Zelophehad’s Daughters

How EFY Promotes Immodesty

Posted by Katya

About a month ago, this comment was posted over at the 100 Hour Board (a BYU-sponsored student Q&A forum):

When I was growing up, my family had very little money and new clothes were rarely in the budget. Instead, my mom sewed or patched things as they got worn out. When I was 15 or 16, someone gave me an EFY brochure. I really wanted to go, but of course we didn’t have the money. I remember reading the dress and grooming standards in the brochure and seeing that patched, faded, and torn clothing was not allowed. It made me extremely frustrated because it meant that even if I took some of the money that I made at my job (which was supposed to be for college) and paid to go to EFY, I would have to use even more money to buy new clothes since mine wouldn’t be okay.

In an effort to focus on being “modest” (in the sense of covered shoulders and knee-length shorts), the EFY dress standards have unfortunately missed the mark on being “modest” in the older sense of “humble or unpretentious.”

61 Responses to “How EFY Promotes Immodesty”

  1. 1.

    Katya, you know as well as I do that that provision in the EFY brochure was intended to ban the grungy, slovenly, deliberately disreputable clothing that fashion sometimes dictates for teens, not the neatly mended but well worn clothing that a lot of us have to wear. Deliberately drawing attention to yourself with stained, stretched-out t-shirts and jeans artfully ripped and frayed to expose underwear and call attention to peek-a-boo body parts is no more “humble or unpretentious” than any other kind of provocative clothing — and often costs more, to boot.

    There might be exceptions somewhere, but I’ve never seen anyone in any part of the U.S. who had to wear consistently the kind of rags intended to be banned by the EFY brochure, although I’ve known plenty (and been one) who have worn inexpensive, mended, and/or hand-me-down casual clothes that would be perfectly acceptable for EFY despite technically being faded and “patched” — but not torn.

    So how would you word the brochure to improve the wording while still banning deliberately immodest grungewear?

  2. 2.

    After following the link to the original question, it looks like banning the grunge look was only part of the motivation. The response seems to indicate that rules are rules and poor people would need to seek an exception. The respondent indicates that he/she would gladly grant such exceptions, but I find it troubling that poor people need explicit permission to look poor.

    The focus should be on unpatched clothing. The brochure could be worded to ban artificially faded and excessively patched clothing (or delete the reference to patches altogether).

  3. 3.

    At the risk of being overly snarky, maybe the manual should simply state:

    “If you haven’t spent over $500 on new clothes for this event, don’t bother coming”.

    (I’m a bit cynical this morning. It’s becoming the “EVENT OF THE SUMMER!” for the North Texas LDS Youth social scene, and is a great way to show which parents have money and which do not. The real cool kids don’t stoop to go to a local EFY — they have their parents buy them tickets and go to Provo.)

  4. 4.

    Ardis is right that the pamphlet wasn’t going after poor kids’ clothes, but grunge fashion. Still, as queno points out, the biggest problem with EFY isn’t that it participates in the stupid and impoverished current modesty discourse, it’s that the whole thing is a particularly hideous form of priestcraft.

  5. 5.

    I have no hesitation in agreeing with the hideousness of what EFY stands for — with one exception: My deaf niece came up to BYU for EFDY for two summers. It had the same effect that cancer camps and other gatherings for youth with differences can have: Her confidence and sense of self rose dramatically simply by being around so many LDS kids with whom she could communicate for the first time in her life, and with whom she could learn and dance and talk about dating and baptisms for the dead and missions (she has since served a full-time mission) without being isolated by her difference. For that reason I won’t ever condemn EFY entirely … just the distinctions of wealth and entitlement that it encourages.

    But I have to stand up for EFY to the extent that it spawned EFDY.

  6. 6.

    Not having ever gone to the Provo EFY, I was wondering -

    What’s the big deal? Is it some uber-spiritual setting, with thousands of young adults milling about? What’s wrong with a local Youth Conference?

