. Technological Advances Help Further the Work of Family History Thirty years ago I was involved in discussions about helping Brigham Young University (BYU) disseminate the resources of its library to other campuses all across the world. This was well before the Internet and seemingly an immense challenge. At that time, mountains of technological problems had to be overcome... Read the rest of this entry »

Shield of Faith – Why Mormon Youth Are Happy and Successful

Shield of Faith – Why Mormon Youth Are Happy and Successful

Research and studies show that teens who are active in their religions – in particular, Mormon teens – are less prone to get in trouble, because they live their lives according to gospel principles, which help them to avoid the snares of worldly temptations. As a result, they are also more likely to live healthier, happier lives. Mormon Teens are Living Testimonies of Their Faith In the Oxford book Soul Searching, and its follow-up volume Souls in Transition, sociologist Christian Smith, based on his research about the religious behavior and attitudes of American teenagers, revealed that “although American youth profess belief at a high level (in God, the afterlife, and the Bible), their level of religious practice does not typically match what they say they believe.” Using that research as a foundation, Princeton Theological Seminary professor Kenda Creasy Dean, one of the researchers in the National Study of Youth and Religion, drew some interesting conclusions. In the book Almost... Read the rest of this entry »

Being Grateful in All Things

Being Grateful in All Things

President Thomas S. Monson, the prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes nicknamed the “Mormon” Church) shared a powerful teaching near the end of a General Conference for Mormons when he said: This has been a remarkable session. In behalf of all who participated thus far in word or music, as the President of the Church, I have chosen simply to say to you at this moment just two words, known as the two most important words in the English language. To Sister Cheryl Lant and her counselors, the choir, the musicians, the speakers, those words are “Thank you.” I believe this man to truly be called of God as the mouthpiece of the Lord Jesus Christ, a servant to God to help lead the inhabitants of this earth to return to live with Heavenly Father. So, when he said that those are the two most important words, I took it most seriously. But why; why is ‘thank you’ the two most important words? Being Grateful in the Moment Have you ever noticed that... Read the rest of this entry »

Protecting Traditional Marriage Based on Beliefs, Not Bigotry

Protecting Traditional Marriage Based on Beliefs, Not Bigotry

The issue of a state’s right to define marriage as between a man and a woman is winding its way through the court system, and it is likely on its way to the U.S. Supreme Court later this year. Proponents of same-sex unions argue that marriage is a “fundamental right.” One justice in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit Court hearing arguments compared the ban on same-sex marriage to laws prohibiting interracial marriage decades ago, asking what is the difference between the two? But there are more important questions that must be answered: Why does it take a man and a woman to create a child? Why has marriage been—from our very first parents—the standard for bringing children into the world? What role does marriage play in society at large? And why does traditional marriage deserve a protected status? These are the relevant questions to answer. Traditional marriage has a foundation thousands and thousands of years in the making. Same-sex marriage is still in the experimental... Read the rest of this entry »

Changing the Atmosphere of Mormon Missions Worldwide

Changing the Atmosphere of Mormon Missions Worldwide

On April 4, 2014, Tad Walsh wrote an article for the Deseret News explaining the new roles that sister missionaries are taking on. Real experiences are shared about how sisters in the Las Vegas, Nevada and in the Provo, Utah missions are implementing these new positions and responsibilities. These new roles include: taking part in the newly created monthly mission leadership council; training elders and sisters in district, zone, and mission meetings; taking on responsibility over the welfare of all of the sister missionaries; and reporting to the mission president or his wife on issues other sisters face. I am a proud advocate of the new responsibilities that the sister missionaries have been given. From what I understand, there were roadblocks that hindered sisters from doing their jobs properly. For instance, from Walsh’s article, Elder Austin Fuller “recalls feeling frustration about the responsibility he had for sister missionaries when he had fewer tools to help them. Elders and... Read the rest of this entry »