What a great perspective check to help us keep in mind what is most important.
One of our board members recently attended a local council meeting focused on improving the quality of ward gatherings. The brother offering the closing prayer said, “It is easy to fill the time; it is hard to change lives.” This remarkably true statement applies to every class, meeting or activity held at Church.
Activities are an important part of our youth programs, whether it is a regular Mutual activity night or a special event such as youth conferences, camp, trek or other gatherings. It is a good practice to step back and remember the guiding principles behind such activities to make sure we are not just “filling time” when youth gather.
Handbook 2: Administering the Church, 13.1, reminds us that in addition to providing fun and entertainment, activities should “build testimonies, strengthen families and foster unity and personal growth” and should “fulfill gospel-centered purposes.” For our youth, activities should be based on the needs and interests of the youth and should reach out to all youth including those who have recently joined the Church and those who are less-active. Activities are also great missionary opportunities for including non-member friends.