Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Abide by the Guide - For the Strength of Youth

This last week we had a lesson about dating for the young women. We focused a lot on how the For the Strength of Youth guidebook can guide us to date (and eventually marry) in the way the Lord wants us to.

I saw this printable (left) on the Little Miss Suzy Q site and thought it was very catchy...Decide to Abide by the Guide! (the original printable shown in the post matched the older version of the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, the NEW printable that matches the latest version of the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet is available from the Little Miss Suzy Q site here)

This printable was a perfect handout for the lesson, but "Abide by the Guide" could also be used as the basis for a Mutual activity, fireside / Bishop's Youth Discussion, or theme for a Standards Night. We focused primarily on dating and church dances, but you could expand the idea to include all of the other subjects covered in For the Strength of Youth (media, education, dress and appearance, etc) for a complete overview of the standards

This "Decide to Abide by the Guide" handout is easily printable at home, but you can also save it and have it printed in 4 x 6 photo size at a photo center (I used Walgreens). I printed out the information below and taped it to the back of the photo for the handout. I don't have a document for this, just copy the text over to a document and then edit the text size so that when you cut it down it will fit on the back of a 4 x 6 photo. I was able to fit 2 of these on one printed page.

For those who are interested in focusing on the dating aspect of For the Strength of Youth, I put this on the back of the photo for my dating handout:


- You should not date until you are at least 16 years old
- When you begin dating (ie, high school years), go with other couples (group dates)
- Avoid going on frequent dates with the same person (ie, having a boyfriend)
- Choose to date only those who have high moral standards and in whose
company you can maintain your standards

Just because you can date when you turn 16, doesn’t mean that you should
have a boyfriend. In the world’s customs, going on a date with someone can
mean that you are instantly boyfriend/girlfriend. In contrast to that, the Prophets have
preached that youth should not pair off exclusively (ie, be boyfriend/girlfriend).
For instance, President Hinckley said, “When you are young, do not get involved in steady dating.
When you reach an age where you think of marriage, then is the time to become so involved.
But you boys who are in high school don’t need this, and neither do the girls”

If you aren’t dating to have a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, then why even bother
dating? (Dating) can help you learn and practice social skills, develop
friendships, have wholesome fun, and eventually find an eternal companion (when you reach
that stage in your life). It is supposed to be fun and casual- a way to get to know people
and have fun experiences without the problems and potential temptations (emotional and
physical) of entering romantic relationships too soon.

Before you get married, would you rather date one person, or go on MANY dates
and get to know a lot of different boys? Which would be more fun? Would a girl who
had only steady-dated one or two people before getting married maybe regret what
she had missed out on later?

For the Strength of Youth is our guide for dating in the way that the Prophet & Apostles 

have taught us. For lasting happiness, Abide by the Guide!


You can also order copies of the actual For the Strength of Youth pamphlets from lds.org (in the "Order Materials" section) at no cost and with free shipping, but it does take a while to get them (1-2 weeks) even if they are in stock, so be sure to plan ahead.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Alligator letter - contacting inactive YW

There is a sales technique called "alligator letter." The basic idea is that if you have pretty much "lost" a sales client (they aren't returning your calls for a long time), you can make one last effort by sending a letter to the client and ask them to at least let you know what is going on (by providing a sheet where they can select their level of interest and a self-addressed stamped envelope). I believe it is called an alligator letter because it is meant to be an easy way for them to contact you with their intentions even if they are "swamped" 

For example, something like this:
___I'm still interested in purchasing your product, but I've been "swamped". Please call me again
___I'm no longer interested at this time, but may be in the future.
___I'm still interested, but am too "swamped" to meet now, but please contact me in a few weeks

This technique can help 'save sales' for salespeople, because instead of giving up (or continuing to 'hound' an uninterested potential buyer), the salesperson may be able to find out (directly) what the situation is and know how to proceed.

I'm not in sales, but I thought that this concept might be helpful to find out what some of our inactive young women are thinking.

I did something similar to this when I was a ward-missionary and wasn't getting anywhere with some of our new members who had stopped participating in the church and wouldn't return my calls about scheduling their new-member discussions. I've adapted it for some of our (totally) inactive young women - the ones that we have never seen at church or Mutual (most are on our records as child-of-record and have almost no knowledge of the church). I have talked to most of them and invited them to activities/church, but haven't had any progress. It is hard to know how to proceed when I don't know what they are thinking.

So I created the following letter to send out (with a self-addressed & stamped envelope):

Hello, I’m the President of the Young Women organization of your ward (church congregation) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We offer youth activities, classes, and leadership & community service opportunities for girls age 12-18. We have been contacting you because you are on our church records as being a young women in the 12-18 range.

We’d love to have you join us for some of our activities so that you can get to know us and see if you’d like to participate. You might also be interested in learning more about the church and what we believe. For some basic information, you can also visit www.mormon.org

We have a Wednesday night activity almost every week from 7-830pm at the church building (address here). However, some weeks we may have an activity at a different location, so maybe call or text me (phone # here) for info if you plan on coming to an activity. We do some activities for just the girls, but some are combined with the teen boys. There is never a cost to attend – everything is provided!

You are also always welcome to join us for church on Sundays. This year, our ward meets starting at (enter time here), followed by Sunday School (classes for all ages), and then a special class for the young women.

We would love to have you participate in our youth activities and church, but if that isn’t something you’re interested in right now, we don’t want to be pests…
To help me know whether you’re interested or not, please check the box that best fits your situation:
      I'm swamped right now, but I would be interested in church or youth activities in the future
      Don't quit trying- I am interested in church or youth activities, I'm just hard to get a hold of.
      I'm not interested in youth activities or church right now, please don't contact me for a while.

        Please return this sheet to me in the stamped envelope provided 

Thanks so much,
(enter name and contact info here) 

Notice how I only included positive choices for them to 'check' - ie, instead of listing "I'm not interested" as an option, I made it "I'm not interested right now...please don't contact me for a while," which will leave the door open for future contact.

I would probably recommend this method only for totally inactive young women who are not really responding to your efforts, have not participated in years, and probably have little to no knowledge of the church.