August 9-11, thousands of young men and women between the ages of 18 and 33 from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined together to participate in simultaneous conferences held in five southeastern cities – Atlanta, Charlotte, …
August 9-11, thousands of young men and women between the ages of 18 and 33 from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined together to participate in simultaneous conferences held in five southeastern cities – Atlanta, Charlotte, Hattiesburg, Nashville and Orlando.
Many young men and women from Mobile and the surrounding area traveled to Hattiesburg, joining more than 400 young people from Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas and Louisiana, each looking forward to a weekend of spiritual upliftment, fellowship and fun. The theme of the conference, "No More Strangers," was chosen from the New Testament scripture found in Ephesians 2:19.
Events included workshops on several subjects, including planning for future careers and families, the life and mission of Jesus Christ, and how to confront and overcome the every day challenges in today’s world.
Sherri Dew, president and CEO of Deseret Book Company; Brad Wilcox, professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Brigham Young University; and Thurl Bailey, former professional basketball player who spent 12 seasons in the NBA, were amongst the keynote speakers.
“The best thing about this conference was the workshops," said Tori Ogle of Mobile. "You could really feel the spirit and you could tell that everyone else felt it, too.”
Additionally, the conference featured ‘getting to know you’ games, an evening ‘red carpet’ formal dance, and a choice of service projects including attending a blood drive and crafting blankets for Project Linus, an organization that provides blankets for children in need.
“The games really helped those who were complete strangers become friends” commented Raven Beckner from Daphne. “I loved every minute of it!”
The unprecedented conference serves as the capstone event of a three-month long invitation and outreach program aimed at enriching the lives of the Church’s young, single adults in the participating 10 states.
Elder Rulon Munns, a member of the Church’s Quorum of the Seventy from Orlando commented, “This is the first time in history that the Church has sponsored an area wide conference in the South east for the Young Single Adults. Never before have thousands of Young Single Adults worked together, served together and rejoiced together as they have in the activities leading up to the conference and the conference itself.”