  7. 7.

    I personally thought EFY was a great testimony-builder experience for a Virginia kid coming to Utah back in the day and meeting other Mormons.

    Here in Utah now, our ward kids show who’s really cool by going to EFY not in Utah, but in Palmyra or other exotic locales.

  8. 8.

    This is my problem with having dress standards at all. The “message” your clothing sends is entirely subjective. One person will see a well dressed young woman and think she must be so respectful and virtuous, while others will see her and be alienated by it. Some people will see old, patched clothing and think it’s disrespectful and that the person doesn’t belong there, while others will just be happy to see a young person actively practicing their faith. And it varies according to culture. There are countries where it is thoroughly common for a woman to go topless, and places where to have your head uncovered is considered thoroughly immodest.

    Hearing this story upset me, because I grew up pretty poor too. To think that you have to have money in order to participate in a faith gathering like that is really disturbing to me.

    PS Ardis – claiming to have knowledge of another person’s mind to prove your point doesn’t support your claims. You are only denying them the right to narrate their own experiences, as if it is impossible for others to see or experience the same thing but get different meaning from it.

  9. 9.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about Macha, but I’m sure that in your mind it’s perfectly clear. (Does that prove a point?)

  10. 10.

    6, 7–ward and stake budgets pay for local youth conference. EFY is for rich kids (and kids whose parents feel pressured to come up with the money at great hardship).

    And, if by “uber-spiritual” you mean emotionally manipulative, intellectually shallow, viciously cliquish, with the possibly redeeming quality of allowing kids from the hinterlands a chance to be with lots of Mormon peers and briefly experience Mormonism as a majority culture, all the while greatly enriching the private, for-profit entity that makes a fortune by convincing nervous parents that this is the best way to buy their kids a testimony, then, yeah, that’s all it is.

    /recalibrating cynicism meter/

  11. 11.

    Ardis, you know as well as i do that Macha is referring to your #1( which begins,”you know as well as i do”, and to pretend not to makes you seem obtuse, which one knows you are not, or disingenuous, which one sometimes suspects you are…

  12. 12.

    We want youth to know that they are loved, welcomed, included. Do we need to judge them for something as superficial as their clothes? Don’t they get enough of that at school? Unless the rips, etc are revealing, who cares? If wearing faded jeans with a rip on the knee, or coloring their hair, or some such trivial thing, is the most rebellious or attention-seeking thing that a teenager does, count yourself blessed. People should focus on the youth themselves, not on outward signs of conformity. Does anyone really believe that the best-dressed youth are actually the most righteous or faithful or well-adjusted?

  13. 13.

    Does anyone really believe that the best-dressed youth are actually the most righteous or faithful or well-adjusted?

    I think the answer to that question might be kind of scary.

  14. 14.

    Marta, I do understand that something in my #1 provoked Macha into a personal comment, which seems to call for a personal response from me, and I do understand how my comment bothered her, but I do not understand what in my comment she is objecting to. That is, I’m interpreted as reading someone’s mind, and that bothers her, but what point not-supported-by-my-mind-reading she objects to is what is ambiguous.

    You do nothing to make the matter any clearer — you only make an even more negative personal remark. I’m not being disingenuous when I say that that is objectionable.

  15. 15.

    6, 7–ward and stake budgets pay for local youth conference. EFY is for rich kids (and kids whose parents feel pressured to come up with the money at great hardship).

    Or for parents who ask for help, which is sometimes hard to do. I don’t know about the Provo program, but our hinterlands EFY at a local college campus costs less than $500 and has a scholarship option. In many areas, the remaining portion can often be supplied by members who let the bishop know that they are willing to help with such expenses that can’t be covered by the church.

    The recipients usually don’t know who we are, but they often give a thank-you note to the bishop, so we find out who they are (although we didn’t when we turned the money over; the judgement was left in the bishop’s hands). One of the girls who we sent a few years back has married in the temple. It’s not tax deductiible, but gratfying in other ways to provide that support.

