Has The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ standards for the youth changed?
No, but the For the Strength of Youth booklet was dated on December 17, 2011, for the first time since 2001.
New sections and subject treatment reflect the increased and differing challenges youth face today.
Since 1965, For the Strength of Youth has helped youth worldwide know what is expected of them.
Since its original publication, it has been dated and revised nine times to match each generation.
One major change includes guidance in listening to music. Readers are encouraged to be courteous to people around them by keeping their music at a reasonable volume and removing earphones when others are trying to talk.
Youth are also encouraged to avoid late night or overnight activities without adult servision, which is when temptation can be strongest.
Michael McKellar, bishop of the BYU-Idaho YSA 6th Ward, said he felt that, in today’s society, the Church’s youth are confused when new issues pop with technological advances, and they have trouble determining if it’s okay to engage in certain activities.
“The content remains the same, but the application of those principles change over the years and the Church wants to make sure that youth of this current time understand what that means,” McKellar said.
JeaNette G. Smith of Jacksonville, Fla., a licensed LDS marriage therapist, mental health counselor and author of several dating books, talked about differences she noticed between the old and new pamphlet on the “dating” section.
One major change she noticed in the new pamphlet was more emphasis on casual dating.
Smith said she felt in the past there has been confusion among youth about when it’s all right to date seriously.
“I think now it’s just a huge relief,” Smith said. “It makes so much more sense. There’s not all the pressure, not all the heartache, not all the drama.”
The entire edition of the 2012 “For The Strength of Youth” pamphlet, complete with videos, pictures and counsel from general authorities, can be found at www.lds.org.
In addition to the online version, the pamphlet is available in several languages such as Italian, German, French, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese.
These pamphlets can be mailed to almost any country in the world including Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt. It can also be downloaded online or on mobile devices.