News Release

Sibu Youth Press Forward

Four months ago, Tony and Sherrie Bodell, Seminary and Institute missionaries for Malaysia, challenged the youth leaders of the local Seminary Council to plan and organize the annual Sibu District Youth Conference, which would be held in December, 2015. Though these youth had attended a youth conference one year prior; they had never faced the responsibility to organize such an event themselves. The conference was held December 7-9, 2015, at the Sibu District Center of the Malaysian Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The youth planning council selected the theme "Press forward with Steadfastness in Christ" as the theme of the conference, based on the YM/YW theme for 2016. They then set about to organize the three day affair. The Council goal was to reach every youth in the local congregations and provide them an opportunity to be strengthened and empowered by embracing the power of Jesus Christ in their lives. 

Forty-five youth, ages 14 -18, from local congregations in the Sibu, East Malaysia District, accepted the invitation to attend Youth Conference. Opening speaker, Michael Chua, a local leader exhorted the youth to "use the friendship you have for one another as a tool for good. Encourage your friends to be a little better each day and you should strive to be better also." President Chua promised them if they kept good friends, their own lives would be richer. He said "God will bless you as you try to be a good example." 

The youth participated in activities which included team building games, workshops on chastity, strong and lasting marriage, reverence, and missionary work. After playing a blindfold game one youth said "I got lost trying to get to the destination, and but there were voices I knew I could trust to help me find my way.  I am grateful for good friends who can help me live the gospel." Another young man commented "This is my third youth conference and each time I come away with more friends, a stronger testimony of what is right, and I am filled with goodness."

At the conclusion of the three day event, Seminary Council President Rolyn remarked, "I am exhausted. I've never been so tired, but my heart is full and everyone has grown because they came to this conference. I think we accomplished our goal".

Conferences for youth, such as this, are held annually for the youth of the Mormon Church throughout the world. Young people are strengthened, lasting friendships are made and youth learn skills that propel them to a better life.  

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