Monday, December 19, 2011

The Stake YSA New Years Eve Dance

Brothers and Sisters I had a completely new Church administration experience recently that I thought we could discuss.  My 1st counselor who is assigned to young single adult matters was ill last month so I stepped in and met with the committee in charge of planning the year end dance.  I had never done this before so I brought along my manual of instructions to ensure that everything would be planned in accordance with inspired Church procedure and policy.  Feel free to follow along in the handbook at lds.org as you read my post today: http://lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/activities?lang=eng#13.6.2

We first discussed section 13.6.2 of the manual which states that “supervision by an adequate number of responsible adults should be provided for activities for young single adults. Parents should be encouraged to help.” 
I made sure that the committee would assign two parents to carefully monitor each of the classrooms and three to check the parked cars.  Others would be strategically placed throughout the building and grounds.  I imagine our young people will be delighted to have many of their parents present for this special occasion and would be willing to bet (if betting was permitted) that the hip new 'Evolution' night club in town that has lured in quite a few YSA’s since it’s opening a couple of years back doesn’t offer an equivalent service. 

In terms of refreshments we decided to include crisps, chocolate biscuits, popcorn, cake and sprite.  An opening prayer and blessing that the food would nourish and strengthen all present would take place before the dance began.

We went on to discuss each point in section 13.6.6 of the manual which states “In all dances, the dress, grooming, lighting, dancing styles, lyrics, and music should contribute to an atmosphere where the spirit of the Lord can be present.”

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having the spirit of the Lord present at dances especially at the New Years Eve dance where there are so many other places the young people could be.  I received a report from a member of the ‘Strengthening the Stake Committee’ last year that a small group of YSA sisters two of whom had served full time missions, left our dance early and were later seen at one of the more unholy establishments in town dancing upon chairs and tables.  Sources confirmed that they did not have their temple garments on nor had they replaced them with other clothing.  This sort of behaviour cannot be tolerated.  When I brought them into my office the next day they seemed to have only a vague recollection of the event which goes to show that the psychologists are correct when they say that the mind often blocks out our most horrifying memories. 

I confirmed that the dress and grooming standards would be properly communicated to all attendees in advance with a note that in addition to our usual standards those wearing skinny jeans would also be sent home to change into something more appropriate.  In addition we made an important note to ensure that all nose and eye brow rings would need to be removed before entering the dance (just in case the Donegal sisters unexpectedly show up again).

In terms of lighting I had to disappoint the DJ by explaining that as per section 13.6.6 “Strobe lighting and psychedelic lighting that pulsate with the beat are not acceptable.” I shudder to think what might happen if such lighting were used on an occasion such as this.  I reminded them that this is a chapel, not a den of iniquity.

I confessed to the group that as a Stake President I often lay awake at night wondering what the Lord had in mind when he asked in the manual that “dancing styles should contribute to an atmosphere where the spirit of the Lord can be present.” 

Perhaps blog readers can help me with this.  Does disco dancing contribute to an atmosphere where the spirit of the Lord can be present, and if so, how?  How about Hip Hop dancing?  Would the spirit of the Lord be present at a dance where there is Swing dancing, or does the name itself invoke the very appearance of evil?  Should those aged 18-30 be allowed to just create their own dance styles (as was the recommendation of the other committee members) or in so doing would we run the risk of some styles not contributing to an atmosphere where the spirit of the Lord could be present?  Does jumping around and waving your arms in the air (as I recently saw young priesthood holder Moriancumer O'Brien do at a stake youth dance in an apparent attempt to win the attention of the sister of Jared, who seemed totally unimpressed), contribute to an atmosphere where the spirit of the Lord can be present?  If yes then please explain how this is so.

The other issue of course is music.  Is there such a thing as non Church/non classical music that can achieve the goal of contributing to an atmosphere where the spirit of the Lord can be present?  In years past I would tell my daughter to turn down or change the music she had blasting in her room only to hear the exact same song at a Church dance.  Surely the spirit of the Lord is offended at such things.  Now that I am finally the presiding authority and father of the stake I cannot idly stand by as we follow the ways and standards of the world all the while blatantly ignoring the counsel given by prophets in the manual.  At all costs we must ensure as per the manual that “The beat of the music does not overshadow the melody”.  To allow such songs would be to allow our young people to fall into temptations from which they may never return.

