Tag Archives: young men

Our Youth/Young Single Adults and the sexualized world we live in

Over the last 2 1/2 years I’ve worked with both the Young Single Adults in my stake and the YM in my ward. With my new calling, I have responsibility over Young Single Adults. Over this time, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to ponder on  what can be done to help the 12-30 age groups. On the one hand, that is a huge range, and needs obviously vary depending on the exact age of a person. On the other hand, there is indeed at least one common thing that they all have in common. There is great pressure to accept and experience sexual-related things.

I know that there has been temptation from the beginning. Whenever/wherever there is righteousness, there is going to be opposition. But it seems that one of the great vices of this generation is pornography, and the acceptance of almost any kind of sexual behaviour. I’ve read a couple of articles recently that really made me think. I don’t want to comment too much, but here are the articles along with some selected quotes:

Globe and Mail – Why won’t guys grow up? Sexual economics
Published Saturday, November 10, 2012

In economic terms, our unequal desire for sex means that, in the sexual marketplace, men are the buyers and women are the sellers. Until recently, the price was steep, up to and including a wedding ring and a promise of lifetime commitment. In my parents’ generation, the only way for a 22-year-old guy to have a lot of sex was to get married. Today, plenty of 22-year-olds can get all the sex they want for the cost of a pack of condoms…

The changes in gender politics since the 1960s have been good for both sexes. Women got something they really wanted (access to careers and money) and men got something they really wanted (more sex). But this bargain is having some unexpected consequences. Young men are in no hurry to get married. Why should they be? As my dear old dad used to say when I waltzed out the door in my miniskirt, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” I hated it when he said that. But he’d grasped the central principle of sexual economics…

Dr. Baumeister’s argument is that “men will do whatever is required in order to obtain sex” – and that, historically, society has made them do quite a lot. To qualify as good marriage material, a young man used to have to show he could work hard, compete successfully, commit to family life, be a good provider and gain respect in the community. “The fact that men became useful members of society as a result of their efforts to obtain sex is not trivial,” he says.

But now, young men don’t have to do those things. Sex is readily available. According to Mark Regnerus, another expert on sexual economics, 30 per cent of young men’s sexual relationships today involve no romance at all – no hearts, no flowers, not even “Hey, what’s your name again?”

Toronto Star – Is pornography changing how teens view sex?
Published Monday, Aprril 22, 2013

“You have to ask yourself, what 15-year-old boy thinks there is a girl who wants to have sex with four boys and to what extent he thinks this is expected or normal? And you have to ask, where do they get these ideas from?” said Peter Jaffe, a professor at the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at Western University. “It’s not from sex education they are getting in school.”

One hypothesis: exposure to pornography. At no other time has pornography — including violent pornography — been so easily accessible for children of all ages. In one U.S. survey, 70 per cent of 15- to 17-year-olds said they had watched porn, while a Canadian study found boys as young as 10 have experienced pornography. By the time they reached 20, the same study found it was almost impossible to find men who hadn’t viewed X-rated material.

Pornography can’t be solely blamed for what appears to be an increase in rape or sexual violence. However, academics, researchers and scientists say there is little doubt that the use of porn among teenagers is having a profound impact on their notions of normal sexual behaviour, their views on women and their ability to even identify what constitutes sexual violence…

Brain scans have also found the teenage brain is dominated by areas associated with pleasure and reward, and emotional response, perhaps explaining the emotional roller-coaster years associated with puberty.

This volatile situation taking place within the teenage brain may make it more susceptible to the lure and long-term effects of pornography, scientists believe…

As for the other side effects of pornography on society, most experts say we will have to wait and see.
“We are running a massive experiment on an entire generation of people,” Jensen said. “We are exposing them to incredible levels of this hypersexualized media with no idea of the effect. Some of what we are seeing now (with these gang-rape cases) is hinting at this.”

