The young men are asked to awake up at 6:30 so that the can armor up personally and with companions. We gather together for the opening of the day which includes a thought and a prayer, raising our challenge coins, and giving an overview of the second day’s activities.
For breakfast, gather together, have a thought and a prayer before and after breakfast.
Activity: Nephite Lamanite War
Principles to be Learned
- The importance of armoring up in the morning
- To allow the young men to experience true repentance by using war games
- Emphasizes the importance of exact obedience and honor when we are at war with Satan
- Allows the Bishop’s one on one time with each young man during the war to experience the repentance process multiple times.
- Example of Swords used during war
The war begins by gathering all the young men together and asking all of them who didn’t armor up this morning; which includes getting up on time, personal prayer and study, and companionship prayer and study, could they please raise their hand. All those that were not obedient will be asked to stand on one side of the field apart from the obedient ones.
The disobedient ones are given a one foot sword, made of PVC pipe and foam. The obedient young men are given a two foot sword of similar material.
The war begins and as soon as you are hit in the torso lay on the ground and your fight is over.
When the war ends, the long swords always win.
We gather all the young men with long and short swords together and ask the RM’s to have a reflection and share with young men stories of their mission.
When they left their apartment with a short sword because they did not armor up properly and were not prepared for the day, and the consequence that happen because of it. The RM’s also share stories of times when they left their apartment fully armored and the success and confidence that comes when being prepared. RM’s shared when they had companions that were hard to motivate and gave examples of how they learned to love them and motivate them to be obedient.
The facilitator then asks the short swords how they are going to be able to get rid of their weapon, one of the young men will usually say “We need to repent.” So we ask short sword young men one by one to go ind their bishops, who are strategically places around the field, to ind them and to repent. After they repent, they put their short swords away and join the long sword young men. After they have all repented, we begin the next war.
The facilitator asks the question, “How many of you young men did not want to come to Kodiak?” Along with the question, “How many of you young men brought your cell phones when you were asked not to?” Usually half of the young men will raise their hands to confess and will be asked to step away from the other young men. They are again given the short swords and the long swords are given to the obedient Nephites. The war begins, the long swords win, we bring all the young men together in the group and ask the RM’s to have a reflection and share stories about times before their mission when they didn’t want to go on a mission. And also, the times during their mission when they wanted to go home, and what miracles happened on their mission as a result of being obedient and overcoming their doubts. Some RMs would share stories of calling their Dads and saying they wanted to come home early. They would tenderly say their fathers told them to stay there, go to work and learn the lessons of life that will be easier to learn in the mission field then if they came home early. Because they loved their Dads, they stayed on their mission and told the young men the miracles that happened because they obeyed their fathers. The short swords are again asked to go to their bishop to repent one by one, then they return and we begin our next war.
The facilitator then asks the next question, “How many of you have hard feelings toward anybody, including yourself?” The young men will ask, “What does that mean”? Then the facilitator will ask the young men if they have any hard feelings toward any individuals? Explain to the young men if they have hard feelings toward individuals it will restrain the Spirit of the Lord in their lives. The facilitator will then explain to the young men if they have any hard feelings towards themselves it’s probably because they have done something wrong and feel bad that they haven’t repented of it. Or the young men just don’t like themselves because they feel bad because of laziness or lack of obedience. The short swords and long swords are handed out, the war begins, the long swords win and the RM’s are then brought in to talk to them about times in their missions when they had hard feelings about themselves or others which greatly affects their ability to have influence in others’ lives. The short swords are then asked to go to their bishop and repent. This time the young men will be repenting of things that they have been trying to hide from the bishop in the past. The previous times they have repented to the bishop have set the stage for a more meaningful interaction.
The young men have been praying for a day and a half now to be forgiven of their sins and have the Lords spirit to be with them. This activity provides an opportunity to talk to their bishop about the things that they have been uncomfortable sharing which makes their ability to feel the spirit stronger during the rest of the course. This activity will take on average 2-3 hours.
