Spiritualists spend a lot of time talking about life after death. For the younger person, that seems a long way off - not relevant to where they are in life. They usually aren't interested because they aren't anywhere near that point in their lives. They are only starting out on the pathway of college, selecting careers, establishing themselves in their chosen field of work, or perhaps marriage and starting a family. All of that is understandable, quite natural and normal.
Is it possible that we talk so much about the hereafter that we are losing folks in the here and now? What an interesting question! What do we offer that younger people can relate to, benefit from and can put to use in their lives today?
First, our teachings have always offered removal of the fear of death, as when older family members make their transition. Secondly, our teachings offer the firm knowledge of communication with those people who have gone on. Our younger people have the knowledge that they can still ask their parents, grandparents, guides or teachers for assistace if needed, once they have learned to quiet themselves to listen for those entities or loved ones to communicate with them through impressions. Often young people have questions about how they should react to an event or which parthway they would benefit most from taking. We do not ask that these things be taken on faith - we demonstrate the truth of our beliefs.
Perhaps, most importantly, through our Declaration of Principles, we offer the knowledge of the way to live our lives throughout our entire earth plane experience. We teach fairness, thoughtfulness, love, kindness, honesty, strength, perseverance, personal responsibility and that religion is not simply a Sunday experience. We teach and realize that we have control over our lives, that we make our own happiness and/or unhappiness when we work in attunement with Natural Law.
In fairness, all religions teach much of that same information. What enables us to stand apart?
In my opinion, one of our strongest teachings is that each of us is personally responsible every day of our lives in all situations. We do not accept vicarious atonement in any manner; we do not embrace the concept either in our religious beliefs or in our daily activities. We teach that personal responsibility, whether in our daily actions or in our religious lives, is imperative and integral to our beliefs and our actions. Mature productive adults accept and embrace personal responsibility. Mature adults accept that they will make errors and will have to face the consequences of any unwise choices they have made and work them through. We try to adhere strictly to always doing our best or facing our mistakes with honesty. No other religion (to my knowledge) emphasizes that trait as strongly as Spiritualism. In a way, the acceptance of vicarious atonement in any religion also allows room to escape from assuming any blame for our errors in life. That, to me, is abhorrent in the belief of personal responsibility.
Spiritualism teaches us to read, study, think things through for ourselves, and accept or reject according to our own level of understanding. Spiritualism encourages us to think things through for ourselves and to make up our own minds.
We know that all printed matter is not true just because the information is in print form. We know many things in the history books are not always related as they actually occurred. The fact that things are on the internet does not indicate they are true. In being taught to think for ourselves and read further, we know that we find different outlooks from others who had different viewpoints. We also realize teachers are frequently slanted in their lessons - perhaps not purposefully - but because of their own personal backgrounds, beliefs, outlooks or convictions. We encourage further study in all matters when we demonstrate our beliefs and do not take things "on faith" - even in the messages we give from spirit. We work diligently to maintain integrity in our demonstrations and in our beliefs.
I do not know of any other religious belief that teaches independent thinking in that manner. That alone makes Spiritualism an important religion for young people.
These are just a few of the important topics that Spiritualism addresses which can benefit younger people. If these topics alone are all they garner from our teachings, they will have learned lessons that will be of benefit for their entire lives. We can only hope they realize the importance of this information and use it daily as they go forth to achieve their life paths. We ask that the Infinite Spirit go with them, as with us, daily. God Bless.