One song we discussed was called “Two Is Better than One” by a band called “Boys like Girls” and I wondered if some of the brethren might get the false impression that we were advocating a polygamous lifestyle. 

Obviously we cannot tolerate any more Rihanna songs after she *defiled the fields of the promised land whilst making her latest video in September.

Bon Jovi’s song “Bed of Roses” was discussed but the words “I want to be just as close as the Holy Ghost is” caused me to reflect on my own personal close and very intimate relationship with the Holy Ghost and I wasn't sure that we should be encouraging that level of intimacy amongst single people of the opposite gender.

One great thing that we ensure that will certainly not be offered at the night clubs and other parties in town is that “The volume should be low enough to allow two people…to have a conversation.”  This is important because if two people can’t even hear each other speak how on earth can they be expected to discern the gentle promptings of the Holy Ghost throughout the duration of the dance?

Another good thing that will definitely help convince the young people to come to this dance rather than go elsewhere is that the manual requires the following (see section 13.6.11) “When New Years Eve falls on a Saturday (as is the case this year) dancing is discontinued at midnight.” I asked the DJ to time it such that the last dance ends precisely at midnight so as to not profane the Sabbath, and counseled that it be immediately followed by a closing prayer.

Personally I can think of no better commencement to the year 2012 for our young people.  I anticipate they will be delighted with this approach as it will enable them to get to bed as soon as possible after midnight so they can be alert and attentive for their Church meetings the next day. 

Brothers and Sisters I hope this blog post helps you to appreciate some of the important issues and dilemmas those of us in high positions of leadership and authority have to deal with.  I am deeply grateful for the Church policies and guidelines that provide inspired direction to ensure that our young single adults can attend dances where the spirit of the Lord can be felt.  This is in deep contrast to the worldly events that Satan would have them attend.  I am confident that under my direction this will be the best YSA New Years Eve dance our stake has ever seen and that it will be talked about for many generations to come. 

God bless you all, I will do another post in the new year after the holidays,

Your loving servant, 

President William Lilburn Godfrey Paternoster

45 comments:

Brother Mobegone said...

President,

As second counselor in a bishopbric these issues are near and dear to my heart.

May I offer my humble thought: When our ward is in charge of putting on a dance for the youth of the Stake, I ensure a proper dancing style by enforcing the rule that a couple must be far enough apart that I can fit my quadruple combination between them. On more upbeat dances my requirement is that there must be no movement of the hips and feet should be firmly planted on the floor.

Recently I took care of the controversial music issue by requiring the DJ to cycle Michael MacLean, Saturday's Warrior, and Seminary video soundtracks only. This has brought such a sweet spirit into our dances, so much so that most of our youth now sit reverently in their chairs listening to the promptings of the Spirit, rather than swaying their bodies around the dance floor to the music.

Only being in a bishopbric I would never pretend to instruct a Stake President on these matters, but hope my thoughts may still be of some use.

Love from your fellow servant,
Brother Mobegone

Anonymous said...

*** NOTE TO THE READER OF THIS BLOG **

This is NOT a website sanctioned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nor is “President Paternoster” a stake president of the Church. Rather, this site is farce, and not good farce, at that.

Most of the posts here are written by quasi-apostates who mock those who are sincerely striving, albeit imperfectly, to follow Jesus.

Caveat utilitor.

Queen of Everything said...

Dearest President,

I just want to say you are looking much younger than in previous pictures! It must be that the light of the Prophet is shining much more brightly within you.

You're a very fetching man and Sister Paternoster is quite a lucky woman.

tweedmeister said...

Dear President,

A brilliant post, as usual. My compliments to you for your astute organisational skills and inspired leadership in getting this party underway. Continue to stick with our Holy Handbook, and the Lord will help thee... er, uh, help "you", I mean. It is difficult enough to bring the Church to the drunken Irish in the first place, let alone organise parties amongst them, so you need the Lord's help in all things.

In our stake we found that the mood was greatly tempered by hiring a modestly sized (two saxophones, a string base, and a clarinet) dance band that played mostly dance favorites from the Lawrence Welk show. That had the benefit of not only including some of the older folk in the stake, but also taming the spirits of the younger kids who were mostly reduced to sitting along the side lines and texting on their phones. Sister May, a stout woman in her mid-60s, also tried to make sure the kids were more engaged, and would grab them and "invite" them out onto the dance floor to foxtrot or boogie. Maybe your own stake has a Sister May.

