A week has passed, and people are still buzzing about the Young Single Adult Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that was help on the ASU campus in Tempe. January 10 – 12 proved to be monumental for many.
The Friday night devotional speakers were scheduled to be Elder and Sister Holland. When it was announced that they would be unable to attend, some voiced disappointment. Others, however, knew that there were great spiritual rewards yet to be had, including author and president and CEO of Deseret Book, Sheri Dew, who filled the keynote spot in Holland’s place.
She asked listeners to think about whether they were being influenced more by the world or by prophets and revelators. She also admonished them to learn all they can. “We need to learn as much as we can about what’s absolutely true, so we are not deceived by that which is not.”
One attendee said that this address was probably the most spiritual experience of the conference.
However, there was much more to come. Saturday morning held remarks by well-known people from several walks of life, sharing the philosophies that had brought them success in life and in discipleship. They included:
Mitt and Ann Romney, exemplary Church servants and past contenders for the White House
ASU president Michael Crow, longtime friend to the Church: “The greatest physical gift we have is our brain[s].”
Thurl Bailey, former NBA player, businessman, musician, and Church member since 1995 said, “There will be a time when you have an opportunity to take a game winning shot.” He talked about how some would want you to miss that shot, but that you would be able to overcome the negativity.
President and Sister LeSueur of the new Gilbert Temple also spoke.
Workshops followed in the afternoon. Some of the choices were:
Stephanie and Christian Nielson—Stephanie is a best-selling author and popular blogger. She and Christian were badly burned in an airplane crash in 2008. Their story of how they overcame adversity to return to the duty and joy of raising their family has inspired millions.
Andrew Skinner—a former BYU Dean of Religious Studies, Brother Skinner is a fount of information on the scriptures.
Clark Gilbert—President and CEO of Deseret News spoke about how his newspaper continues to be the voice of truth-seeking, family-loving people.
Alex Boye—A popular singer with a deeply inspirational story of his own, Boye has a way of expressing himself that spoke directly to the hearts of many. One of his many inspiring comments was, “The Lord is trying to clean up our insides, but we have a “do not disturb” signs, so He can’t come in. We need to take off that sign and let Him in.”
Vai Sikahema—This former athlete and well-known sportscaster, together with his wife, has made it his life’s work to find homes for at-risk children.
Chad Lewis is a former football player and an unofficial ambassador to the Chinese people.
All the fun and encouragement was capped with a service project as approximately 3,000 attendees created about 21,000 school supply bags for needy Native American children. This activity added to the spiritual rewards of the weekend.
Saturday night, singers Alex Boye, Brooke White (Phoenix native and American Idol finalist) and the Linfords (twin returned missionaries, BYU grads, and local musicians) offered lively fun. A moment in which Mitt Romney joining Boye on stage has gone viral on YouTube. The video was shot by Taegan Elmer whose family lives in the Tucson West Stake.
The weekend concluded after a Sunday morning sacrament meeting. Many came away saying that this conference ranked among their most spiritual experiences.