Necking. You know that game where you pass oranges from one person to the next by putting the orange under your chin and giving it to the next person's neck? Yep, when I was a beehive, that's what I thought necking was. Only without the oranges.
When I talk to the Young Women about standards, I try to be specific. I try to use their words. I ask them if they know was petting is. They tell me. In their words. Perfect. "What's necking," I demand. (Just to make sure.) They know. They tell me in their words. Good for them. I use their tv shows too. In one lesson about moral purity I used Gossip Girl as an example–of what NOT to do. They knew exactly what I was talking about. So that was convenient. Using Satan's tools against him. Nice.
Our Young Women are being barraged by tons of garbage slung by Satan and his followers. How can we combat the onslaught? Especially when we skirt the issue (literally) and focus on specific skirt lengths or swimsuit yardages...instead of upon the gospel principles behind the standards. It's great to know the rules, but enlightening to know why the rules exist. When we understand correct principles, we are better able to govern ourselves.
We were recently counseled by the Young Women's general presidency to explain the WHY behind the standards. To teach the gospel principles that cause us to develop and maintain certain standards. Hallelujah! When I was 12, 13 and 14 through 18, I constantly wanted to know WHY my parents told me to do things. Once I understood the WHY, I usually decided to go along with the WHAT. (And Dad, 'because I said so' doesn't count as a WHY.)
So we planned our upcoming Standards Night tonight. It's going to be fantastic. It will be in the chapel and will include parents and leaders and stake presidents. It will include specifics. It will be direct and it will be upfront. And it will use the vocabulary of the Youth. It will explain the reasons WHY we believe and act the way we do as Latter Day Saints. It will include refreshments.
However, if it is successful, Standards Night will include more than all of the above. It will include an outpouring of the Spirit. Anything less than the Spirit will be an epic fail. All my talk about being upfront and specific and direct in my language / examples on moral cleanliness will be out the window without the Spirit. Refreshments: who cares? Unless the Spirit has been there to testify to the Youth. The Lord knows each of these Young Women and Young Men. He wants them to understand these principles and to live righteously. He knows what their battles are. He, through His Spirit, is able to convey to each of them in an individually tailored manner, exactly what they need to know. Pretty much as Young Women leaders we have the opportunity to create an environment for the Spirit. Then we sit back, let it do it's magic and serve refreshments.
Good luck to you in your Standards Night. Will you be direct? Will you teach the principles of WHY? Will you spiritually invest for weeks ahead so you may speak and teach with the Spirit? Please don't try this alone. Please don't think that merely referencing Gossip Girl or being specific will convey everything that the Youth need to hear. Please don't teach unless you teach with the Spirit. Especially on this topic. And please remember to define the words. Otherwise there could be some beehives out there afraid to play that orange-passing game....