Guest Column: Virtual LDS youth conference

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MEEKER | On Thursday, April 9, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints held a virtual youth conference for area youth in northwestern Colorado.  Previously set for March and originally featuring speakers, a dance, activities and dinner, church youth leaders decided to tackle the problem using virtual meeting software. They invited four teens to speak, and ended up hosting more than 40 youth and adults, exceeding the stake’s expectations and nearly overloading the conference.

Britton Burns of Granby, Colorado, explained how staying connected to the gospel was helping him deal with the recent changes to his life, including attending seminary on video, fasting, and holding Sacrament meeting with his family.  The next speaker, Melanie Cozzens from Baggs, Wyoming, described how studying the gospel had expanded her understanding of Christ’s love for her, and that faith was in turn buoying her up during this difficult period.    

Grant Linford of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, applied the scriptures to his own circumstances.  He looked at how others had focused on the positive and all the moments in which the Lord’s hand had been in his life.  Grant said he likewise is using this time to build his relationship with the Lord, and that we can “feel the spirit of the Lord if we put the most important things into our lives first and then he will magnify all of our time to become more like him.”  The final youth speaker was Abilene Yurich from Granby, Colorado, who described the uncertainty and isolation she was experiencing but also how her testimony has helped her deal with her fears and remain grounded in Jesus Christ.

Church leader Larry Ellgen wrapped up the conference theme as “Christ Our Vision In Discipleship 2020.”  He described how his parents had met and married in wartime, choosing to move forward in faith despite fear.  He also explained for the youth attending how his family had felt during the oil crisis of the early 1970s, and that the uncertainty and turmoil of that period has passed away as well.  President Ellgen reminded the conference participants that if our vision is centered on Jesus Christ, then temporal concerns become manageable.  He assured the youth that the Savior loves them, knows their needs, and cares for them.

These youth found that using technology to stay connected spiritually gave them comfort and happiness, allowing them to find strength and mutual support as they move forward.

PRESS RELEASE | Special to the Herald Times