Word Cloud: For The Strength of Youth

My ward got the new “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlets today. Not really pamphlets, though, as the new version is well over 6K words. The counsel inside is wide-ranging, and as I was reading through it this morning, I wondered what a word cloud of the text would look like—which words are most used in FTSOY? Here’s what I found:

The cloud supports my opinion that the booklet is wide-ranging, as there are lots of different ideas and topics represented, but the biggest words aren’t tied to them. And it might just be me, but I think the word cloud conveys an impression of “warning” language. Do you agree? Which words are more frequent than you’d have thought? Which would you have expected to be more prominent?


  1. observer fka eric s says:

    Pretty amazing that the word “help” is the most prominent. It is a word of distress and assistance. I am not sure this is all that shocking, though, considering the demographic we’re looking at. Youth, not just the LDS variety, generally need some direction and hand holding. “Help” is a stronger word than guidance and direction, though; it suggests challenge, conflict, assistance, hand-holding and maybe even danger or trouble, Right after “Help” is “others” and then “family.” Very LDS tone.

    If you combine the near synonyms of God, Father, Heavenly, Lord, and God’s, I think that combination would be the largest. Interesting how “Christ” is microscopic.

  2. Huh, I didn’t see “help” as indicative of distress, but rather of supportiveness, of friendly, longsuffering bolstering. Interesting.

  3. That is really cool. It is interesting that “Help others family” are the three biggest words. It seems to emphasize what I’ve realized over the past few months that our church emphasizes applications of the gospel more than others do. If another church put this out, “Jesus Lord God” would have been the three biggest words. I think it’s this kind of thing that gets others the idea we believe in works instead of grace, silly as that idea might be.

  4. I must agree with medstudent – Help others – Family – Make Yourself – God – Lord – Life – it’s not just theory, but applications. That is a very insightful analysis.

  5. “help others” – isn’t that what the gospel is mostly about? “Proclaim the gospel” “redeem the dead” “perfect the saints”
    This is neat.

  6. Yup, I too interpret the primary words as those of service and love, not distress and warning. “Help others,” “help family,” “help yourself.” The word Christ may be microscopic, but Lord is fairly prominent, and aren’t we all about serving the Lord through actions? The proof is in the pudding, and all that.

  7. Can we give a +1 to the church for FINALLY giving the term “petting” the boot?

  8. Fun Combinations:

    Make Yourself Help
    Make Yourself God

    Help Make Yourself

    Make Others Yourself

    Help God
    Help Family
    Help Others
    Help Yourself

  9. Thanks, Kyle. This is cool.

    I also wonder what it would look like if Lord, God, Christ and Jesus were combined as one term.

  10. Am I just missing it? I don’t see “modesty” anywhere! (I wonder what a word cloud of the Bloggernacle would look like?)

  11. I like it! I see the help as a “help others” kind of help.

  12. Me too – when I saw it, I thought of helping others, rather than needing or asking for help. Yes, both Jesus and Christ are super tiny. That surprises me a little.

  13. Ardis, I’ll do a bloggernacle version sometime…shouldn’t be hard. And “modesty” might be missing, but “dress” is there, and “body” is fairly large.

    On another note, I think we’d need to do some contextual analysis of the usage of “help”…I think it’s more “these standards can help you…” than “you should help others.” Related terms like “service” and “give” are very small.

  14. .

    To me, I’m impressed by the positive impression of the largest words. I’m surprised and happy. This wordle strikes me as a useful teaching tool in a YW/YM/SS test.

  15. I find the smaller words more intriguing: Jesus, Christ, service, care, happiness.

    Also curious about the capitalization. Is Young capitalized because of Brigham Young (or BYU), or is it because there are a lot of sentences that start with Young?

  16. I think if you lumped Lord/Jesus/Christ together, it’d probably be the size most of us expected – by splitting the idea into three actual terms, it drops the count for each of them. Is there a way to adjust that?

  17. FHL, I’d bet it has something to do with the frequency of the group terms Young Men and Young Women.

  18. Here is a list of the sentences I found with the world “help.” Help is mainly used in two ways. 1. That each young person is part of a community and should turn to parents, leaders and the Lord if they need help. 2. That the standard will help them toward a great purpose/goal.
    “It will help you better provide for yourself, your family, and those in need. It will also help you be a wise counselor and companion to your future spouse and an informed and effective teacher of your future children.
    Seek the help you need.
    Your family can provide you with companionship and happiness, help you learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere, and help you prepare for eternal life.
    They will help you be a better person and will make it easier for you to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    Gratitude will turn your heart to the Lord and help you recognize His influence and blessings in your life.
    Help others improve their language by your example.
    However, if you have prolonged feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, or depression, talk with your parents and your bishop and seek help.
    As you strive to repent, seek help and counsel from your parents.
    Seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost each day to know whom to serve and how to help meet their needs.
    The Spirit can help you know when you are at risk and give you the strength to remove yourself from the situation.
    They can support you spiritually and assist you in getting the protection and help you need.
    If you are tempted to commit any form of sexual transgression, seek help from your parents and bishop.
    Seek His help and guidance as you work to achieve your goals.
    To be truly self-reliant, you must learn how to work with others and turn to the Lord for His help and strength.
    To help you become all that the Lord wants you to become, kneel each morning and night in prayer to your Father in Heaven.
    Your Heavenly Father loves you and wants you to seek His help and keep trying.
    God is mindful of you and will help you make good choices, even if your family and friends use their agency in ways that are not right.
    Plan dating activities that are safe, positive, and inexpensive and that will help you get to know each other.
    If you are not sure what is appropriate to wear, study the words of the prophets, pray for guidance, and ask your parents or leaders for help. Your dress and appearance now will help you prepare for the time when you will go to the temple to make sacred covenants with God.”

