You might have that one friend who is quirkier than anyone you have ever known, who doesn’t drink coffee or tea, dresses extra modestly and doesn’t swear. Yes, that friend might be a mormon. Whatever your experience with mormon teens may be, it can be somewhat unclear what the lives of mormon teens are really like.
Here is a list of the common adventures, and sometimes misadventures, of a Pinoy mormon teen.
Every week, typically on Friday or Saturday nights, Young Women and Men (mormon teenagers ages 12-17) gather together to do a range of fun activities. Sometimes, they are all together, and sometimes they divide into smaller groups. Mutual Nights are similar to your after-school festivities or a school club. They do a variety of activities including playing sports, making arts and crafts, visiting someone sick, doing chores for a household, cooking and many more.
I remember making pastillas that couldn’t be turned into balls because of too much condensed milk. We originally wanted to sell it, but we ended up just spooning the milky gob into our mouths and getting stomachache after. The eating part was fun, the stomachache? Not so much.
MORMON DANCE SOCIALS
It wouldn’t be a mormon teen’s life without going to dance socials, like Prom minus the dates and expensive gowns. There are no dates, because each young man or woman will dance with anyone who asks them, and no expensive gowns, because we are encouraged to dress modestly. Often there is a crazy and fun theme for each dance like Pioneer days, Ancient Greece, Retro, Red Carpet, Princes and Princesses, etc.
Possibly the best part of dance socials is dressing-up, because my friends and I go to Ukay-ukay (thrift stores) with only a hundred pesos in our pockets to buy ourselves dresses that match the theme. Dance Socials build friendships through socializing and dancing, teach the youth how to apply the Church’s standards and are always a blast.
The highlight of every Pinoy mormon teens’ summer is going to a conference held somewhere a little far from home for 3 days to learn more about the Gospel, and strengthen their testimonies. Each youth conference has a theme, a verse from any of the four books of scripture (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and the Old and New Testaments) that will be the focus of all the youth activities in the Church that year, and will help them improve themselves.
Youth Conferences are places where all of the youth activities are combined. There are seminary classes early in the morning, devotionals and workshops during the day, and at night are the long-awaited Dance Socials and Spectacular Night. Spectacular Night is a talent night, when wonderful music is heard, sung and danced to, all revolving around the theme..
So the lives of Pinoy Mormon teens are no longer a mystery. We are pretty much normal (or so I’d like to claim) and can have a lot of fun, too. We find happiness by participating in activities that strengthen our faith and guide us through this mortal journey.