A fun time was had by all. We were nourished because of the blessing on the Sprite, Kool-Aid, and the cookies (which you may know are American biscuits--not trying to insult your intelligence here, but you are in the foreign mission field). We can all thank the Lord for small things.

Blessings to you this Christmas season. Let your minds be filled with the memories of Joseph Smith, who was born during this time of year. Think of his sacrifices and his martyrdom when you are opening your gifts.

Best to you and your family.

Sister Abbot said...

***NOTE to my fellow Latter-Day Saints**

It is so disappointing to see apostate, ex-members of the church try to detract from the spirit of President's blog by claiming that his site is a farce. This kind of sneaky, double bluff by sinning, offended ex-members is disappointing, but it is exactly what we would expect from apostates :(

God bless you Anonymous at this seasonal time of year ~ Happy Holidays (or whatever it is that apostates say to each other).

Insana D said...

Another perfect gem President Paternoster. It's way better than that filthy diatribe by Elna Baker where she goes into some graphic details of going to the NYC Single Adults New Years Dance dressed as a Fortune Cookie but the costume collapses a bit and takes on the appearance of a very special place in a woman's Southern Hemisphere.

I concur that our young people should be encouraged to remain quietly seated on folding chairs on the sidelines if they can't adhere to the standards set in the early 1970's with that brilliant entertainer, Lawrence Welk. Oh the joy that comes from watching him and his troupe of wholesome quartets and choral groups sing and ballroom dance to such rousing tunes as "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree" and "Let Me Call You Sweetheart".

Perhaps our young people could have a retro night where they dress in their grandmother's and grandfather's favorite clothes from the era and try some ballroom dance moves. I'll bet you could really improve attendance with such a fun party atmosphere.

I also love your new look. It's rather saucy and has stirred some carnal thoughts but I hurried and looked at a picture of Donald Trump and the whole area just dried up instantly. Pictures of our beloved Prophet Thomas S. Monson do the same for me and I use them to help quell any inappropriate thoughts. Images of Boyd K. Packer have a tendancy to dry things so rapidly that I get rather chappy so I wouldn't recommend that.

Anonymous said...

For shame, Sister Abbott, for shame. Obviously, you have none.

Hey, wanna know what Santa and Jesus have in common? They both get to see into your heart!

Liz Godkin Marsh said...

I don't understand why that second poster, the anonymous one, would say such things. You have even quoted the Handbook of Instruction and provided a link to lds.org. Why on earth would they be so mean-spirited?

Spencer said...

I have been disappointed in stake dance music and lighting selections in American Fork for years.

Gone are the beloved days of the curtsey and promenade performed so elegantly by Brigham Young and the local townswomen by firelight.

Nowadays we have this swing, rockabilly, and electronic noise with pulsating rhythms such as the so-called "Cha-Cha Slide," all calculated to extract the "boogie" from within.

It doesn't take a Ken Jennings to see that Satan Himself, aka "The Boogieman," is the author and finisher of these faith-destroying vibrations.

Chris Cottrell said...

Thank you for the inspiring words President. I think Anonymous must be an evil apostate. I always like to see a dance that promotes the highest standards and excluding skinny jeans is very important. Every chaperon there should walk around with a quad to ensure that standards are met at all times.

Anonymous said...

President, you have outdone yourself once again. I was laughing so hard that herbal tea was snorting out my nose. :-D

Brother Barnum said...

You are quite a liberal president to allow any type of jeans, form-fitting or not. The dances I attended required only church-appropriate attire. This really allowed me to keep focused on the purpose of the dance, which is to find a person with whom I can go to the holy temple and enter the New and Everlasting Covenant. I will be ever grateful to my inspired leaders for implementing that policy.

In terms of music, there are some more modern songs you might consider for the young crowd: The Electric Slide, The Chicken Dance are always crowd favorites. These are uniform dances that can be taught to all of the attendees, and thus it will prevent any misguided "creativity" in dance moves. I know it is a struggle to find good music with so many songs containing lyrics that advocate loose standards and immorality. That's why we never listened to bands like InSink, Kellie Clarkston, Brittany Spiers, or Maroon Fives. How anyone can listen to these bands and claim to have the gift of the Holy Ghost is beyond me! Perhaps brother or sister Anonymous can try to rationalize that one away...