    A stake youth conference is usually a lot of work for the youth–they serve on committees, are expected to come up with the theme and service projects and decorations themselves. EFY is a different kind of experience where they are fed.

    We didn’t buy anything new for EFY this year, I don’t think. Maybe another pair of capris, since they do have a strict dress code. We have a lot of thrift stores in town; I don’t think it would cost that much to outfit someone from scratch. I bet a lot of girls would be willing to lend or pass on outfits as well, if the person was willing to take them. Sometimes it is embarrassing, though, to accept them.

  16. 16.

    And, if by “uber-spiritual” you mean emotionally manipulative, intellectually shallow, viciously cliquish, with the possibly redeeming quality of allowing kids from the hinterlands a chance to be with lots of Mormon peers and briefly experience Mormonism as a majority culture, all the while greatly enriching the private, for-profit entity that makes a fortune by convincing nervous parents that this is the best way to buy their kids a testimony, then, yeah, that’s all it is.

    Well of course nothing I can say could possibly compete with this elegant viciousness, so I probably shouldn’t try, but…

    We never thought of it in terms of buying a testimony. There were other things they got from it.

    We thought it was a great experience for our young people to go away from our orbit as parents. At stake activities, we are often there with our callings and everyone knows who we are and they are. Yuck, that’s a hard shadow to live under. At EFY, they were on their own and none of their counselors or instructors knew whose children they were.

    It is a good experience to live in a college dorm. We insisted that they accept a random roommate rather than sticking with a friend, in order to mimic what it might be like at college or on a mission. Our first kid to attend college hours away from home said that the EFY experience helped her imagine what dorm life would be like and helped give her the courage to forge out on her own.

    We never sent them to EFY until the summer before their junior year of high school, because it is a shock being hours from home and on your own for the first time, and we thought they would get more out of it if they were a bit older.

    One of my daughters had a miraculous change of heart when she came home from EFY. She suddenly decided that she liked who she was. It made everything so much easier. In just that week, she went from being a difficult child to an adult and a friend. We didn’t expect that our other kids would have the same kind of sudden change when we sent them to EFY, but neither can I deny that it happened with that one daughter. So when people say that EFY worked a miracle in their child’s life, I do not scoff.

  17. 17.

    Ardis, Katya apparently did not know as well as you know that the brochure was not referring to her well worn, patched clothing. Saying “you know as well as I do” is presumptuous. Macha suspected, one suspects, that you might not in fact know what Katya knows. The point not supported by your supposed mind-reading is that you know what Katya knows. You imply that Katya is lying. How is that any less a negative personal remark than Macha’s comment or mine?

  18. 18.

    Now who’s presumptuously mind reading?

    You inferred “lying,” which word never entered my mind in connection with this issue. I implied no such thing.

    But thank you for interpreting, however unjustly.

  19. 19.

    Ardis, i believe that implying that Katya was lying never entered you mind. can you truly not see how you comment might be so interpreted by another reader? you strongly imply that she cannot have really meant what she said. can you not see that saying “you know as well as i do” that *anything*, strongly implies that you know what is in her mind? and that when she said what she said rather than what you know she knows to be true, she is being untruthful (lying)?

    every one is always presumptuously mind reading when reading anyone else’s writing. we can only read through the lens we have.

  20. 20.

    Break it up, ladies, or you’ll be bounced. (I’ll update you on what I knew and when I knew it at a later opportunity.)

  21. 21.

    Naismith. sending kids to EFY because no one knows them (or their families) there is the most convincing argument i have heard so far. Baggage can be heavy, of whatever quality.

  22. 22.

    Naismith–I don’t doubt for a second that it’s good for some (probably many) kids. I have a daughter who would eat it up, and I’ll probably end up sending her at some point.

    That doesn’t change the fact EFY promotes several of the major evils the Book of Mormon warns of.

  23. 23.

