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Monday, November 17, 2014

A Tale of Two Preparations

Dear Readers,

I have recently been in touch with a Primary President and a Young Women's President.  The former planning a Primary Program and the latter planning a Young Women's in Excellence Night.  I'd like to talk about how they both prepared, because it was VERY different.

One thing that was the same was that they both did start planning well in advance of the date of the event.  That was good on both of their parts as these are major events that shouldn't be planned at the last minute.  However, that was about the only thing done the same.

Let's start with the Primary President.  She started with prayer.  As she had never been in charge of a Primary Program before, she reached out to those who had.  First, she asked heavenward for the Spirit (I repeat she relied on prayer.)  Then she asked for advice, tips, and tricks from former Primary leaders and asked them to pray for her as well.  She did a lot more things of course, writing the program parts, and scheduling practices, making seating charts, etc. etc. etc.  In summary, every time I spoke to her as she was preparing, PRAYERS for the Program, prayers for the success of the Program, prayers for help in the preparation for the program, prayers for the children, etc, was discussed.

Let's turn to the YW President.  She started by turning to Pinterest for a good idea, which she found!  A full program that someone else put together, no thinking required!  It had everything already thought out.  All one needed was a printer (for all of the cute graphics!)  In every instance where I touched base with the YW President, Pinterest was discussed and how great it was that no work was needed.  The Pinterest idea said to decorate with burlap, so burlap decorations it was!  The Pinterest idea even gave ideas for the refreshments, and so they were followed exactly!  The program, and posters for the walls, invitations for the girls, and even a skit script were all provided....and used exactly!  There was no talk of prayer of how to adapt it to the needs of her specific Young Women.  More time was spent on implementing the Pinterest idea than in helping the Young Women have Personal Progress projects to present that night.  But they did complemented on those cookies!

And so these last few months, it has been an interesting juxtaposition for myself to see these two events unfold (in different wards, bytheway).  I didn't get to see both in person, so I can't give an even steven comparison.  I can't say that the Spirit wasn't at the Young Women in Excellence Night just because Pinterest was used over prayer.  I can't say that the Primary Program was better.

I can make guesses though :)  I did receive a great report on the Primary Program and the Spirit that was felt by those present.  I know that the children were taught that they helped others to feel the Spirit through their sharing of spoken word and singing.  It sounds like the focus remained spiritual for all.  No one reported to me about the Spirit at Excellence Night.  Most of the chatter I heard was about the cookies...even the stake leaders were raving about how cute they were***.  That's what I heard about.  I heard that girls didn't have their parts memorized to say The Living Christ like had been planned.  Maybe if less time was spent on copying a Pinterest idea and spent on helping girls memorize The Living Christ, a more meaningful experience may have been had.  It sounds like the focus was on cute and Pin-worthy items.

I don't make memes, but if I did it'd say......"Use prayer, not Pinterest.

I believe in prayer.  I believe in revelation.  I believe the Savior will tell us how He wants HIS Church administered and I'm not sure it has anything to do with cookies.

Prayerfully,
Lindsay

***I just did an internet search for "Excellence Night cookies" because I wanted to make sure that I wasn't embarrassing the lady who originally put her ideas on the internet.  I found that apparently Excellence Night cookies are a big deal because I didn't even see the ones that had been copied.  Same with searching under burlap, so I'm safe.  My intent is not to embarrass or put down the original idea, because it may have been put together under prayer for that specific Young Women's group.  I don't know.

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