WWN said...

About the music…

I was going to suggest that there are some (not all, but some) Christian Bands, such as Adam’s Road, whose lyrics avoid planting sexual thoughts in the otherwise pure minds of our young men and young women.

However, having read tweedmeister’s suggestion of music from the Lawrence Welk show, I must confess that I consider this the superior alternative.

Thank you, President Paternoster, for all that you do to keep our young people chaste before marriage.

Your wonderful column is an ongoing inspiration to me!

Oliver said...

President,

Thank you so much for your inspired words. You are truly a treasure to the church in these these troubled times, even these latter days.

We similarly faced these same issues while counselling with our councils in mighty prayer. At first, no inspiration came at all, and a stupor of thought filled our hearts and minds. But then, in the midst of this darkness, a ray of light came down directly over our board room table and rested upon our heads as pure intelligence.

Instead of a dance, we replaced the activity with a New Year's Eve fireside. This way our lovely youth can be already dressed for the Sabbath when the clock strikes 12, and can truly ring in the new year with the spirit. The topic we chose was "Modesty, a Saintly Virtue".

We're all very excited for the example our 25 to 30 year old youth will be able to set for their worldly peers.

Dr. Rangi said...

As a medical man, I often read medical journals. A couple of years ago, I happened across an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in which food high in cholesterol, fats, and sugars were found to slow the mind and body (although the Lord is the only one that can forgive, please forgive me brothers and sisters for not providing the actual reference). As in your stake, President, our opening prayers often include a phrase in which food (regardless of the nutritional content) will nourish and strengthen our bodies. I put two and two together and suggested to our stake activities coordinator that if they simply eliminated the ‘nourish and strengthen…’ phrase from the prayer, our youth dances would more closely follow the direction provided in the Handbook of Instruction. In slightly rewording the prayer, unhealthy food will remain unhealthy and NOT undergo a metaphysical change to healthy and sustaining food (a similitude can be seen in the way that our blood changes from Gentile blood to Abrahamic blood upon baptism).

I am pleased to announce that after partaking of the biscuits, cheesecakes, ice creams, etc., our youth are so bloated and tired that they do not have the energy to hip-hop or thread the needle. Our stake dances have finally become pleasing to the eyes of the Lord. However, now that food is not ‘officially’ nourishing and strengthening the bodies of our youth, there is a mild youth obesity epidemic in our stake. I would normally encourage exercise, but this might entail having our youth actually dance at dances!? Do you have any inspired guidance for us?

Anonymous said...

Dear President,

Your wisdom inspired me every time. I can feel the spirit weeks after weeks for reading your writings. I'll make sure that all my YSA contacts take knowledge your text. Thanks you so much!

Matt said...

Too late, sir!

This -bar the bit about dancing on tables- really did happen when I was organising an LDS dance in 1980.

☼ Dayna said...

President Paternoster, may I suggest country music line dancing? I do not know if this style of music is popular in the UK, but it is a most virtuous form of dancing. There are hardly any arms in the air, people are spaced apart appropriately, and one can even segregate, um, I mean group the lines according to gender. This way, the young priesthood holders are on one side of the room and those would-be queens and priestesses are on another side of the room. I am sure the lord would be well pleased with this type of organization.

Verle Jensensen said...

I'm troubled that my wife has become unusually preoccupied with the Stake President's Facebook page since his new photo was posted. I caught her looking for more photos of him. I happened accidentally upon her laptop's google search history, and there were about 46 searches on him, and I'm wondering if she could be attracted to him in some way -- other than just as a person who is superior to her.

Joseph K. Packer said...

Thank you very much President Paternoster, Your blog stands as an anchor in a world of shifting values. You are inspiring, spiritually supportive, morally stedfast. Our stake YSA dances have very little success and the reason for that is that the only ones that go to the dances are the YSA loaded with acne and rolls of fat under their XXXXXLG t-shirts. And they only go to drink the cheap no frills soda and to eat the potato chips. Some of the good looking girls and boys when asked why they don't go to the YSA dances they just say that it is disgusting, which is the reason that they go to the city where lights, loud music, alcoholic drinks and sins are a common thing. We are constantly praying for these youth and hoping that they will repent and come to our very fun dances.

Emma Snyde said...

President you are such a great example of righteousness and humility! I admire your striving to make a holiday dance that is both fun for the young singles and pleasing to the Lord.

