Sometimes Mutual night can be built around a fun activity, such as having a game night, playing sports, or doing service projects. And sometimes it can be more serious, with discussions on standards. But what comes out of these weekly activities is something more important: experiences that strengthen testimonies and friendships. For example, one ward planned a combined Young Men/Young Women activity of Dutch oven cooking. “We each prepared a dish, and while the dishes were cooking, we played games,” remembers John E. of Idaho, USA.
“It was a great experience,” says John, “because everyone was involved and had fun. I learned what I could do better next time, including giving better instructions on how to do Dutch oven cooking.”
At fun activities like these, teens are given a chance to gather together regularly in a safe setting and to practice gospel principles. These activities also help you grow, serve, and build friendships and unity, and they provide opportunities to fellowship or help rescue others.
Mutual activities such as John’s help build unity. Natalie M. of Washington, USA, says, “It’s so nice to know that you can feel that you’re not alone in your beliefs and can associate with others who have the same standards. It lifts you up every time you go to activities and get to know others a little bit better.” Lauren D. of Idaho adds, “I think some kids have a hard time with getting to know people, and Mutual makes it easier to make new friends.”
When the opportunity comes to plan an activity, those involved learn how to cooperate with others to make it a success. Taylor W. of Idaho says, “We planned a water-balloon volleyball game. We got big towels and balloons and tossed the balloons back and forth over a volleyball net with the towels. I felt good because I helped plan it and it went well. It also brought us closer as a quorum because we had to work together.”
In addition to building friendships and learning leadership and planning skills, teens bond with their leaders and learn from them. Brian C. of Washington observes, “The Young Men leaders in my ward have helped me advance through the Scouting ranks and let me know what the activities are. They make me feel good about myself because of all the work they’ve done to help me feel like a part of the Young Men group and to serve in my callings with dignity.”
Lani C. of Washington says she enjoys it when her ward has a bishop’s youth fireside. “It helps us to know our bishop. It’s important to know that our bishop and his counselors really care about us.”
“For me, it’s not just one single activity that makes a difference; it’s the regular Mutual activities that I go to every week,” says Dustin B. of Washington. “I look forward to going to Mutual and interacting with others, as well as building and strengthening my testimony, feeling the Spirit, and having fun at the same time.”