Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Youth

I teach the Youth Sunday School class in my ward.   We have a gospel question jar that sits on the table every week.  Anytime anyone feels like it they can get up and get the jar and fill out one of the question slips of paper inside.  Then then fold it and put it back in the jar.  Then the following week, or at some later week we do question time where we randomly pull questions out and talk about them. It's really fun and the kids seem to enjoy it.  No one knows who submitted which questions so they can remain anonymous if they want.

There's always a few frequent flier questions that make their way into the jar when I do this with the youth.  Someone inevitably asks about the dinosaurs.  And someone will usually ask why Church is boring and why they have to attend.  Both questions I love and enjoy answering.  Always leads to an interesting discussion.  

Today however there was an especially fun question.  This was the question exactly as written:    

Jesus was a Jew, so why in the paintings in our church Jesus is a white man with a long bear, hair?  But he lived when the Romans ruled those countries (that Jesus lived in) and the Romans made it a rule that people would have to have short hair to separate them from the goths that were attacking them.  Also the Jews in that region would have been dark hair and dark skin.  So is our painting of Jesus wrong?  Is there even a correct painting of him? 

How can you not love the youth?  How is it adults become so closed minded, so stuck in rigid religious traditions and so often trend towards disinterest in further light and knowledge?  The youth actually think.  They ask questions they want to know the answers to.  I have a hard time attending the adult Sunday school class because of the predominant attitude and beliefs. Questions are shot down, or dismissed, or given a mindless empty cliche answer, or some will argue.  The youth's minds are much much better for learning the gospel than the typical adults. I think the adult mind is for the most part unhelpful for learning and experiencing the Gospel.  Doesn't have to be this way of course.  Christ did say to all of us to become as a little child.    

The youth Sunday school hour is a whole different story than the adults.  For the past 10 years my only calling has been Elder's Quorum instructor.  Regardless of moving wards, I get the same calling.  I can hardly describe the difference between teaching elder's quorum and teaching the youth.  The level of inspiration present in the class among both teachers and class members is so drastically different that I had to write this post today.  It's night and day.  The Spirit still attends the youth groups.     

I think it's due to the inherent humility and openness of a young mind.

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