Scriptures-on-phoneThe following are excerpts from the article “Mormon Leaders Speaking to Youth in Their Language: Technology:”

In most respects, youth in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are just like their peers of other faiths — they study, play sports, hang out with friends and use every type of technology available. They are an integral part of a generation of digital natives, the first generation with no memory of life before cell phones and the Internet.

But Mormon teenagers are also different from some of their peers. Many attend scripture study classes each morning before school and meet with other young Church members once a week outside of church. They often pray and read scripture daily. They also naturally turn to technology to explore their religious beliefs, posting and discussing videos and quotes from Church leaders on social media.”

For Mormon youth, religion is not a Sunday-only affair, but part of who they are. So when Church leaders determined it was time to revamp the lessons taught to youth on Sundays, they knew they needed to provide tools for them to integrate their faith into their digital lives.

“Youth today face a never-ending stream of digital distractions that pull them in a variety of directions, many of which are destructive or unnecessary,” says Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “The Church must play a significant role as a source of good for youth in a technological world. Our new online-based curriculum seeks, both through digital media and increased interpersonal interaction in and out of class, to help youth apply the teachings of Jesus Christ in their own lives.”

[The video below explains how technology is used with the new youth Sunday curriculum Come, Follow Me.]

More from the article “Mormon Leaders Speaking to Youth in Their Language: Technology:”

All Church Programs Seek to Strengthen Faith in Jesus Christ

As was mentioned earlier, Mormon youth differ from some of their peers because of the Church’s focus on daily religious devotion. In the Mormon view, being a follower of Christ means much more than attending church on Sundays.

For example, Mormon high school-aged youth are encouraged to enroll in four years of religious education (in addition to regular schooling) known as the seminary program. Mormon teenagers also participate in the Church Young Men and Young Women programs, where they meet in classes on Sundays for religious instruction and several times during the month for social activities — including service projects, sports, camping and dances. Young men and women are also given leadership positions within their respective organizations in which they learn to set goals, plan group activities and solve problems. The Church’s First Presidency has also created the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet for teens. The principles in this booklet — including honesty, clean language, regular exercise and obtaining as much education as possible — are rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and encourage teens to take an active part in their religion and community.

The deep devotion of Mormon youth led one Christian author to write that “Mormon teenagers tend to be the ‘spiritual athletes’ of their generation, conditioning for an eternal goal with an intensity that requires sacrifice, discipline, and energy.”

This devotion often continues into adulthood. A 2010 study from the Pew Research Center shows that Mormons score among the highest of all religion groups in their knowledge of Christianity, the Bible and other religious information. And a 2012 study from University of Pennsylvania professor Ram Cnaan concluded that active Latter-day Saints “volunteer and donate significantly more than the average American and are even more generous in time and money than the upper quintile of religious people in America.”

Whether it’s studying the scriptures in a Sunday School class or volunteering time and money to help those in need, everything the Church does aims to help people come closer to Jesus Christ.

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