Saturday, January 14, 2017

E.F.Y



As I grew older and began dating girls, it became increasingly difficult to withstand the Devil's temptations. 

Lucky for me (thank golly) I was able to attend summer programs designed for kids of my age group called EFY (Especially for Youth); where I could go for an entire week and hear uplifting stories and become more mormony by the day.

EFY is a program sponsored by the church through its education system, BYU.  The basic structure was that parents would pay money to send their Mormon kids off to a college during the summer where motivational speakers are paid to motivate us to be more righteous.  We had strict rules, and while it allowed for much mingling, we were always under the direction of a youth counselor that would ensure no funny business occurred.  In fact, it was at one of these EFY programs I first slept with a girl.  And by slept, I mean spoke on the phone all night until we both fell asleep on each other.  The girls had separate dorms of course, and doors were locked up.  Even to get a late snack you'd have to have your counselor run the errand to the vending machine for you.  I wonder how many of the counselor's were shacking up?  Hmmmm.  EFY wasn't much an option for me.  I was going, and most youth in my ward would go as well.

I remember always leaving EFY with a fresh look on the world.  It caused an emotional roller coaster throughout the week, and the counselors made sure you attributed that feeling with God confirming his truths.  I would be a changed person, and probably a great child.  You see, the Mormon church had a sure fire way for you to know their church was the one and only true church in the entire galaxy:

"Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."

-The Book of Mormon, Book of Moroni, ch 10, v3-5

As a child this was the instructions I was given on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.  I was told to just pray about it and God will tell me the answer.  I was pressured to receive an answer.  My parents told me they received an answer.  All the other members said they got an answer.  So, no wonder I too got an answer.  No, not because God actually told me it's true, but because of the high expectation of receiving an answer.  Also, because if I didn't, something must have been wrong with me.  After all, these people I respected could not all be wrong.  I was told that warm fuzzy feeling I feel, or that tickled feeling in my gut was God manifesting truth to me.

So at EFY, their motivational speakers were excellent at telling stories and giving advice that promoted this feeling.  That whole week I would have God manifest his truth to me.  EFY made me wanna be the best gosh darn Mormon I possibly could. 

EFY was just one program of many that the church would use to keep us believing it all.  Day in and day out, week to week, month to month, I slept, ate, lived Mormonism.  They might just make a servant out of me yet....









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