Lunch is served (gather together, have a thought and a prayer before and after lunch)
Travel to Trail head for Intermittent Springs (map location), upon arrival have a thought and prayer and split into two groups. Each group will participate in one of two activities rappelling or polar plunge and then after about 90 minutes they will switch.
Activity 1: Rappelling
Principles to be Learned
- How do we feel when we overcome fear
In this activity we take the young men rappelling. We don’t force all young men to go, but suggest that the principles will only be learned by honorably trying.
We have the RM’s at the bottom of our 75 foot repel, that will take the young men aside after they have finished their rappel and contrast the fear they felt at the top to the joy they felt as their feet touched the ground, and liken that experience to the joy they felt in the mission field when the overcome their fears and trials. For those that are brave we let them try commando to let them feel some fear.
The RMs give examples of how they learned to overcome fear so they could experience miracles. The young men are asked after their first attempt to do it a second and third time so that they can feel how much easier it is once the initial fear has been overcome. The young men learn that their ability to have success increases as their fear goes away.
Activity 2: Climb to Intermittent Springs with Polar Plunge
Principles to be Learned
- What flows through you, how are you perceived.
- how do you keep yourself pure and retain the spirit?
Purpose or intent
To provide the young men with another object lesson with a purpose. Return Missionaries share a few ideas on how to keep and maintain the spirit with you once you leave your missionary apartment. By the time the average missionary companionship leaves their apartment they had 5-6 prayers and should be operating at a higher level of spirituality. However, once the companionship is out and about there are a myriad of ways the Adversary can get them distracted, off balance and lose the spirit.
Picnic table on the hike to springs and then the plunge.
Just like this period spring, how can you do your best to stay clear, pristine, pure, fresh while about in the world? The Return Missionaries cite and example or two from their missions on how they dealt with these challenges.
- “Eyes Right” (or Left, Up or Down) Elder being called out by a member of the companionship that may have seen something sketchy, inappropriate or blind-sided by while they are in transit. If the Elder got blind-sided on his Left, he immediately calls out the opposite direction to his companion, “Eyes Right” Elder, hopefully saving his companion from be exposed to the same thing and now both Elders are struggling to regain the spirit. If only one companion is blind-sided, his companion is still pristine while the other Elder figures out ways to get his thoughts and spirit back on track.
- Same idea if the Missionaries are exposed to foul language. Have a plan. A counter attack already in mind how what to do. Starting humming a hymn, are reciting a spiritual thought, or reading scriptures, uplifting and inspiring quotes or thoughts.
- Once the ball is rolling, there may be 3 or more Return Missionaries; make sure they all share an experience.
- If a member of the Stake Presidency, Bishop, Stake or Ward Young Men’s President is present (time permitting), you can invite them to share an experience relating to this as well. Follow the impressions of spirit.
After both groups have completed both activities, assemble at river crossing for rappelling, have thought and prayer and head back to Camp.
Drive to Star Valley Temple on the way back to camp for a photo.
Before dinner, gather together, have a thought and a prayer before and again after dinner.
Facilitator 2 Presentation: Layers, Mentors
Principles to be Learned
- To learn to let down our barriers that we hide behind so that the spirit can have greater influence in our lives.
- Ask them to share feelings about someone they love (Mentor/Role Model)
Purpose or intent
Provide the young an opportunity to create a tag for an ethereal concept for gaining greater understanding of how to get in touch with their core (Heart) and sensitivity to the spirit – especially, as missionaries – by getting their head out-of-the-way of the heart and let their heart lead/speak.
The Presenter begins his presentation will a few object lessons and examples on how we peel away layers to allow the spirit to be able to feel and operate.
Facilitator Inquires of the young men who may have been exposed to Poison Ivy and usually has 3-4 or so hands raised. Facilitator calls on one and asks what the young man’s experience was like, which the young man shares with the group. Facilitator asks the remaining other young man their experience with Poison Ivy as well and has them share their experience. Then the Facilitator passes out a few pictures of Jewelweed and lets the young men know that our Father in Heaven always provides an Antidote/Remedy nearby Poison Ivy, called Jewelweed. The same Antidotes/Remedies can be found in a Quorum. There’s always a member of the Quorum who has the Antidote or Remedy for a fellow member of the Quorum. The same can be said for each member of a Family.
