Scenarios, Scruples, and Solutions
Reprinted with permission by the Student Support Program. This is from the February 2015 newsletter. These articles are a little longer than a normal blog, but they're worth it!
If you've been reading these newsletters for a while, then you know pretty much every article is filled with advice. We strive to give you scripturally based counsel on everything from dating to school to parents to friendships.
Last year, we turned the tables on you and asked you questions. We called it "Scenarios, Scruples and Solutions" and it generated some awesome discussions in youth groups and MBA classes across the church. The feedback was so positive that we're delivering round two!
Each one of these scenarios is based on real-life events faced by actual young people in the church. Some of these issues may not seem like such a big deal. Others may seem so overwhelming you feel like there's nothing you can do to make a positive difference.
There are a few ways to approach these scenarios.
Option 1: Get a bunch of young people together, or just a few close friends, and go through each scenario one by one.
Option 2: Assign one scenario to each friend before you meet together, and have that person research scriptures related specifically to their scenario. Then come together and take turns sharing and discussing your in-depth findings.
Option 3: Provide this list to your youth teacher for use in an MBA or Sunday School class. Break into small groups, and after some discussion time, have each group take turns presenting their thoughts to the entire class. (You may discover that this activity fills two or three entire MBA classes!)
However you approach this activity, remember that it's important to base your discussion in God's Word. We want His opinion in the matter, and not our own personal opinions. So, pray before discussing these topics with friends; make sure you use Bible and Book of Mormon scriptures to back up your opinion; and seek the advice of a teacher, deaconess, or minister when you have questions.
As you read each scenario, answer the following questions:
- How would you feel in this situation?
- What are the other people involved probably feeling?
- What can you personally do to improve the situation?
Don't just quickly give the "Sunday School answer." Imagine you're actually in these situations and give the "real world answer" first. What would you really do? Then discuss what could be done to help improve the situation. Have fun!
The parents of one of your close church friends are getting a divorce. The father, who was very involved in church activities, has not been seen in church for several weeks, and it is rumored that he will not be coming back. The mother has continued to attend church but is understandably emotional at times. You've seen your friend once or twice since the news broke, but his or her church attendance appears to be dwindling severely.
Lowering the Bar
There is a new young person that has recently moved to your branch. You've never had many people your age from church living close by before, so you're excited to hang out. You decide to introduce him to some of your college friends who suggest you all meet at a local sports bar for dinner and drinks. This is something you've routinely done with college friends before, but you're suddenly worried what kind of impression it will leave on your new church friend.
It's late Friday evening, and you're exhausted after going to see a movie with some friends. You're debating what time to set your alarm to wake up on Saturday morning when you suddenly remember that you've got a huge final on Monday that you've barely studied for. You were originally considering joining a group from church to spend Saturday painting and fixing up a nearby mission building. They could use the help, but the event will likely take up the entire day, and that would only leave a few hours on Sunday evening to cram for your exam.
After an extended bout of singleness, you've met an amazing girl and you're head-over-heels in love. She's smart; she's pretty; she gets all your jokes; to top it all off, she's spiritual! She tells you that she's been praying for a companion to serve God with, and she's been looking for a new church. However, when you tell her that your church believes in the Book of Mormon, she is immediately suspicious. You ask her to at least visit your church and give it a try. She says she will, but she asks if you would be willing to do the same for her if she finds a different church that she prefers over yours.
Not My Job
You find yourself at a church business meeting, and the local branch ministry needs a volunteer to fill the role of branch editor. After several fruitless calls for volunteers, someone nominates you for the role. You're not really sure what the branch editor does, but you assume it involves writing, which is definitely not one of your favorite pastimes.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.