I know there are lots of angles from which  this can be looked at, but it seems to me that we have our impressionable youth and young adults growing up in an “anything goes” society. There is evidence that this is leading to problems, but society isn’t doing anything about it. Also, the move to gender equality (which certainly seems to be a good thing in most situations), is possibly leading to less of a need for marriage and monogamy.

I know this is a simplistic summary, but it is the way I see it. It is indeed a scary world out there! The need for parents and leaders to stay close to their children and young adults is greater than it has ever been. I think about this often and pray daily that my children will be protected from these influences.

182nd Semiannual General Conference – Priesthood Session

In between sessions, I went out with my father to a Chinese food buffet. Usually the women and children at home do something together. Since they were going to be spending money on food, my father suggested that we all go, so that’s what we did. There were 9 of us all together, and it was nice. In case you are interested, my fortune was “Get to the point and keep it clear and simple.”


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A priesthood choir from the Ogden Utah area sang Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Elder Jay E Jensen offered the invocation

The choir sang Love One Another

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • in the world today men and boys get conflicting advice on how they should be
  • some thing that life is a competition between man and woman
  • some take the negative signals and use them as an excuse
  • it cannot be this way with us
  • we must be men that women, children, and God can trust
  • whatever you do, be proficient
  • be worthy models and help the rising generation
  • we need strong quorums
  • the Church, the world and women are calling for us
  • rise up, o men of God

Bishop Gary E Stevenson

  • spoke of Helaman’s stripling soldiers
  • be valiant for courage
  • have the conviction to courageously do what is right
  • story of a friend named John who went to Japan for school; attended a party where marijuana was about to be used but left; those “caught” were expelled and sent home
  • teens are 3x to 5x more likely to use drugs or alcohol if seen on social media
  • to click or not to click
  • what you do and where you go shapes who you become

Elder Anthony D Perkins

  • young men need to prepare
  • don’t squander priesthood power
  • deep personal conversion and family relations keep is on the path
    1. pray always
    2. study ancient and modern scriptures to connect us to God
    3. worthily participate in ordinances prepares us to take the Holy Spirit as our guide
    4. showing genuine love is at the heart of personal conversion and family relations
    5. obeying the law of tithing is an essential element
    6. fully living the Law of Chastity gives us the confidence to stand in the presence of God with the Holy Ghost as our constant companion
  • obeying these principles prepares us to make and keep temple covenants
  • if our soul is drifting to an edge of a spiritual cliff, stop and steer back in the right direction

The choir and congregation sang Guide Us O Thou Great Jehovah

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • years ago he and a couple of friends restored an old airplane
  • recently got to fly in a fighter jet
  • these experiences were very similar, yet very different
  • our individual service in the gospel can be quite different
  • some live in areas that are fully staffed; others in areas with very few people
  • no matter your circumstances you and I know there is joy from dedicated priesthood service
  • it is easy to find things to complain about, but as His servants, we need to act in His name
  • as a pilot, he touched the sky; as a member of the Church he has felt heaven’s embrace
  • know the doctrine
  • be wise and act up on the gained knowledge
  • deepen your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

President Henry B Eyring

  • help your children understand the spiritual gifts they were born with
  • shared story of height boards he carved for his sons
  • we all have gifts to serve Him

President Thomas S Monson

  • there is nothing that will provide more comfort than a testimony of the truth
  • there are those without a testimony who would have one if we shared ours
  • we all need to be told we amount to something
  • mentioned the story of Warden Duffy (see my notes Leadership Training Conference with Elder Ballard post)
  • we need to see men as what they will become
  • to each of us comes the mandate to share the gospel of Jesus Christ

The choir sang Hope of Israel

Elder Patrick Kearon offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 182nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

“They walked everywhere they went”

I’m not sure where I first heard about this, but it’s cute. I guess it seemed funny to me since Mormons seem to focus so much on the length of hair of our young men:

A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss his use of the car. His father said to him “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little and get your hair cut, then we will talk about it”

A month later the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car. His father said “Son, I’m real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your bible diligently, but you didn’t get hair cut!”

