The Sons of Samuel dedicates itself to helping people overcome their judgmental and self-righteous tendencies. Where other groups might help other sinful young men, this group uses a “Knights of Faith” approach to help and encourage seminary presidents, recently returned and still struggling missionaries, and BYU (any campus) roommates fight against the demon that assails them.
Led by people who have become comfortable with ambiguity, some of whom have seen Schindler’s List and other non-disqualifying R-rated movies, they practice completely unfamiliar tolerance and compassionate habits to conquer the tendency to use their own perceived righteousness as the standard by which they judge others.
Participants learn strategies that the adversary will use against them like believing that absolute obedience to every rule can legitimately replace faith, mercy, or empathy. This program is ideal for helping young people prepare to interact with actual flawed children of God.
The program has a long, successful record of working with the most self-righteous saints. As one graduate put it, “For too long Satan held dominion over my life, and I mistook his influence for God. I could so clearly see the sinfulness of those around me, with their tattoos, sexual jokes, coffee, and colored shirts to pass the sacrament. I felt that I was really the only one going to the Celestial Kingdom, and figured I’d be killed on the streets of Jerusalem once I got called on my mission. The Sons of Samuel program taught me that God didn’t really care about how many commandments I obeyed if that obedience disconnected me from those around me. My judgment trumped my compassion, but now I’m learning to see, as God does, on the heart, not on the Starbuck’s cup.”
The Sons of Samuel is the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer’s most recent corporate sponsor. Zion’s finest news source considered sponsorship from other groups, including the Sons of Abinadi (a program that works with those who struggle with pyromania) and the Sons of Samuel the Lamanite (a program that works with those who struggle with doing missionary work by shouting from walls and (too often erroneously) believe they are invincible), but those negotiations fell through.
Other sponsors include The Straight and Narrow HealthGroup of Mapleton Utah, Deseret Book, and BYU's Football/Mixed Martial Arts/Fight Club program.