    It’s not tax deductible, but gratfying in other ways to provide that support.

    Well, let’s hope so.

  24. 24.

    Kristine, I would be interested to hear what experiences have led you to your very negative view of EFY. I am not seeing how EFY “promotes” any major evils, let alone several. Is it just because it costs money?

  25. 25.

    There is no question that EFY promotes social stratification, it’s just part of the territory. Boo!

    BYU continuing Ed is now sponsoring EFY at Home, which I think was intended to be less expensive. They send speakers and leaders out from BYU to basically stage a multi-stake youth conference. This approach has at least two negative features we should shun. First, it requires participants to adhere to BYU dress and grooming standards. So now the boy with long hair and the girl with multiple piercings who have no desire to ever set foot on the BYU campus are shut out of youth conference in their own home ward. Boo!

    Second, this approach promotes the idea of paid, professional testimony-bearers, i.e. practicioners of priestcraft. The workshops and speakers feature some of the Big Names on the LDS speaking circuit, consequently the many cool people with wonderful testimonies in the wards and stakes of Zion are overlooked. Let’s be clear: every ward in the church has people with interesting conversion stories, and people who have much to contribute. But because we can outsource youth conference by paying $$$ to EFY, these locals get shut out. Boo!

  26. 26.

    The response seems to indicate that rules are rules and poor people would need to seek an exception. The respondent indicates that he/she would gladly grant such exceptions, but I find it troubling that poor people need explicit permission to look poor.

    My reading was that the respondent (Mico) thought that no exception or permission would be required as long as clothing was discreetly patched to mend a tear, rather than “noticeably patched” to produce the “grungy” look Ardis referred to. Mico twice told Former Poor Kid that there shouldn’t be a problem. No exception necessary–mended clothing is not what is being prohibited.

  27. 27.

    Did anyone see the movie SISTERZ IN ZION? Things kind of worked out for those girls to attend EFY in Provo.

  28. 28.

    E–virtually no experience. My objections are based on publicly available advertising and on reports from kids who have gone.

  29. 29.

    I’ve read happy accounts by some folks who travel across the country to attend symposiums on Mormon topics. Some even note that they get something worthwhile out of such events that their routine lives among the saints can’t provide.

  30. 30.

    We’ve had the local EFY-style youth conference in our Stake. The dress standard was the same for other Youth Conferences and weren’t elevated to any BYU standard. Also, while it did cost money for the speakers, most of that cost was food and lodging for them, little went to them.

    They were for the most part very good speakers. Our stake has a dearth of solid speakers. Especially ones that can effectively speak to youth. The alternative would have been the equivalent of 2 and a half days of High Council talks.

    That being said, I’m generally against the distant EFY’s for reasons listed. I would fully support it on the local level though.

  31. 31.

    John–the analogy doesn’t work for about a zillion reasons. Start with no super-righteousness cachet attached to attending!

  32. 32.

    A zillion reasons? Then you should be able to list twenty with no effort to all.

  33. 33.

    Well I’d just like to chime in to say that I went EFY in 1998 and though I would say we were middle class, I had a single working mother who I know sacrificed to be able to pay for me to attend it.

    It was a totally positive experience for me and even now with my current issues with the Church, I only have good things to say about EFY. Now I went to the closest one to me at the time which was in, um… Dayton?

    While none of my clothes were actually patched, they would not have been new; and I have a picture of myself in the dress I wore to the end of week dance – I remember buying it from Goodwill. In addition to this, I am/was an introvert who – at the time had not really learned as much as I know now about how to meet new people and interact with strangers. I did not feel looked down on or excluded by anyone during my week there, and I loved having a chance to be around LDS kids my own age other than the 10-12 other youth I’d spent the rest of my entire life growing up with.

  34. 34.

    >1

    Ardis, I wish you had chosen to express yourself in a more civil manner and I’m at a loss to understand why you think you know me so well, but I do see that the wording is probably designed to discourage wearing the type of clothing you mentioned.

