“Meaningful Mutual Activities,” Ensign, Aug. 2000, 71
Meaningful Mutual activities give young men the opportunity to learn, serve, and have fun with friends and leaders in a wholesome, safe environment. These activities become “shared experiences in which there is mutual respect and support for one another” (Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2: Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders , 187).
To this end, we encourage each Young Men presidency, under the direction of their bishopric, to make effective use of the Aaronic Priesthood committee and the bishopric youth committee in planning, calendaring, and carrying out Mutual activities that strengthen young men in the gospel. Careful planning and preparation will make Mutual a positive experience for all young men and keep it from being merely an unsupervised sports night.
Leaders could look especially for ways to reinforce gospel principles taught in Sunday lessons. For example, a priesthood lesson on respecting womanhood could be followed by Mutual activities designed to show respect for all women, whether mothers, sisters, or young women.
Young Men leaders are to give careful attention to adult supervision, safety, appropriate dress and grooming, and returning youth to their homes at a prearranged time. Parents should be informed of planned events so they can encourage their sons to attend. Some Mutual activities may be organized to include other family members. If possible, hold all youth activities on Mutual night rather than holding multiple activities during the week.
Leaders can enhance Mutual by holding opening exercises presided over by a member of the bishopric. The priests quorum assistants and members of the Laurel class presidency take turns conducting. “Opening exercises include a hymn and prayer and may also include talks, musical selections, and opportunities for youth to share their talents and testimonies” (Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2, 187).
Effective Mutual nights reinforce Sunday lessons, provide service opportunities, and offer a balanced program of activities.