For the Strength of Youth
|Author||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|
|Publisher||Intellectual Reserve, Inc.|
|1965 (1st ed.)
2011 (9th, current ed.)
"For the Strength of Youth" is a pamphlet distributed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) that "summarizes standards from scripture and from the writings and teachings of Church leaders." The pamphlet's target audience is young men and young women of the LDS Church, although its principles are applicable to all age groups and non-church-members alike. It is available on the Internet and in print form. The pamphlet was first published in 1965, and its 9th and most recent edition was released in 2011. The pamphlet was meant to be put "in the hands of every young person in each ward".
The LDS Church first published "For the Strength of Youth" in 1965. Subsequent editions were published in 1966, two in 1968, 1969, 1972, 1990, 2001, and most recently in 2011 (9th edition). The first edition of the pamphlet had 16 pages, while the ninth edition has 44 pages. Regarding the latest updated, Young Women general president Elaine S. Dalton said, "The standards have not changed, but times have changed.... 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." The covers evolved from a depiction of a family in the first five editions to depictions of youth in the 1972 and 1990 versions which were replaced with images of the Salt Lake Temple in the most recent editions, a reflection of what was called an "additional emphasis ... on living worthy to attend the temple" in the youth guidelines.
The current edition of the pamphlet discusses a variety of subjects, including dating, appearance, music and dancing, health, and sexual purity. The 1990 edition states that the "Lord specifically forbids ... masturbation" with the later two editions alluding to it with statements forbidding anything that "arouses" any sexual feelings or emotions in one's "own body".
Discussion of Homosexuality
The first explicit mention of homosexuality was contained in the 1990 seventh version of the pamphlet where it says, "the Lord specifically forbids ... sex perversion such as homosexuality". It continues "homosexual and lesbian activities are sinful and an abomination to the Lord" and "unnatural affections ... toward persons of the same gender are counter to God's eternal plan".
The 2001 eighth version removes any mention of "unnatural affections" and "abomination" and only states, "homosexual activity is a serious sin. If you find your-self struggling with same-gender attraction, seek counsel from your parents and bishop. They will help you."
In 2011 the ninth version was released adding to the 2001 paragraph that "lesbian behavior" is also a "serious sin" and that the youth should speak to their parents and bishop if they "are being persuaded to participate in inappropriate behavior".
- Fillmore, Brent D. (2007). "Promoting Peculiarity—Different Editions of For the Strength of Youth". Religious Educator. 8 (3): 75–88. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
- Brent D. Fillmore, "Promoting Peculiarity—Different Editions of For the Strength of Youth,", Religious Educator 8, no. 3 (2007): 75–88.
- Jepson, Jared A. A Study of the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet, 1965-2004. BYU Religious Department. p. 7. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
- "For the Strength of Youth (1966)". New Cool Thang. 13 March 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "For the Strength of Youth pamphlet updated". LDS Living. 17 December 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- Slack, Mandy (8 September 2016). "How "For the Strength of Youth" Has Changed Over the Years". LDS Living. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
- Dalton, Elaine S.; Beck, David L. "Q&A on the new For the Strength of Youth". lds.org. The LDS Church. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
- For the Strength of Youth (7 ed.). Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1990.
- For the Strength of Youth (8 ed.). Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. p. 26. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- For the Strength of Youth (PDF) (9 ed.). Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fall 2011. p. 36. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- Jepson, Jared A. (2005). A study of the For the strength of youth pamphlet, 1965-2004. Provo, Utah: BYU Department of Religious Education. pp. 170–198. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
- "For the Strength of Youth: Sexual Purity". LDS.org. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved 15 November 2016.