There have been so many wonderful suggestions for you to consider in these comments. I'm sure mine won't be very good, but I'm going to make it in hopes that somehow by reading my pitiful suggestion you might have an idea of how to improve your dance.

I think it would be great fun for the YSAs and pleasing to the Lord to have a period dance. Everyone could dress in clothing from the Nauvoo peroid! You and your lovely wife could be Joseph and Emma the hosts! Since this is roughly contemporary with the Regency period, someone who is talented in choreography could watch Pride and Prejudice over and over again so you can copy the dance steps.

Anonymous said...

When I have been called upon to provide leadership in guiding musical selections, I have always relied on our beloved hymns and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as sources. This has served well in most cases, but I have to admit it did seem a bit constraining for dances. Although our youth greatly enjoy marching along with "Onward Christian Soldiers", I cannot not entirely condemn their evident desire for greater variety.

Once again, President and fellow commenters, you have earned my gratitude, not only for your very wise and useful counsel, but for undertaking the perilous task of searching out and discerning the tunes the devil is playing in these latter days. I have only the vaguest acquaintance with the names "Rhianna" and "Bon Jovi", and a closer encounter with such potential sources of worldly corruption would fill me with trepidation. Fortunately where I may be weak, the President is strong, and all that is left for me is to benefit from the thinking that has now been done.

Iron Chancellor said...

Once again, Prez, its great to see you grabbing the bull by the tail and facing the situation. (haha)

I do have one suggestion that might help. This is a YSA dance. I have heard of another group at church that needs some help and that is the SSA group. I don't know what SSA means but the letters are almost the same as YSA so I'm sure they are pretty similar groups. You might want to invite a lot of the SSA people to the dance. I'm pretty sure that the YSA group might be able to learn some new things from the SSA group. The YSA folks might end up the night with a new group of friends that where they could do a lot of fellow shipping. Since one of the objectives of YSA is to help them find eternal companions you might find this happening a lot with some of the SSA folks. You never know. Just a couple of thoughts on how to make it a memorable night for all. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

President, thank you once again for guiding the flock. We recently implemented the Handbook to the letter. I cannot overstate how overjoyed I am when I now chaperone dances conducted in The Lord's Way, that is, with the youth dressed in their Sunday best as they move reverently to the melodies (not beats, mind you) of Bing Crosby and Janice Kapp Perry played at a low volume with the gym lights on. Indeed, our dances are now so righteous that they scarcely resemble a dance, which is obviously what The Brethren intended. As another benefit, we now only require two adults to chaperone our new holy dances as opposed to the sixteen adults we used to have present at the wildly popular previous Sodom and Gommorah style dances. Last weekend was our biggest turnout ever under the newly enforced guidelines: six valiant youth in Zion who ate all the rice crispy treats and promptly left for what we can only assume was an evening of preparation for their Sabbath meetings.

Anonymous said...

The latest music craze in clubs from Las Vegas to Miami to Ibiza seems to be electro house music.

It still has the kickdrum beat which might arouse libidos but it is a far cry from hiphop and songs like "beat that skanky ho".

To increase participation, perhaps we could offer our youth something modeled along the lines of the Electric Daisy Carnival-with the usual church standards strictly enforced of course.

Also, some of our talented young men might want to step in and dj like Deadmau5,Afrojack,avici,Tiesto and Swedish House Mafia etc

To those who claim such events are cost-prohibitive I would say How much is the worth of a soul? Is it more important to spend Billions of tithing dollars on a shopping mall in Salt Lake City or do we try harder to keep our young people coming to church?

Submitted to you humbly for your prayerful consideration by sister Eliza Freebush.

Stake Pres. said...

Brothers and Sisters thank you for all your feedback and suggestions. I have asked the committee to read through the comments and consider the many options that are available to us. We will be meeting after Church this Sunday (25th Dec) to make our final plans.

Anonymous said...

If you're a Stake President, then I'm the Pope! (No offense to the Pope intended.)

Stake Pres. said...

Then whom say ye that I am?

LaNephi Morgood said...

I grew up in the heart of Mormondom, where all skin was white and delightsome. It was the 1970’s, rock and roll was alive and well. Long hair on men, bell bottoms and platform shoes were all the rage. The beloved prophet Spencer W Kimball’s wonderful book, The Miracle of Forgiveness had been published, giving all who read it a thorough understanding of their need to repent for all manner of heinous sins, from self pleasuring to allowing oneself to be raped without fighting until death.

