Comments about ‘Wandering from worship: What churches are doing to hold on to the next generation’

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Published: Saturday, March 24 2012 12:30 p.m. MDT

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Rita52
ANN ARBOR, MI

As I read this article, the first thing I thought was "What took you so long?" The second was "Thanks for paying attention." Mainstream churches have been bleeding youth for years, all the while gyrating themselves into knots trying to "entertain" them into the faith. Young people want honesty, respect and integration into the spiritual life of their faith. Finally, the churches, whose doctrines and theology are seldom the problem with most youth, are treating young people with dignity, not dog and pony shows. Give them pure doctrine, a definite knowledge of and access to their Savior, and a meaningful responsibility in the congregation and more of them will stay. Wow (insert head smack here)! Who woulda thought!

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

I can't agree more with this quotation-

"Today's youth are awash in technology that promotes global connectedness and the sharing of ideas but deepens individual alienation. Young adults are increasingly skeptical of authority and institutions yet eager to make a difference"

In order to think clearly, we have to disconnect sometimes. So many people are so into what they think is right that very few ever take the time to try to find it or learn if there is truth to be known. People would rather be eager to push for what they've already decided (which hardly was a thoughtful decision, rather indoctrinated from the moral systems of Hollywood, gaming industry, or whatever else they are connected to. I once was the same way to a degree. Self-reflection and patience is lost to so many. People would rather criticize the Book of Mormon without reading it with a hope of possibility, prod at others without equal consideration, and so on.

I'm not trying to get at the Book of Mormon bit so much as the fact that so many younger persons worship the ipad/xbox/social-media above legitimate discourse, thoughtfulness, and meditation.

Y Ask Y
Provo, UT

Voice of Reason,

Go back and read your own comments.

Now tell me what kind of youth would want to have any sort of conversation with someone like that?

I, for one, would not.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I think the problem for religion is education. Somewhere in high school a person starts to use the tools of learning he’s been given and starts applying the rules and tests on real live. Most things work out ok but religion falls short in the proving of it’s fantastic stories and beliefs.

Coupled with the unpleasant torture of growing up in a radical religionist family where the prayers were long and repetitious and were never answered, religion struck out before it got up to bat.

I think that only by preventing public education in general will religions be able to continue. As people become more knowledgeable about the world and our existence they wont need religion.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

One thing that will not persuade the youth to hold onto religion is inserting religion into politics, religion demonizing those who are different and engaging in a war about contraceptives while denouncing abortion.

Involving the youth in real charitable activities, exhibiting and promoting the gospel of love, charity, non-judgementalism and tolerance can bring them closer to God.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Y Ask Y,

"what kind of youth would want to have any sort of conversation with someone like" me?

Although I think your comment is inappropriate in its meaning, I would at least request you give a rational statement, a claim of some kind, or an argument. The only real claim I made is that being too 'connected' and unwilling to take time to disconnect once in awhile- produces a mentality where self-reflection, intellectual thought, and other such necessary human traits cannot exist or be developed.

If that means you don't want to talk to me, then don't- saying nothing is respectful while making a point to state that you wouldn't want to talk to me is a direct insult. I'm not offended, but again- such a statement is inappropriate.

Furthermore I don't need validation from others, especially others I don't even know. The Book of Mormon actually mentions people who wanted validation, favor, and endorsement from others- and where it led them. It's a fascinating examination of where such attitudes lead people through life. I'd take a gander at it- just a friendly suggestion.

Full-on double rainbow
Bluffdale, UT

When you think you have the answers to all of life's problems its easy to come off sounding condesending. No one wants to be patronized no matter how reasonable you think you are.

DrAnnBlakeTracy
Henderson, NV

Since the early 90's I have watched many leave their religions because they report that they can "no longer FEEL God." The reason for that inability to feel God is something most would not suspect. It is their prescription medication - an antidepressant. These drugs are designed to block feelings of depression, etc. but they cannot single out good feelings from bad feelings. According to patients the anesthetic effect of these antidepressants block all feeling, except anger which they increase. But leaving one's religion is an extremely common thing that I have witnessed in working with those having adverse reactions to the medications.

Full-on double rainbow
Bluffdale, UT

@DrAnnBlakeTracy

I'm not sure why you have an ax to grind againts antidepressants. I have seen them help many people. Do they work for everyone? No. Are there risks and side effects? Of course. The prescriber and patient should decide if the benefits outweigh the risks. I disagree with your assertion. Do you really think an all powerful God is powerless againts antidepressants?

Hank Pym
SLC, UT

per Full-on double rainbow 6:41 p.m. March 24, 2012

Churches IMO are all about blind obedience & conformity. What teenager or anyone for that matter finds solace in repressive conditions?

per DrAnnBlakeTracy 7:47 p.m. March 24, 2012

The Doctor is onto something about not being able to feel God. I stopped going because of what I felt (listed above) & that all the weekly "traditional duties" were hollow & repetitious.

Mormoncowboy
Provo, Ut

The article seems to be missing a fundamental point. Rather than analyzing the “youth” group to find out why they don’t go to Church, it would be helpful to just ask them. It also seems to be operating under a Universalist assumption that people should belong to “a” Church, without discussions of “which” Church. This is very odd reporting for a Mormon newspaper whose religious founder too “kept [himself] aloof” from religion for a time. Why isn’t religion selling anymore? Because it doesn’t have value!

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

When most of the strife in the world is not caused by religious intolerance; when people stop "killing in the name of..." then more people may turn to organized religion.

Y Ask Y
Provo, UT

VoR,

You just proved my point.

LValfre
CHICAGO, IL

@VoR,

"People would rather be eager to push for what they've already decided (which hardly was a thoughtful decision, rather indoctrinated from the moral systems of Hollywood, gaming industry, or whatever else they are connected to. I once was the same way to a degree."

So the next generation is indoctrinated by games, Hollywood, and media. What were you indoctrinated by?

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@A voice of reason
"So many people are so into what they think is right that very few ever take the time to try to find it or learn if there is truth to be known."

That works both ways though. There's people who reject religion without ever considering it, and there's people who accept a certain religion without ever considering alternative viewpoints. There are people who think that just because someone else arrived at a different answer than you must mean that they weren't thinking straight, or weren't sincere, or any sort of other thing.

LValfre
CHICAGO, IL

'@A voice of reason
"So many people are so into what they think is right that very few ever take the time to try to find it or learn if there is truth to be known.""

How do you not see that you yourself do this same thing?

Free Agency
Salt Lake City, UT

I'd say most young people want to see a just world, and they're happy to work toward that.

What they don't want is to be handed a script saying who they are (invariably, "sinner") and told to read their lines in order to gain "salvation." Their idea of God is "outside the box."

More and more older people feel the same way. They want to discover God from the inside out (the God who resides in their own spirit), not have a packaged God handed to them from the outside in. That's why so many people now identify themselves as "spiritual but not religious."

Going on a "faith journey" does not mean you have to be part of an organized religion. It can happen one by one, in your own being. And it will probably be more effective than just saying yoru lines. Because you now own your faith.

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