Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Where Did This Inspiration Come From?

I fondly remember the annual Aaronic Priesthood commemoration campouts I went to growing up and then later with my young sons. What could be better than camping with your dad or with your sons? We'd have a campfire fireside with funny stories and skits that culminated in a spiritual message about the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood by John the Baptist to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. We'd retire to sleep with peaceful thoughts of angelic visitations and how lucky we were to be members of the One True Church on the face of the earth and we'd fall asleep in the middle of God's creations. We'd wake in the morning to sizzling bacon and pancakes prepared by the bishopric and then spend the day hiking, fishing, and just enjoying a day out in nature. As a youth I never thought of it, but as a father I felt a little guilty that the daughters in the church never got to experience this with their fathers unless their fathers organized it themselves and that rarely happened because the church kept them so busy.

Anyway, I just received the agenda for this weekend's exciting Tri-Stake Aaronic Priesthood Encampment. To be honest, when I received the email I thought I'd see if the boys wanted to go. After all, it was camping. We could put up with the fireside and could probably keep from laughing since we now know that Joseph and Oliver made the whole priesthood thing up several years after it supposedly happened. But then I opened the attached agenda. This is what the boys have to look forward to:

Eat before arriving Friday evening (no camp cooking). Apparently they will be staying in cabins. The first evening will be spent in dockers and collared shirts listening to an hour from the Stake President and then another hour with a devotional on The Role of the Priesthood in the Plan of Salvation.

Saturday they have to get up at 7:00 am for Group Scripture Study. Then they have to dress up again and sit through more Mormon endoctrination from 9:00 am to 12:00. After lunch they get to don white shirts and ties for the exciting Preach My Gospel Introduction and the even funner Preach My Gospel Activity. Then they get 40 minutes of free time and then two hours participating in the Sons of Helaman Games.

After dinner they get to set goals and prepare for yet another fireside with their Stake President. Then they get another devotional with their Counselor before turning in for the night.

But that's not all! Sunday they get to have an all male Sacrament Meeting with a real live General Authority.

Yee Haw!

I can see they are working hard to win the hearts and minds of their youth.

It pains me to see the church tear out everything fun that it used to have and replace it with these kind of unsubtle, intense, endoctrination sessions. Do they think that this will really work? I think that they honestly believe that the answer to the church's problems is to increase the level of spirituality. Instead, I think that they are taking away any reason a borderline member has for attending. Actually, I'm glad to see it. It shows how desparate they are.

I'd say I'm speechless, but I guess I'm not. What a bunch of mucking forons.


Joseph's Left One said...

Even in my believing days that would not have been an attractive event. What the hell are they doing to the church? It's like there's some unwritten rule that everything fun and interesting needs to be excised and replaced with brain-dead indoctrination.


Rebecca said...

Wow. And I thought YW camp was bad. At least we didn't have to dress up...

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

OH yea.. the boys got to camp.. and the girls go to learn how to "put on makeup." Since I was one of the girls that would rather hike... I did not feel like a part of the indoctrination... ;-)

Craig said...

It's all a matter of personal opinion. From what planet are all of you from. What is amazing to me is that no one is making you stay but yet you continue to complain. GET A LIFE. MOVE ON AND SHUT UP!!!!!!

Greg said...

The problem is that the world is becoming more polarized. You probably don't complain about how far to the right the media has become. You probably don't say, "what ever happened to the days of Leave it to Beaver and Andy Griffith" when you watch a movie nowadays because what the world is pushing satisfies your cravings for the natural man. The campout you describe seems a bit on the extreme side, and I would say is not the norm. However, the church is trying to make a stand. It realizes that particular spiritual weekend is probably all the spiritual building that many of the boys will receive all year. Our youth (and apparently some parents) suffer from entitlement syndrome. Nobody wants to work, study, pray hard and do the things necessary to build up a spiritual defense. People just want to loaf around, play, have a good time and then say a little prayer now and then sprinkled with a bit of scripture reading. That won't cut it in today's world and certainly won't cut it in tomorrow's world. Satan is lulling too many to sleep.

If we follow a compass, the needle of which does not point correctly, a very slight deviation in the beginning will lead us, when we have traveled some distance, far to one side of the true point for which we are aiming. If a man shall suffer himself to be overcome with anger, and curse and swear, taking the name of the Deity in vain, he cannot retain the Holy Spirit. In short, if a man shall do anything which he knows to be wrong, and repenteth not, he cannot enjoy the Holy Spirit, but will walk in darkness and ultimately deny the faith. You have obviously had a compass deviation. The sad part is that you have taken your boys with you.

Anonymous said...

As a youth who attended Father and Son's overnighters, and now as a leader who is responsible for this weekend's activities for the annual Father and Son's campout, I think I'm safe in stating that the weekend you've described is probably not the norm.

That being said, I personally don't care if the activities planned by a particular Stake fall within the acceptable parameters of what you describe as boarderline members. It gets ever more difficult to 'care' about whether or not a boarderline member becomes active again or not. I'm speaking of adults for the most part, youth have their own set of difficulties. Adults however are a different story. If you don't like the church, its activities, organization, Priesthood, beliefs..whatever, just shut the hell up and go to your local Calvary Chapel where you can find more Mormon haters than just about anywhere else on the planet. Good riddence to the luke warm.