Jewelweed: Natural antidote for poison ivy/oak, typically found nearby. Nothing of the spirit is ever a coincidence. By divine design, each member of a
family, patrol, quorum, group have all the gifts from god collectively. Like the Jewelweed, one of more members within the family, patrol, quorum, and group will be the answer, antidote and/or be able to provide assistance to another. (It’s by design — God’s design).
Facilitator then shares 1 Cor 12:12-27:
…for we are all the Body of Christ, we need one another. We each provide/contribute to the Body of Christ with unique gifts, talents and abilities and purpose and significance. No part of the body can say to another that “We” have no need of thee (certain members of the body esteeming oneself above another), no schism, and bestowing more comeliness upon those who we deem uncomely. The Facilitator refers to Packing Parachutes is another way of applying the balm of Gilead (Antidote/Remedy) to a fellow member of the Quorum and will point to the parachute in reference of Packing one’s Parachute the remainder of the evening as it relates to a young man’s sharing his Mentor/Role Model.
Facilitator provides the following object lessons in preparing the young men, softening their hearts and sensitivity to the spirit.
Pass around a few freshly cut halves of an Onion
- Peeling away the layers
- The protective mechanisms that prevent you from being genuine or true self
- Peeling away layers causing eyes to tear up. You’re still a man — especially when you weep (the spirit has touched / impressed / influenced you).
- Finding your core — the sweetest part of an Onion.
Passes around a few freshly cut halves of an Artichoke
- Tough pedals and outer skin protecting the core
- Best part of is the “Heart”
- On your mission (and in preparation for your mission), you are an Emissary of the Lord, you don’t have time to peel away layers or boil your Artichoke to get to your Heart. You need be prepared at that moment for the spirit to work with you. You must figure out what works best for you to BE 100% vulnerable to the spirit with open exposed Heart in order to have and be influenced by the spirit.
Passes around a Macadamia
- Hard shell – tough nut to crack
- Difficult to get to the core
- Once at the core, the precious price is worth all the work getting there
- Are you Kevlar-Coated? What about you holds you back from being true to your heart, and the genuine you at school, work in preparation to be 100% ready for the spirit to work with you?
Lifehouse’s Everything Skit – Upper Room
Priming the Pump/Greasing the Wheels: The Facilitator then shares a short video clip that he enjoys watching to invite the spirit (the video clip is one that his daughter brought home from her 9th Grade seminary class. It was her first time feeling and recognizing the spirit. This video clip is a family favorite to turn to for feeling the spirit). The Facilitator mentions that we should all jot down in our journals and/or make mental note of the times in our life when we’ve recognized and felt the spirit and reflect upon these spiritual moments when we are broken, unhappy or just need our Parachute Packed.
After viewing the video clip, the Facilitator explains that we relate in some way to these temptations by the Adversary and the Savior is always there trying to get us to turn to him and his Atonement.
The Facilitator shares, like the Savior, he has provided us with members of our family and quorum who are Packing our Parachutes. These are the Mentors/Role Models in our life who influence us for good that provide us a sense of worth, value or significance:
(Could be a Coach, Teacher/Instructor, Leader, Friend, Family Member, Peer, the Lord, Father in Heaven or other…)
Facilitator shares a 1-2 brief Mentor/Role Model examples from his life that are personal, sacred, and powerful and influenced by the spirit.
Example 1: Bro. Member (mom and dad divorced at age 5), shared his Uncle J P, inviting him to attend General Priesthood meeting at the Marriott Center during his Aaronic Priesthood years and inviting his family over once a month for FHE. This loving Mentor/Role Model had a significant impact/influence on Bro. Member’s life.
