The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a five-day “For the Strength of Youth” conference in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. 370 youth ages 14-18 participated. The theme of the conference was “Press Forward” as taken from the Book of Mormon: “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20).
Each day there was a very full schedule with prayer, scripture study and lessons about many gospel topics including faith, obedience, repentance and the atonement. The youth were also instructed in personal worthiness, honesty, integrity, sexual purity and other moral values.
The teenage participants were most appreciative of the guidance and instruction received. Some of their comments following the inspiring conference included:
“I have learned to love the scriptures and I’m committed to studying them daily.”
“I want to learn more about my family history. I want to know my ancestors, so I’m going to get actively involved in genealogy.”
“When I go home I am going to share the gospel truths that I have learned with my family.”
“I have learned the true meaning of a testimony and how to share it with others.”
As the conference came to a close, the youth felt strengthened and better prepared to face the challenges and temptations of their generation.
The participants were from the Durban and Hillcrest Stakes, and the Newcastle and Richards Bay Districts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in KwaZulu-Natal. Over 50 counsellors provided instruction, guidance and supervision for this spiritually uplifting event.