If you aren't already aware, there has been a change made to the Duty to God program for the Young Men in the church. All in all, it seems to be a very streamlined and in my opinion, easier program. However, in order to achieve their goals and find success in the program; the young men will need more input and help from home. While the Young Men leaders can help, the emphasis of teaching the youth has always been on the shoulders of the parents. The new program can help to bridge the gap between teen and parent.
There are three steps that a young man must do in order to reach his goals and complete the program. He must Learn, Act, and Share. There are defined areas in which he must do these three things, while in each office of the Priesthood.
While a young man is a Deacon, the areas of focus are Spiritual Strength, Priesthood Duties, and Physical Health. A Deacon must work through each of these areas with the suggested activities within each topic.
While working in the Spiritual Strength section, a Deacon will Learn to Pray and Study the Scriptures. He then Acts on what he has learned, by setting a goal and following through on his plan. Then he must Share what he has been learning through his goal of regular prayer and scripture study. He can share this within his Priesthood Quorum, or with his family in a Family Home Evening. Other topics to work on in the Spiritual Strength section include Live Worthily, and Understand Doctrine. The nice thing about the Understand Doctrine area, is that the young men choose four or more topics from a list of suggested gospel topics. This way they continue to learn each year and choose different topics from when they are a Teacher or a Priest. The idea on this one is that they study the topic and prepare a lesson outline. We have had our son then give a Family Home Evening lesson on the topic that he has studied and prepared.
In the Priesthood Duties section, a Deacon will learn to Administer Priesthood Ordinances, Serve Others, and Invite All To Come Unto Christ. While working in the Physical Health section, the Deacon must complete a project on Exercise and Nutrition that must be approved by his parents or a leader before he begins.
A young man who is a Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood will focus on Spiritual Strength, Priesthood Duties, and Education. He must work through all of the various activities within these areas by Learning, Acting, and then Sharing.
The Spiritual Strength area focuses on Pray and Read the Scriptures, Live Worthily, and Understand Doctrine. Priesthood Duties include Administer Priesthood Ordinances, Serve Others, and Invite All To Come Unto Christ. Education focuses on a project in which the young man learns about the importance of Education and Occupation. The project must be approved in advance by a parent or a leader.
When a young man becomes a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood, he again will focus on three areas: Spiritual Strength, Priesthood Duties, and Family and Friends. He will work through all three areas by Learning, Acting, and Sharing.
In Spiritual Strength, a Priest will Pray and Study the Scriptures, Live Worthily, and Understand Doctrine. Priesthood Duties include Administer Priesthood Ordinances, Serve Others, and Invite All To Come Unto Christ. Family and Friends again includes a project on building a happy home and becoming a better friend. The project again must be approved in advance by a parent or a leader.
In order to help our son set and reach his goals in the program, we sat down with him and went through his level page by page. We discussed and encouraged him to set an appropriate goal in each level. He asked us questions and we were able to have a great conversation about gospel topics and what they mean to him. We also scheduled Family Home Evening time and opportunities for him to give us lessons. This way he can share what he is doing and we can be involved with him every step of the way. We have already noticed a difference in our relationships this past month of working on the program.
If you haven't taken the opportunity yet, I encourage you to read through this program and pray about it. You will be led on how to best implement it in your own family and to help your own children. It truly is an inspired program and I feel blessed to be a part of it with my own son.