The young man waited a moment and replied “You know dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair and even Jesus had long hair.”

His father replied “Yes, son, and they walked everywhere they went!”

Meeting with Brother Adrian Ochoa

In April, the YM General Presidency was changed. Brother David L. Beck was called as the general president of the Young Men, with Brother Larry M. Gibson as first counselor and Brother Adrian Ochoa as second counselor. I had the opportunity to attend a training meeting with Brother Ochoa a few weeks ago. For the last several years there has been a Regional Youth Conference here in Southern Ontario, and Brother Ochoa came up to speak at the conference. On the first night, he held a training meeting for all those who work with young men.

The following are my notes from the meeting. These are NOT direct quotes from Brother Ochoa. The notes consist of the general sense of what he was saying, the input from others, as well as my own thoughts/interpretations. I did get the sense that the Brethren are aware of how important it is for our youth to be “connected”, and especially to be connected to each other. This applies to youth around the world, not just in North America.


  • “they” sent him here
  • There is a lot at stake
  • There is a formidable enemy. Many laugh and say he is not real
  • His #1 charge is to stop the work of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
  • There are some difficult questions
  • Read from the CHI about the Aaronic Priesthood. It should be our #1 training tool. We should be familiar with it. It is a tremendous teaching tool, and is like scripture (came through revelation)
  • We have the best leader, Jesus Christ
  • What can I do to not only prevent YM from falling away, but to bring them back
  • What are we going to do to save our youth?
  • As leaders, we might need to “parent” them a bit
  • Get the quorums involved
  • We need to be effective teachers
  • Main agents for change
    • Love them with a Christ like understanding
    • Teach parents and leaders
    • Take responsibility
  • How much are we condescending? (talking to them at their level)
  • What are the main challenges facing our youth?
    • LDS youth feel isolated
      • Only member in school
      • Attend mutual and other activities in small group
      • Aren’t are of LDS youth around the world who share the same experience
    • LDS youth feel pressure
      • Confusion about moral choices
      • Drink, view pornography, violate law of chastity
      • Common for people my age to
        • Use illegal drugs – 50%
        • Be sexually active – 50%
        • View pornography – 50%
        • Drink alcohol – 60%
      • Pressure increases with age
        • 12-13 – 39%
        • 14-16 – 45%
        • 17-18 – 50%
  • Isolation + pressure = risk
  • Reducing the risk
    • Youth feel less pressure to sin if parents:
      • Know their friends and know what they are doing
      • Set/reinforce high moral expectations
      • Are both active
      • Hold regular family prayer and scripture study
    • 3/4 of parents expect youth to choose friends with good moral standards
    • 1/2 encourage their youth to always listen to music with clean lyrics
    • 1/3 have regular family scripture study and prayer
  • Brother Ochoa didn’t bring answers. Our own mantle will bring us the answers
  • A great leader is able to focus on the things that make a difference
  • Active youth feel less pressure to sin when they feel connected
    • To their covenants through spiritual experiences (Scouts is here to stay)
    • To one another through formal/informal experiences with each other and leaders
  • In what kind of world do today’s LDS youth live?
    • A connected world
    • Technology (iPhone, Blackberry, etc)
    • YouTube
    • Texting (texting is not dating)
    • Virtual reality
  • From interviews with LDS youth we know they want opportunities to:
    • Make new friends with LDS youth
    • Feel part of a “Zion” community (share experiences)
    • Have a safe place to meet and interact
    • Feel connect to Church leaders
  • What helps? Events
  • What youth need:
  1. Sufficient companionship time with parents and family members
  2. examples of and opportunities to feel positive emotions
  3. sense of accountability
  4. clear distinction between good and evil
  5. accurate and realistic view of themselves and of the world
  6. have adult mentors
  7. hope for the future (Moroni 7:41)
  • Make a plan of 5 things you are going to do