News Release

Kuala Lumpur District Youth Conference Focuses on the 2016 Mutual Theme

A lovely lively chartered bus filled with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pulled into its stunning wilderness destination in the Genting Highlands, outside of Kuala Lumpur. The 50 smiling youth and leaders disembarked, collected their belongings and climbed the rugged stairway to the deck of the Awana Genting Long House.  The Kuala Lumpur District 2016 Youth Conference began!

After checking out their sleeping quarters in large rooms with bedrolls and pillows placed atop, the 14 - 18 year old young people assembled for instructions.  Dinner was the first order of business at the nearby pavilion! A buffet featuring local foods with rice and vegetables, tofu and chicken greeted them.  The Young Men were very patient as the Young Women got priority in line.  As conversations and picture taking ensued, a gentle rain turned into a downpour, but it was short-lived.  The good-natured group then re-convened on the covered deck of the Long House, where “Passports” were issued for the 24 hour long event.

This year’s Conference Theme is “Press Forward,” based on the Book of Mormon scripture in 2 Nephi 31:20, which reads, “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.”

The evening continued with a presentation on maintaining balance in life, showing a chair to represent the five areas of life where balance is needed; Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Social.  Skits were then prepared and presented, each one representing a different feature of the scripture.  For example, one skit illustrated the importance of feasting upon the words of Christ.  People then gathered around the campfire to sing songs and have s’mores. While some rousing and silly traditional campfire songs were sung, the group also sang some reverent, faith promoting, thought provoking Church songs like the Primary Song, “If the Savior Stood Beside Me.” 

The next day, after hiking in the damp woods, where leeches entertained many of the group, the youth engaged in activities to reinforce the scripture theme.  One workshop dealt with brightness of hope.  To demonstrate and reinforce the concepts involved, all were asked to sketch a tree.  The roots depicted what gives support in life, like our families, the Savior, the prophets, our friends within the Church, faith, a desire to do good, temple attendance, etc.  The trunk illustrated traits that strengthen us, like wisdom, courage, good works, empathy, patience, humility and obedience.  The branches show the areas we work on throughout our lives, like education, a career, our talents, eternal life with our families, and financial stability. Finally, the fruits that the tree bears will be good or ill, depending upon the efforts of the other parts of the tree. 

The Young Men and Young Women were given Conference tee shirts.  They participated in group photos, a service project, and a final testimony meeting before boarding the bus on the return trip Saturday evening.

A  number of unselfish leaders gave of their time and talents to contribute to the conference’s success.  They not only planned and prepared activities in advance, but they also taught classes and chaperoned the attending youth.  Their objectives were to help the youth find unique opportunities to develop lasting friendships, grow spiritually, develop talents and gain confidence in living the Lord’s standards of youth in a caring, trusting, accepting and exciting atmosphere. 

Attending a Youth Conference is just one of the many benefits of being a Mormon youth, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In a message to the Youth*, the First Presidency states, “…Your Heavenly Father wants your life to be joyful and to lead you back into His presence…Because the Lord loves you, He has given you commandments and the words of prophets to guide you on your journey.”  Wonderful promises are given to those who do what the Lord asks.  Youth Conference is an activity to build spirituality and help Youth have confidence in their abilities to always act as though the Savior stood beside them.

*”For the Strength of Youth - Fulfilling Our Duty to God” pamphlet, pg. 2

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