Dear Vai,Sour grapes rules the day. As you can see it is not okay to
highlight those who've achieved academically and earned a spot at some of
the best universities in the world. Maybe if we were talking about athletes
earning a spot on a pro team..... My guess is Vai has spoken at a number of YSA
gatherings. People form all different kinds of groups and gather
together for various reasons. Nothing can be more lonely than being a young LDS
man, attending BYU and choosing not to serve a mission.
I believe Vai's comment was "These are AMONG the best and brightest LDS
kids in the world." He didn't say they ARE the best and brightest nor
did he quantify how many are included in the "best and brightest". He
simply indicated that these kids scored extremely high on their national tests
and that as a result of their "intelligence", they are now attending
some of the best universities located on the east coast.If you
believe that you are not one of the "best and brightest" simply because
you graduated from a university other than those mentioned in the article, then
your perception of your abilities is an issue that you must deal with. But
don't put words in Vai's mouth because I don't believe that is
what he said.As has been mentioned, it is a shame that some have to
continually put a negative spin on something that is meant to be positive.As for these kids, who all are most definitely smarter than I, keep up
the good work. I am sure the Lord is, as you should be as well, pleased with
the direction you are moving in life.
A few months ago Vai you said the "best and brightest" LDS kids were at
BYU. In this article you're saying they are at Cornell, Harvard, etc....
I'm a little confused now. Also, what exactly is the point/purpose of this
article? I know being a Utah State alum I wasn't among the "best and
brightest," but I know my place.
There is no question that "pride from the bottom up" is a temptation and
a problem, just as much as pride from the top looking down. Being somewhere in
the middle, I'm probably guilty of both.My comment was an
effort to make sense about just what was unique about this story. I think it is
great that LDS YSA's are getting together and strengthening each other. I
think it is great that they are staying close to the Church.What I
don't get is how someone comes up with the idea to gather together "the
best and the brightest" from around the Northeast, and ask a celebrity to
give them a devotional. If they had asked their Area Authority, I'm
guessing he would have challenged the purpose of the activity, and why they
weren't more inclusive.
@SLMG ... Some try, but they always fail.
Why is it that some always have to try to turn a positive into a negative?
Probably many of these 40 young single adults do attend the other YSA
conferences not just this one. I would doubt that there is a large number of
LDS students at any one of the schools mentioned so I am sure this is just one
more way for them to associate with other LDS single adults. These young people
would probably laugh at the idea of being called elitest since few came from
wealthy back grounds but had to work very hard to get into some of the best
schools in the country to further there education. I say good on them and good
on you Vai for a great article.Usually when we talk about class
barriers it we our selves that put up these invisable barriers and then blame
others for them.
The whole thing smacks pretty elitist. There are enough class barriers in the
Church without the need to strengthen and celebrate them.There are
YSA wards at many if not all the institutions mentioned. The Northeast has
regional YSA conferences that you don't even have to attend college to
attned, let alone be going to an Ivy. I'm sure it's very satisfying
for the best and brightest not to have to associate with the lesser members of
the Church, and get some celebrity church leader to speak, then go see the
Hunger Games together. Not everyone is an alum of Harvard or of the NFL, and
these kids need to embrace that, not run from it. We need to do more breaking
down of class barriers in the Church, not more building them.
One of religion's great strengths is connecting people on a deep level and
making it easier to feel love for others. Gallup did a survey recently showing
how churchgoers become extra cheerful on Sundays because they are around people
they connect meaningfully with. For type A college students, who are busy and
already have plenty of friends, to travel to another city for a couple days of
meeting with fellow LDS they don't know too well, shows the impact
faith-based relationships can have on people. Conference and mission reunions
are a fond time of year, probably for similar reasons. Viva la revelacion!