Church youth dances were called Gold and Green Balls. And while some popular music was allowed at dances during those years, adults were present, vigilantly scanning the cultural hall for any young couples who danced inappropriately, especially during slow dances, when temptation rose to press body against body.

And yet, I recall many an unrighteous thought crossing my mind during these balls of gold and green, requiring that I, upon returning home and readying myself for bed, to clothe myself in many layers and tie one hand to the bedpost. In that way, no matter what color the balls – gold, green, or blue – I remained pure and undefiled before the Lord,

Might I suggest that you have available at the dance, copies of the Miracle of Forgiveness, just in case, in spite of all your precautions, just one of your youth heed the whisperings of the evil one, even Satan, and commits any of the sins so lovingly outlined in this inspired book.

May all wards and stakes follow the inspired counsel of our beloved President Paternoster.

Kolobian™ said...

President,

As usual the topic of your blog is evidently inspired by the spirit of our Heavenly Father.

YSA dance standards are near and dear to my heart, for it was at such an even during my childhood that I was compelled (while maintaining my free agency) to shun my brother and never speak to him again.

He had invited his non-member girlfriend to the dance. Since I was his Teacher's Quorum president I advised him I had received a revelation on his behalf not to invite a babylonian to a Zionic dance. Obviously, he did not heed to my counsel.

Luckily there were 2 dozen or so adult couples there to supervise and once his floozy girlfriend tried to press up on him they quickly intervened.

"Brother! You must dance far enough apart that we can fit a Book of Mormon between you!", a concerned Sister admonished.

"I have the Book of Mormon on CD" was my apostate brother's reply.

They were asked to leave, and I haven't spoken to him for the last 15 years.

I can only imagine he is smoking meth and worshiping Satan at this very moment in some great and spacious project building.

Thank you again for your wisdom, President. It's good to be reminded that I'm on the right side in this fight.

Cindy said...

I was a little weary to read your blog after the last one but for some reason I'm just drawn to it. I don't really know why, I know a lot of people use satire in their comments but underneath all that there are some really good messages. The topic of dances is a tricky one. I can remember being at dances where not only was the spirit not felt but it was probably completely driven away by some of the stuff that was going on there. One time I saw a group of girls who seriously looked like they had mistaken the chapel for a night club. They gave everyone around them a negative feeling. The music is always a real complication. I agree that it should be low enough for you to talk to your neighbour. It's really annoying when it's so loud you have to go up really close to some one to talk to them. It's even more annoying if it happens when you're talking to someone who is just trying to use that as an excuse to hit on you and you don't even like them. The oldies, that have actions to them, were always fun and usually more people would come onto the dance floor for them. But most of the time people weren't even dancing unless it was a slow song. The thing is most songs have some kind of sexual connotation to them and they really are not appropriate to be played when unmarried people are present. Then there's the matter with the food that a few have already touched on. So here you have an activity where no one really participates, where it's really hard to control things like the volume, the type of music played, how people dance (I've seen some people look like they were advertising for free lap dances) and where we insult the word of wisdom by filling up on unhealthy snacks. I know doing dances has become a bit of a tradition in Mormon culture but maybe it's time for a change. Why not plan an activity that actually allows those participating to get to know each other. Instead of doing a dance you could have a games night. Or (if it's cold enough) have a stating party. Most cities have an outside skating rink in or around town square. In stead of trying to work around an idea (dance) that has proven time and time again to be a complication why not just scrap it and come up with a new idea. Who knows maybe when you meet with the committing on Sunday they may surprise you with their ideas.

If however, a dance is what you really want to do then some of the suggestions given already have been pretty good. Find some music from Christian bands and have the classic "oldies but goodies" as part of the music mix. We always had a few chaperons at our dances who were every good dancers. Seeing them elegantly weave in and out of the other couples during slow songs often inspired others to brake away from the tight little circle dance the were used to. Don't be so quick to judge swing dancing just because of it's name. Some of the old style dancing is much more appropriate then the alternative. You could even have someone teach a few new dances to the group. It would get people involved and interacting with each other and they would be learning a bit about cultural arts at the same time. I'm sure your local library would have some instruction video if you didn't have anyone in your stake with that kind of talent.