    I feel quite sad, however, that the person I quoted interpreted the wording to mean that poorer youth were not welcome at EFY. I also find it telling that nobody involved in writing or proofreading the EFY pamphlet caught the fact that the wording was ambiguous. Perhaps none of them have ever had to patch their old clothing. (As for how to ban “deliberately immodest grungewear,” that wording sounds fine to me.)

  35. 35.

    I get that it’s a great experience for lots of kids, and it’s probably no more saturated in sentimentality and gender essentialism than most of the youth program. But it makes for a new manner of -ites in the church, and I hate that. I especially hate that people make money by doing it. That’s all.

  36. 36.

    The really problematic thing for me is that is officially sponsored by the church, and is sold to youth and their leaders and parents as The Real Thing, and the difference-maker in terms of youth and their testimonies.

    If EFY is so important and essential, why isn’t it part of the church program worldwide?

  37. 37.

    Of course, the biggest way EFY promotes immodesty is by giving LDS youth CDs containing songs by 50 Cent, Eminem, and Snoop Dog.

  38. 38.

    I am just still completely aggravated at the videos where youth talk about the importance of modesty. Really? That’s what they think is important about modesty? And really, we’re promoting their views as if they are churchwide?

    Plus it makes me shudder to think about sending my daughter to physically measure up to a poster.

  39. 39.

    !!!!INADVERTENT HILARITY ALERT!!!!

    In the video linked in the previous comment, beginning about 1:20, we have a young woman asking if Jesus would dress like that. IMMEDIATELY after her comment, we have a young man decrying long hair and beards. Epic lolz.

  40. 40.

    There was nothing uncivil in crediting you with having the same level of discernment that I have, Katya — in fact, there has been far more incivility in much of this discussion, and even in your OP (where you accuse the entire EFY program with blatant oppression of the poor), than in my assumption. But if you deny being at least as bright as I am, I’ll take you at your word. I’ll also add you to the list of bloggers too sensitive to accept anything but a hearty endorsement of your every view and let this be the last time I support your posts with a comment. I’m sorry to have disturbed your day.

  41. 41.

    I was called as the Know Your Religion stake coordinator a few years before the Church pulled its support of that program.

    KYR was a real money-maker for a certain very elite group of CES instructors.

    Held in the chapel, KYR prominently featured feel-good pop psychology and worldly philosophy posing as scripture / doctrine / spirituality. Maybe that was just in its later years.

    I attended one orientation meeting, and returned to tell my Stake President that I could not fulfill that calling. It is one of only two calling I ever resigned from.

    As for EFY, I must say I have no experience at all. My wife, my children, my grandchildren and I all have an inherent- possibly inherited- aversion to cheerleading.

  42. 42.

    Ardis, your comments are often witty and astute. But they can also be genuinely hurtful, and you hide behind the justification that others are too sensitive.
    Future comments as rude as #40 will be summarily deleted.

  43. 43.

    But it makes for a new manner of -ites in the church, and I hate that.

    Well, we already have -ites. We have BYU grads vs. those from local U, lifelong members vs. converts, and so on. All those differences mean is that each of us bring different gifts to use in building up the kingdom. To me, EFY actually evens out the playing field by letting kids have a taste of the BYU-type experience without the pressure to make certain test scores or even travel west of the Mississippi.

    I especially hate that people make money by doing it.

    I’m in favor anything that provides jobs for college students. I guess I don’t understand the angst. It actually seems pretty cheap for what we pay and get. Less than $100 a day for room, great food, and all those classes and activities? It’s much cheaper than any commercial summer camp.

    The really problematic thing for me is that is officially sponsored by the church, and is sold to youth and their leaders and parents as The Real Thing, and the difference-maker in terms of youth and their testimonies.

    I can see that concern. I guess how it is “sold” depends on where you live. Out here, it is not sold much at all, and one of the “ites” concerns is whether you even know about it or not, in time to do priority registration. There is maybe a flyer on the bulletin board. But it hasn’t been stressed at all–maybe to the youth, but not to parents.