  19. Love the word cloud. It gives some interesting perspective. Also, thanks to jks for taking the time to go through and list the uses of “help,” since that also lends some perspective.

    I have to agree with Jackro… so glad to see they finally got rid of the outdated terms “necking” and “petting” in the FSOY pamphlet. When I was in YW, none of the youth actually knew what either of the terms meant (and a few leaders were actually brave enough to admit to us when asked that they didn’t know either).

  20. Like some of you I am impressed that “help” and “others” are so prominent. “Yourself” is just a tad smaller. It gives the youth a good idea on whom to focus, especially in a society that screams “Me! ME! MEEE!” constantly.

    I’m also sure the youth will appreciate that “sexual” and “pornography” aren’t plastered in the largest most vibrant colors. These kids know what to do; they just need the “help” of others to do it some times.

    I would have thought “media” would be a tad larger considering the day and age in which we live. But like the sexual things, I’m sure the Brethren didn’t want to harp too much on subjects where the lines are pretty well drawn in the sand.

    I love the post though! It’s great insight into what we should be conveying to the youth.

  21. I keep getting distracted by the young sexual family…

  22. The word “grace” does not appear.. interesting. Also that “service” is so small.. Initially thought that “help” would have been used more in place of “service” but jks above shows that’s not the case.

  23. StillConfused says:

    Aren’t children already taught by their parents?

  24. Other churches don’t emphasize application of the gospel…So Mother Teresa was mormon…and all those Christian missionaries working across the whole earth in orphanages and hospitals they are Mormons too…please get a grip, compared to other churches Mormons aren’t that impressive…just a rebuttal to the delusional arrogance expressed in comment 3.

  25. A couple of the comments mention that Jesus, Lord, God and Christ are not the largest, but I think they are failing to take into account that they are all different words talking about the same thing. Just because one word isn’t used the most, doesn’t mean that the thing it is referencing (in this case Christ) isn’t the most prominent. This is a case of the most prominent words not the most prominent topics. If we used more words to talk of the same thing than each of these ones would be even smaller.

  26. Ardis (10) – I had the exact same impression.

    Joseph S (21) – Isn’t that the goal we’re trying to get the youth to achieve? Makes sense to me.

  27. Remember that the Youth have their Personal Progress books and their Duty to God books. PP is all about scriptures and service and developing Christlike qualities. For the Strength of Youth is a very different book.
    For instance in the Honesty and Integrity section, God/Lord are mentioned three times in the the first paragraph,in the remaining 2 paragraphs, though, just mentions Holy Ghost once. Here is the second paragraph:
    “Dishonesty harms you and harms others as well. If you lie, steal, shoplift, or cheat, you damage your spirit and your relationships with others. Being honest will enhance your future opportunities and your ability to be guided by the Holy Ghost. Be honest at school; choose not to cheat in any way. Be honest in your job, giving a full amount of work for your pay. Do not rationalize that being dishonest is acceptable, even though others may think it does not matter.”
    As you can see there are some more practical definitions and applications laid out here about this “standard.”

  28. #22, Kayla, jks (#27) said it very well. I wouldn’t expect something like “grace” (or even “resurrection” or “Gethsemane” or any other non-standards-related term) to appear much, if at all, in the FSOY booklet.

  29. I’m curious why the word ‘dress’ is slightly bigger than ‘blessings’. Figured the words temple, marriage, family, and others would boost ‘blessings’ usage.

  30. BirdHouseBirdy says:

    “Repent” is disappointingly small and “love” is not much bigger. We can make a list of things for the youth to do or not do…OR…we can teach them the principles, such as to love their God, love their neighbor, and seek repentance daily. I don’t think it is our job to be saying much more than that.

  31. BirdHouseBirdy says:

    And where is “atonement?” Maybe it is just me but if you want strong, morally-principled youth it seems that you start with love, atonement, and repentance. Teach the principles then get out of the way and let the individual live as they see fit. Lists of Do’s and Don’ts do not make youth strong.

  32. Maybe, BirdHouseBirdy, but there could be a legitimate element of “preparatory gospel” at play here. The Israelites in the wilderness weren’t ready for the Two Great Commandments; I’m not sure my Young Men’s quorums are either.

  33. Hmm… ruminating on why “sexual” is bigger than “Christ”…

  34. #33 – because, as has been mentioned multiple times, “Lord”, “God”, “Jesus” and “Christ” together would be one of the largest words in the entire cloud, it appears – much bigger than “sexual”.

%d bloggers like this: