Very cool CES policy about what NOT to do as a CES/EFY speaker

John Dehlin Mormon Stories

Thanks to Chris (a reader/listener) for referring me to this really cool CES policy about what NOT to do as a CES/EFY speaker. My favorite part is here:

“I also have some concerns as I attended these programs. The concerns usually arise because a wonderful speaker desires to communicate well with the youth and inspire and motivate them to live the gospel more fully. Occasionally, speakers use poor judgment in an attempt to keep the young people’s attention and to communicate with them in terms they understand. That manifests itself in numerous ways, some of which have been:

  • To submit lecture topics for Correlation review/approval the words of which are humorous, catchy, or which lack reverence for the sacred gospel topic to be taught.
  • To recite very personal, spiritual experiences which generally should be treated as sacred. (D&C 63:64)
  • To tell stories using real names of others (and sometimes apparently without the approval of the persons).
  • To tell stories using real names of others which teach the principle of repentance but mention the sins/weaknesses of real people. (e.g., one’s addiction and overcoming; one’s anger leading to a confrontation, one’s years of inactivity, etc.)
  • To tell stories which teach the youth about the possibilities of misbehavior or sin which they otherwise would not know about.
  • To present lectures using pictures and music which are overly emotional and overly dramatic and are apparently intended to evoke an unusual emotional feeling from the youth during that hour.
  • To portray himself/herself as one who truly “understands”, even more than their local leaders, the problems which young people encounter.
  • To fill the lecture with the latest slang or “terminology” including some which is not appropriate and is actually harmful such as jokingly referring to a group of young men as “geeks”, etc. It is so easy to cross the line between appropriate humor and humor which draws laughs but strikes at the self-esteem of someone.
  • To present the lecture material as if it represented the truth, the real facts, which other local teachers and leaders were not teaching.
  • To role-play or interview boys and girls or talk to them about dating in such a way as to imply “sexiness” in their looks or behavior.
  • To select the more attractive youth for interviews and role-playing situations and ignore so many others which implies that attractive appearance is an important measure of happiness and success.
  • To mention very unusual dating circumstances (e.g., eating on a street island, packing into the back of a pickup truck, etc.) which are questionably safe. Too many talks on dating seem to dwell on the extreme, unusual types of dating activities and suggest they are the real way to have fun or impress the date.
  • To talk about minor illness, vomiting, bathrooms, in a humorous way most of which is not related to the lecture but is meant to be entertaining to some.
  • To mention inappropriate items (some of the above), shouting into microphones, etc. while speaking in a chapel to youth. We all know the chapel of our meetinghouses is a most sacred physical area which is not treated as if it were just another place for lectures.
  • To convey to the youth that a lecture, conference, youth program is more significant than the programs and events of the Church which occur week after week in the ward and stake. Rather, all we say and convey should strengthen the youth to be more active in the regular programs of the Church and more appreciative of them as a result of our work.”

Personally, I view this as progress for CES. What do you think?