    Since our family has been sending kids for years, we get emails and know about the registration process, etc. But a parent of a new 14-year-old could totally miss it. Easily.

  44. 44.

    Well, we already have -ites.

    Hence my use of the word “new” in the quoted portion.

  45. 45.

    Also, if “less than $100/day” seems cheap to you, your life is pretty far removed from that of the kids in my stake who would most benefit from the experience, but couldn’t afford it in a hundred years. (Mine is too, I’m not pointing fingers, just noting the fact of the gigantic disparity).

  46. 46.

    I never went to EFY, but I did work summers for BYU Dining Services in high school, as did a few other ZDs. The only people more obnoxious than the EFY campers were their counselors, who were evidently selected for their qualities of perkiness, attractiveness, and charisma; they seemed substantially more interested in making sure their kids liked them, than in keeping them in any kind of line. While I have no doubt that many teenagers have very good experiences at EFY, the people around them almost universally do not.

    It was also a very interesting point of class collision: those LDS teenagers whose parents can afford to send them to EFY during the summer, and those LDS teenagers who spend the summer working mediocre jobs serving the former. I especially hated it when I saw kids from my high school there — the differences between our situations was so stark, and it’s pretty much impossible not to feel utterly wretched about that as a sixteen-year-old.

  47. 47.

    WOW that video link was disturbing… Particularly the comments from the young man who “felt like an idiot” for wearing a colored shirt and tie to a church evening. Pardon?? There are a heck of a lot of Neo-Pharisees running around conflating current church culture with gospel, and that’s appalling.

    I went to two years of EFY waaaaay back when (John Bytheway was brand new, that’s how long ago it was), and found it pretty neat. It was nice to be around 2000 kids who didn’t know I was a social leper back home. :) I’ve not encouraged my own teen to participate in local/regional EFY events, because they feel far more forced and twee than what I recall. I do feel some amount of emotional manipulation, but I’m thankful we’ve trained our kids to think critically, and not mistake people getting emotional for “the Spirit”… I’m raising cynics and curmudgeons, but they’re happy and have a testimony that doesn’t depend on looking like a white kid in a poster.

    Whatever happened to “God looketh on the heart?”

    I’m all for people trying to be tidy and clean out of respect for others and for God, but if a Goth kid wants to come to a church function and see if there’s something there for him/her, I doubt Christ would be standing at the door saying, “Oh, my, I’m afraid you’re not up to the standard. You’ll have to go away now. Come back when you look like that poster over there.”

  48. 48.

    Oh good grief. Don’t listen to the girl’s “modesty” video. My head is going to explode. That bleached-hair, eyeliner girl in the white shirt is, in particular, making me want to throttle whoever told her *she* was responsible for guys having “bad thoughts”. Holy Hannah. Scary all the way through.

    Sorry–I know it’s tangential. But WOW.

  49. 49.

    Also, if “less than $100/day” seems cheap to you,

    I didn’t say it seems cheap to me. I said it seemed cheap in comparison to other residential summer camp programs, such as music programs to which my children have not gone because of the cost.

    The point is that if the purpose is to make money, CES could raise the rates and still be in line with other summer camp programs. Instead they seem to have kept the cost low in comparison. And the price has not gone up as much other things have in the years that we’ve been sending young people.

    My college students pay about $350 for 5 days of room and board living on campus. So to get that plus all the programs seems not outrageously out of line. Yes, CES probably doesn’t pay that full amount since they are using facilities that would otherwise be vacant. But there still does not seem to be a huge profit margin, so I do not find that offensive.

    your life is pretty far removed from that of the kids in my stake who would most benefit from the experience, but couldn’t afford it in a hundred years.

    In a hundred years? What is wrong with the people in your stake that they won’t offer these kids jobs to earn their own way if they want to go, or just sponsor them if their job already helps support their family?

