“Church Releases New Products for Youth, Children,” Ensign, Apr. 2012, 74–75
In recent months the Church has released several new products to help strengthen youth and children.
In December 2011 youth.lds.org launched a newly updated version of the For the Strength of Youth booklet that addresses issues and challenges youth face today that were not specifically addressed in the previous version of the booklet.
“The standards have not changed, but times have changed,” said Young Women general president Elaine S. Dalton, explaining the update. “For the Strength of Youth has been revised to address the issues youth face today—to teach them the doctrine behind the standards and the promised blessings of obedience.”
For the Strength of Youth was last updated in 2001. The revised pamphlet will contain the addition of current prophetic counsel in areas such as the wise use of technology, virtuous thoughts, dating, the importance of gender roles, and preparation for the future.
Other changes of note include:
Additional emphasis on following the guidance of the Spirit, keeping covenants, and being worthy to attend the temple.
A new standard entitled “Work and Self-Reliance” offering counsel on smart money management, frugality, industry, and becoming a contributor.
The addition of emotional health to the section previously titled “Physical Health”—now called “Physical and Emotional Health”—encouraging youth to seek healthy solutions to problems.
Increased clarity and emphasis on doctrine in each section.
The inclusion of questions to invite further pondering and discussion.
Hard copies of the revised pamphlet in English were mailed to Church units earlier this year. Priesthood leaders received a copy for each youth ages 12 to 18 and all priesthood and auxiliary leaders who work with youth.
Young Men general president David L. Beck emphasized the value of this resource for youth, parents, and leaders as they strive to live faithfully.
“It is our hope that these standards will be thoroughly studied in our homes and in Church classes, and that the principles taught in them will go down into the hearts of the youth of the Church,” he said.
Language versions of the revised pamphlet will follow both online and in print as they are completed.
The music section of youth.lds.org is expanding its offerings of free, downloadable music with songs by more contemporary artists from past Especially for Youth (EFY) media.
Beginning in February and continuing over a period of several months, 30 newer songs are being released at the rate of one per week.
On average, youth spend more than 11 minutes per visit on the site, using the music player—which has the capability to skip, pause, and shuffle songs—as a radio to listen to clean, uplifting music.
Music can be organized by artist, song title, or collection. Current collections include general conference, seminary videos, and selections from the Strength of Youth Media 2012, a collection of video and music resources centered on the 2012 Mutual theme.
The music site is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and plans are in the works to provide more songs in Spanish and Portuguese. Currently, one song on the site—Jenny Phillips’s “Strong and Courageous”—is available in Spanish and Portuguese.
Parents and teachers now have an additional resource for helping them find material for teaching children: the new Children’s Lesson Helps website, available at http://lds.org/children/resources. It contains links to Friend and Liahona content as well as other Church-approved media that can complement family home evening or Primary lessons. The website is available now in English and will eventually be offered in Spanish and Portuguese as well.
The site is organized into three sections:
Resources for Primary lessons
Resources by gospel topic
Weekly thoughts and tips
Marissa Widdison, an assistant editor for the Friend who helped create the website, said that the new resource can help parents and teachers more easily locate stories and visual aids as well as tailor lessons to the needs of the children they are teaching.
Sister Widdison emphasized that the site is a “work in progress” and that more content will be added on a weekly and monthly basis. From the beginning, however, the website will be a help for those who nurture and teach children.
“The purpose of this site is to help children feel the Spirit,” Sister Widdison said. “We want to help parents and teachers find Church-approved, supplemental resources to help them reach out to the children in their lives.”