An open letter to CES leaders
Dear CES Leader,
I have some questions about the Church Education System and Institute.
My introduction to this is the fact ALL young adults aged 18-30 are encouraged to go to Institute, single and married. Many church leaders seem willing to push single people to go to Institute, while they are unwilling to push married people, or married people with children.
I was recently informed that one of the purposes of Institute should be to help parents be better mothers and fathers. So does that mean that Mormon leaders only think single people need the help being better mothers and fathers, that CES is so apt at providing?
Or is it really just a Utah-ism, one goes to Institute to find someone to date and marry, and eventually become a father or mother. If it is, does that mean that those of us outside of Utah, or with few CES aged members are exempting for going for this reason. Cuz, I mean, I personally think it’d be weird to have a 28 y/o RM pick up on a 19 y/o freshman.
And what about us Institute graduates, or BYU graduates who arguably have had “better” institute classes because we studied for tests in addition to actually doing the reading? Are we automatically exempt? Can we just close our ears during 40 minute guilt-trips about attending institute?
In the end, One’s life will always be enriched if one studies the scriptures. Institute can be an amazing reason and resource for doing this. It provides support, accountability, and a sounding board. You can even be lucky enough to get Graduate level institute classes.
But all I’m asking for is a little more guidance and a little less jelliness. We can non-judgementally expect High Schoolers to complete all 4 years of Seminary. We can expect all College age kids (18-25) to complete 4 years of Institute (14 religion credit hours). After that, anything else is icing on the cake. You’ll learn more, get to teach more, and be better prepared for serving in the Church.
If you’re going to tell all “single people” they need to go to institute until age 30, you need to tell all “married people” too. There’s nothing in the sealing ceremony that obviates the “supposed” need for institute.