    There is a CES financial aid program to which they can apply upon registration, and in our stake we work things out so that all who want to go, can go. Sorry that the youth in your stake don’t get that kind of support.

    I’m not saying that the program is for everybody. Just because so many youth in my stake have found spouses and lifelong friends there does not mean that others will. And these were not clean-scrubbed clone kids, but rather goth and geeks who came home beaming, “Cool Mormons! They exist and I met some!”

    (Just talking about local programs, not the Provo experience, which nobody from here has done.)

  50. 50.

    This isn’t EFY related, but more than one male in my branch has made derisive comments about men wearing anything other than a white shirt to church (i.e. a blue shirt). It took me a bit to realize they weren’t kidding. I mean, really, this is an issue? We have a tiny, tiny branch and there’s some measure of a man’s worth based on the color of his shirt??

  51. 51.

    Liz C (48) — I couldn’t help myself. OH. MY. EXPLETIVE. DELETED. The dude who referred to women as an “item” especially — there are just no words. At least, no words that won’t get me Bouncered.

    This thing really deserves its own post.

  52. 52.

    Men, you are future leaders. Women, you can help the future leaders.

  53. 53.

    Melyngoch, yep. My flabber was well and truly ghasted.

    And today in Sunday School, we talked about why there’s a need for diversity with unity… so my mind went back continually to the big difference between unity and uniformity. I think we’re in danger of losing our strength by focusing on this uniformity. Luckily, we have some terrific folks in our class, and my comment was not grossly misunderstood. For a church whose founder preached “Teach them correct principles and they govern themselves”, we’re sure not living up to our privileges.

  54. 54.

    He is something interesting/disturbing about these videos.

    They alternate between young people claiming to tell us what God wants, and other young people stating their personal preferences. I think the is a good example of the way we can’t figure out the difference between God’s will and our own cultural assumptions. These videos demonstrate conclusively that our discourse on modesty is pretty screwed up.

  55. 55.

    Ha! It’s true, Mark! We need to think more about how personal preference and class intersect with our modesty discourse. (I was going to ask what the “gift” is that “Father” gave girls, but maybe I don’t want to know. I assume Mother gave boys something comparable?)

  56. 56.

    Kiskilili, I think we a now venturing into “key and lock” territory. Terra Incognita, and here there be dragons. Abandon hope.

  57. 57.

    Gender and sex are the ineffable Mormon mysteries.

  58. 58.

    Instead of EFY, I went to Summer Scholars Academy at BYU. It was basically a week-long academic EFY, and I totally loved it. It was great to go someplace where I wasn’t known and meet more LDS kids (I was the only Mormon in my high school). I think it’s the reason I ended up going to BYU, despite a better offer at another school.

  59. 59.

    33 — excellent point.

    I think that EFY, like all youth conferences, can be as much as others read into it as what it really is. The Wheatandtares.org post on EFY in Europe was very enlightening for me.

    36 — you are speaking in irony, no? Given the real effort the Church has made to make EFY a churchwide event…

    Know Your Religion — at least as it was 40 years ago I really enjoyed it.

    Melyngoch — I grew up in trailer parks and well below the poverty line. One of the suits I wore on my mission my mother made for me. Somehow I’m getting a different perspective, all in all, though.

    49 — Naismith — that was well said.

    Ardis E. Parshall — appreciate how this rubbed you the wrong way.

  60. 60.

    On that topic, the scholarships, discounts and use of stake and ward budgets to help cover the cost of EFY, in Europe and other places (as an approved Church program) seems to be overlooked in this post as well.

  61. 61.

    On that topic, the scholarships, discounts and use of stake and ward budgets to help cover the cost of EFY, in Europe and other places (as an approved Church program) seems to be overlooked in this post as well.

    Yes, because the crux of the post was a case study regarding dress standards, not an examination of EFY in general. (Along those lines, I think this conversation has run its course, so I’m going to close comments.)