#1 2020-08-24 04:08:06

Registered: 2020-08-24
Posts: 1

I know that the Lord knows all of his children

Rachel Logan has served in a variety of children or youth-related callings over the past 15 years and is currently serving as the Young Women’s President in her ward.
She lives in Bakersfield, California with her husband and four homeschooled children.
She graduated from BYU with a degree in Biology, which was useful to her as a childbirth educator, doula, and volunteer at animal rescue organizations.  She is currently serving as CEO of an EdTech company she founded in 2015.
She enjoys studying theology and religion, in particular, contemplative paths, and writing.
Her blog can be found at www.apathofmyown.com.
Enter Rachel… A few months ago, .

Our sweet Bishop brought up his concerns for our youth in Ward Council

He’d been feeling very anxious about them because he felt a lot of them were struggling with questions and doubts.
He had heard that many youth lose their faith when transitioning to adulthood, and he wanted to know what our thoughts were and what we could do to keep them on the covenant path.
Ministerial vs Procedural Some said we could make more assignments so they feel they have a purpose and belong at church.
Others said more temple trips, more service projects, or more focused Bishop’s youth discussions where they can be taught the gospel more thoroughly.
These are all great ideas, but with each one, I could think of at least a couple of our girls who would actually struggle more with that approach.
There wasn’t going to be a one-size-fits-all answer.
There wasn’t going to be a new program or procedure we could follow to save them all.
In fact, as the conversation continued it seemed to be driven more and more from the fear of losing our youth, and the recommendations were more and more procedural instead of ministerial.
I felt like I had to say something to try to relieve the spirit of worry.
“I love everything that has been shared.
I remember when I was younger I went through my own transition phase.
I left the church for a few years.
I know that the Lord knows all of his children.
He knows what they are struggling with and how to succor them.
They’re going to be okay.
We can help them find the anchors they’ll need to get through.” What Were Your Anchors.
There was a palpable sigh in the room.

The Bishop thanked me for sharing and then asked me a question I wasn’t prepared for

“What were your anchors?” My mind was completely blank.
It had been a long time since I’d gone back to that time of my life.

And while my testimony of the Lord’s love for me was strong

the particulars were fuzzy.
I stammered out something about having a great girls’ camp, which really wasn’t it, and then just let the conversation continue its course without me.
For the weeks that followed I pondered his question, informed daily by my current experiences as Young Women’s President and the mother of four budding youth.
I contemplated every nook and cranny of my years away from the church, and my anchors eventually revealed themselves.
Love Them as If They’re Not Struggling My first anchor was my mom.
She never chastised me, lectured me, or even mentioned anything I know she felt about what I was going through.
She never asked if I was going to church, attending meetings, paying tithing, or checking any other boxes.
She didn’t try to teach me anything, because she knew I already knew.
She only loved me and treated me exactly the same as if I had never left.
She knew that the last thing I needed was to feel judged or unsafe.
She was completely unwilling to let me feel lost.
The space that this created for me to experience God’s love and learn for myself was absolutely critical to my journey.
I really don’t think I would have ever come back so quickly without her unfailing and completely nonjudgmental love.
Be Sure They Understand That Bishops are on Their Side My second anchor was my BYU Singles Ward Bishop.
When I finally felt to go back to church, I went to talk to my Bishop.
I was scared to death, not knowing what experience lay ahead of me.

But I had always been taught that Bishops are on our side

and I wanted to trust that.
I told him I understood that what I was about to tell him he would need to report to the honor code office and that a call to my parents and a move back to California was probably in my future.
I told him everything the prior year had been for me, and that I felt ready to give up everything I had in order to find something new.
He lovingly created room for me to be honest without the fear of being kicked out of school.
He never called the honor code office or my parents.
I did go through a disciplinary council and disfellowshipping, but I never once felt disciplined or disfellowshipped.

The Bishop and his counselors were my saviors during that time of my life

Without his loving care I would have probably walked away from the church again, and who knows how long it would have taken me to try again.
A Personal Minister of Love Leaders in the church often try to make sure they fit in the box of the handbook.
We’re trained to come up with programs, correlated curriculum, and standard operating procedures.
These can be great places to start or fall back on when revelation is slow to come, but this isn’t the gospel.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a personal ministry of love.
It is a marvelous work and a wonder, and it’s too big to put in a box.
The youth of this church get it.
They get it on a soul level we’ve never seen before.
If we’re concerned about the direction our youth are headed in, then we need to double down on the gospel, and not so much on programs.
As a Young Women’s President and mother in Zion, my job is to make sure I don’t build walls around their hearts.
Whatever inspires love, wonder, and a heart-fire for life in them can be used by the Lord to help them become a being of light which surpasses all understanding.
Christ is the Good Shepherd, and my job is to not kill the sheep.
The ways of the past, where rules and duty reigned supreme, are over.
I believe we can see this in many of the adjustments the Church has made in the past few years.

As we move towards the second coming of the Lord

God’s children will become more and more in tune with the spirit of gathering and love.
What this looks like can be interpreted as a distaste for obligatory service and arbitrary commandments.
It sometimes looks and sounds a lot like willful disobedience.
Don’t assume that what you see with your generational eyes is really what’s happening.
Strengths in the Making When it mattered most, .

The Lord has almost always called very young people to be his leaders
The Lord knows that the youth are unspoiled by dogma

untainted by years of naturally self-preservative narratives.
They are courageous, energetic, and connected.
They need us to help them use all of their wonderful strengths in positive ways.
We can be their anchors.
As for what we perceive as weaknesses, well, .

We just need to trust that God sees those as strengths-in-the-making too

If we’re open to our youth being big, they will be big.
Our youth have a deep sense of Christ-like love which transcends boundaries of race, culture, nation, and gender.
This sense that God is big enough to love them, and everyone else, including all of their mistakes and struggles, is creating a space for humanity.
We can now have a new relationship with the divine, one built on mutual trust and respect instead of bottom-up devotion and top-down dictation.
They’re going to change the world, and it’s truly beautiful to witness.
How Can I be a Part of What They’re Creating.
So, when we think about our youth, we really don’t need to worry so much.
We just need to be asking, “How can I be a part of what they’re creating?!” They need our authentic selves, with all of the wonder and awe we used to have when we were their age.
And so does the Lord.

“Kids these days” are the Lord’s battalion

Not because we are teaching them to be, but just because they came that way.
We can see beyond the procedures, and see living, breathing miracles in each one of our young people.

We can trust that the Lord’s got it all figured out

Even if at times the sheep appear to us to be straying, they are numbered.
He knows their names and they know his.
He only asks that we love, with everything that we have.
He’s the Good Shepherd.
Feed his sheep.



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