Example 2: Elder Member’s experience in the MTC struggling to pass off one of his discussions in Italian. His favorite instructor wasn’t there that day and he tried passing it off to another instructor and got all messed up/confused. Struggling to get this discussion memorized, asked his companion to wait outside an empty classroom while he prayed. Longest prayer in Bro. Member’s life (at that time — about 2hrs). Felt impressed to go back to his class and begin studying/memorizing that discussion. About an hour later, felt deep impression to look up from study and noticed his favorite instructor standing in the doorway motioning Elder Member to come take a walk with him. That instructor put his arm around Elder Member’s shoulder and told him that as his was in one of his classes over at BYU — he had had the strongest impression by the spirit about 2hrs earlier — that he needed to swing by the MTC and see Elder Member… (Powerful witness of how the spirit works — it prompted this instructor and validated to Elder Member that the Lord does listen and answer prayers!)
[Other Examples can be shared — but if those YM present have been 100% present and are feeling the spirit — this is the time the Facilitator can invite a young man if he would like to share one of his Mentors or Role Models.] (Note: In my experience, I first direct my attention to those YM who are weeping and tender with their feelings. This seems to open up the hearts and invite more of the spirit to the meeting. Eventually, all YM have an opportunity to share their Mentor/Role Model and their feelings as it relates — in his own way — how he shares is unique and may be the first time he has ever vocalized to self and/or others how he feels about all this…)
Should the Facilitator’s examples struggle to get things going (hearts softened and in touch with the spirit) with the young men — this is another option to try and do so:
Think of the top three most influential people in your life… (Pause to give them time to ponder… then tell them how would you feel, and would you be who you are today if they never existed? Typically, this should cause a few young men to tear up and get real with their heart…)
For either process — the Facilitator should be ever mindful to: (In order to get things going with the young men)
- Always observe, look around the room while the young men are pondering their Mentors/Role Models to notice who may be getting a bit teary eyed and in touch with their core or feeling emotion…
- Seek impressions from the spirit to know which young man to invite to share one of his Mentors/Role Models. Then invite one of these primed and ready young men if they would like to share their thoughts on the person they’ve been thinking about…. (Paying particular attention to what they share and acknowledging, reinforcing and recognizing what they are sharing with the group.)
- Once a young man has finished sharing his Mentor or Role Model, acknowledge to him for sharing his mentor/role model with our group and for packing our parachute. Additionally, if the young man’s Mentor or Role Model is not present with us (could be a friend, family member, other), invite him to make sure he shares with his Mentor/Role Model when he returns home what he shared with us and that the same feelings and spirit he felt while sharing with us will be there again when he shares with his Mentor/Role Model.
Pause occasionally between young men sharing to remind the group that they can share with others in life and on their missions one another’s Mentor/Role Model experiences (without disclosing names) and the same spirit and how they feel now with manifest.
[After each young man shares, pause again and quietly search the group for another person who may be in touch with his core]
Repeat this process until all young men have been invited to share their Mentor/Role Model.
You’ll know when to move along with closing comments (reinforcing the importance of being in touch with your core, knowing how to quickly get in touch and be in your core [from the heart, feeling the spirit], which is important for missionaries for inviting the spirit… Remind the young man, as a missionary, you don’t have 15-20 minutes to find your core with those you encounter — you have moments, seconds — you must be 100% Raw and in touch with your core (heart) in order that the spirit can work immediately with you…
Because of the lessons learned in the Nephite Lamanite War and the weight that was removed in various degrees due to their willingness to repent; this night becomes pivotal in the course. The young men are asked to stand during this presentation one by one and talk about their mentor that they have had in their lives that without them they would not be where they are today. Many of the young men as they talk about those they love begin to cry as they share their thoughts/feelings, for many of them, this is the first time they have expressed vocally their love for another individual. (These mentors are usually their Mom’s and Dad’s or young men leaders). During the process no one is made fun of and they are all brought closer because they have shared an overwhelming spiritual experience together. As each young men stands and expresses his feelings the Spirit feels the room like water. The young men recognize the overwhelming power of the Spirit and sometimes say “We are afraid to open the door and let it out.”
The presentation is closed with a thought and a prayer and again as a reminder during this day we have had a combined 15-20 thoughts and prayers which happens every time we meet before and after each activity. At the conclusion of the presentation they are asked to go meet with their ward, have a final thought and prayer and retire to bed.