I hope your activity goes well.


Cindy

Anonymous said...

Brother Paternoster, surely you are aware that Morris dancing is quite appropriate for church functions. Temple suits can be worn with bells around the ankles and the boys can merrily prance around each other waving their hankies whilst the girls can do a lovely roundel in the other corner. The organ music is quite respectful and a good time would be had by all. I can hardly see that any church standards could be transgressed in such an event.

I do hope my suggestion will be considered and trust that your youth will be truly uplifted by the jolly time they will surely have.

Briggy

Molly Moorman said...

President Paternoster - the appropriate thing to do just might be to forget the whole dance thing, and instead have a hymn sing-along and Scripture Study.

These are the ways that young adults can truly bond - in studying the Scriptures together and in singing great hymns like "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet," "Come, Come Ye Saints," and "Praise To The Man."

Dancing, unless to Classical or Ballroom music (Lawrence Welk qualifies as well) is really flirting with the Adversary. Let's not encourage Adultery - instead, let's Study Our Beloved Prophet Joseph Smith.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite, most inspired apostles, yeah even Boyd K. Packer, provided this instruction in his talk "Inspiring Music - Worthy Thoughts":
"I would remind all such that it is not the privilege of those called as leaders to slide the Church about as though it were on casters, hoping to put it into the path that men or youth will be safe within it."

Thank you, President Paternoster, for following the wisdom of this special, inspired, apostle of the Lord, (who obviously talks with God on such important matters).

Anonymous said...

President, this blog posting of yours is really good as it shows how wonderful our lives can be if we follow great leaders like you in obeying the church leaders. You remind me of my Stake President in the late '80s when I was living near Boston, MA. Our beloved President Romney understood the importance of governing strong over the people as its too easy for them to go wayward if they don't have a strong leader like you or him giving us firm guidance on all that we do.

Debbie said...

The Holy Ghost has always been quite a fan of Michael Buble.

Kolobian™ said...

I've found that to be true also, Debbie. Have you given the Spirit a chance to witness to the divine inspiration of the 2nd Comfortably Numb solo by Pink Floyd?

Heavenly Father certainly works in mysterious ways...

Anonymous said...

Then whom say ye that I am?

Thou art the set-apart one, the President of the living Stake.

Previous mocking anonymous, you have sinned, and as the prophet Amulek taught, you cannot be saved in your sins. President Spencer W. Kimball has stated that the harvest of the seed of criticism is the spirit of apostasy.

Yet there is hope. For whosoever speaketh a word against the Stake President, it shall be forgiven him. All that is required is repentance. Abandon your evil ways, confess and forsake your sin. Make restitution to your victims, the Stake President and the pope. The cleansing process will take time, for mercy does not rob justice. But only through it may you be made worthy and find peace.

Anonymous said...

President Paternostro,
As we all know Christ's actual birthday is in April, my family has migrated the celebration of Christmas into the celebration of Smithmas, the celebration of the birth of the great prophet of the restoration, Joseph smith. We now celebrate Jesus's birth in April and use the current season to remember that great martyr, Joseph.

What traditions does your family celebrate this season?

Sincerely Bro. Ammon Fielding Kimball.

Merry Smithmas

Rhodes said...

You people may scoff, but it's perfectly rational for the Lord to transform junk-food refreshments into something to "strengthen and nourish" the body. In fact, there is solid scriptural precedence. When the Saviour miraculously transformed water into wine to be served as refreshments at a church gathering, surely the vile liquid was miraculously reverted back to clean refreshing water upon consumption.

Anonymous said...

Well that's apostate

Anonymous said...

I can't believe what I have just read. As a dj I do church events for free, then according to you guys I should be playing classical music and nothing modern? and not being able to dance while moving my hips, do you know what that looks like and how stupid and uncomfortable someone had to feel? That would make me not want to go to dances at all! And who is the crack pot that said get rid of the dance all together and read scripture? I'm thankful I know none of you, and none of you hold leadership callings over me, I think I would go inactive until u were released off that were the case.

Strawman Smith said...

Each and every New Year's Eve, my rock band performs at the local taverns in Southern California.

I have witnessed time and again the gyrations of Satan.
I have witnessed these same gyrations at LDS Church Dances as well.

Time to draw it all back in, Pres.

Thanks for setting us all 'straight' again!

Strawman

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