What Is Mutual Night all About?
Mutual is what we members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints use to describe a once a week fun activity. It is sponsored by the Church for teenagers. Mutual got its name because it is supposed to encourage “shared experiences, in which there is mutual respect and support for one another”
Mutual is held in the evening on any day except Sunday or Monday. Typically mutual will last about an hour and a half and will be on the same night each week at the same time, and usually the same place (The chapel). Its purpose is to provide a area where young men and young women from the age of 12 to 18 can learn and practice gospel principles, prepare themselves for the future, build friendships with their peers including those less active in the Church, provide service for others, and have fun in a wholesome environment.
So what is the structure of Mutual?
Mutual should be started each time with opening exercises. These last for about 10-15 minutes and the different presidencies in Young Men and Young Women take turns conducting. It usually opens with a hymn followed by a prayer. It can also include announcements.
Class activities are held for about 30-70 minutes and can include learning new skills, providing service, or working on requirements for Church programs such as Duty to God and Personal Progress. Activities involving both the young women and the young men (often called combined activity) should be held once a month.
The Mutual Activities are planned with the help of Young men, Young Women Leaders, Youth and input from the Bishopric. The Bishopric approves the activities which may include different areas of developments such as service, music, sports, fitness and others.
Usually once a month our ward attends the temple with the youth who are worthy and hold limited use recommends to do Baptisms for the Dead. (This may not be possible for some Wards / Branches due to the locations of temples).
We have found it to be a very spiritual activity for the youth where they all come together to perform a sacred ordinance. The youth are encouraged to do their own Family History and thus bring their own Family cards to perform the work for their ancestors. They truly have felt the spirit of Elijah
Elder Robert D. Hales explained the importance of the Mutual program,
Some of the great blessings of these programs that have been developed are that as the youth of the Church, you will have a clear understanding of who you are, you will be accountable for your actions, you will take responsibility for the conduct of your life, and you will be able to set goals so that you might achieve what you were sent to earth to achieve (“Fulfilling Our Duty to God,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 38).