Why do we have youth activities?
Activities are one of many tools you have to strengthen and bless the youth.
- They provide youth with safe places to gather with other youth who share their standards. Activities can be places of refuge and spiritual strength.
- They help youth grow—spiritually, physically, and socially—into the kind of people Heavenly Father wants and needs them to be.
- They help youth build positive relationships with one another and with supportive adults.
- They give youth opportunities to make a difference through service to the Lord and in their community.
- Activities are a great way to reach out to youth who are less active and to friends of other faiths.
When do we hold youth activities?
Most Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women activities happen during a time called Mutual, and Mutual is generally held once a week, on a day or evening other than Sunday or Monday.
Mutual usually lasts about an hour or an hour and a half. It begins with opening exercises, conducted by a member of the Laurel class presidency or one of the bishop’s priests quorum assistants. The youth sing a hymn, have an opening prayer, and may share testimonies and musical numbers or other talents.
After opening exercises, each quorum and class holds its own activity (planned in advance by the quorum or class presidency and advisers) or combines for an activity if there aren’t very many youth in the ward.
Usually once a month, all of the young men and young women hold a combined activity (planned by the bishopric youth committee). Combined activities are great opportunities for young men and young women to serve and have fun together.
Stake and Multistake Activities
On occasion, youth should have the opportunity to interact with one another at the stake and multistake levels. This is especially important in places with few youth in each ward. These activities are planned by stake or area leaders. For ideas, see “Stake and Multistake Activities” on this website.
Youth conference is a multiday activity for youth ages 14 to 18. Youth conferences often include devotionals, games, dances, service projects, and other learning experiences. They are usually held once a year, either at the stake or ward level. Sometimes they are held at the multistake or area level.
Ward youth conferences are planned by the bishopric youth committee. Stake youth conferences are planned by the stake Aaronic Priesthood–Young Women committee—with help from youth in the stake. For more information, see “Youth conference” on this website.
How do we plan effective activities?
These steps appear on the home page of this site, where you can add notes that will help you remember the needs of the youth.
Ask each member of your quorum or class to prayerfully answer questions like the ones below. You could do this in a planning session, through surveys, or during visits from the quorum or class presidency.
- How can you serve? Who needs your help? What would you like to change about your community or the world? What gifts and talents do you feel God has given you to serve others?
- Who do you want to become? Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, or 20 years? What do you need to do now to prepare for your future?
- What are you interested in? What do you like to do? What interests would you like to explore?
2. Counsel together
In a quorum or class presidency meeting, discuss what you learn from the youth’s answers to the questions. Prayerfully consider ways your quorum or class can support the youth in their needs, interests, and goals. Also discuss how you can support less-active and nonmember youth in your area. Focus first on supporting members of your class or quorum, then plan activities to accomplish that purpose.
3. Plan activities
Based on your discussion, plan activities that focus on the youth in your class or quorum. Many activity ideas will come up as part of your discussion. Other ideas can be found on this website. Use the planning tool to schedule activities and to communicate your plans with youth, leaders, and parents.
As you plan, remember to consider things like safety and any equipment or supplies you might need. Give members of the quorum or class assignments to help carry out the activity. Help them recognize that they are important to the activity's success.