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Finding spiritual strength at a modern Zion's Camp

Published: Sunday, June 13 2010 9:00 a.m. MDT

KIRTLAND, Ohio — This Zion's Camp didn't include a multi-day hike or a torrential storm. But like the Zion's Camp of Joseph Smith's day, it did include spiritual strengthening as more than 350 young single adults from across the United States gathered together during Memorial Day weekend for Zion's Camp, an annual YSA conference held in historic Kirtland, Ohio.

A tradition in Kirtland for more than 15 years, Zion's Camp includes spending three days on the sacred grounds of Kirtland. This year, John Bytheway and his wife Kim came to Ohio and shared inspiring messages with the young single adults and Karl Anderson, also known as "Mr. Kirtland" because of his extensive knowledge of and work in Kirtland, is a regular attendant and speaker

at Zion's Camp.

During the course of the weekend, young single adults participated in games, workshops, devotionals, a dance and service projects. One group of young single adults served at the LDS Historic Kirtland Visitor's Center and Village, working on the landscaping.

On Sunday morning, the young single adults had a testimony meeting, including the sacrament, inside the Kirtland Temple, which is owned by the Community of Christ. While sitting in the same pews as the early Saints who heard to the prophet Joseph Smith preach, young single adults who attended Zion's Camp listened to Anderson beautifully described the day that the temple was dedicated in 1836. After the testimony meeting, young single adults visited and tour the Historic Kirtland sites, including the Kirtland Temple and Visitor's Center, the LDS Historic Kirtland Visitor's Center, the Newel K. Whitney store and home, and the John Johnson Inn.

"Zion's Camp is truly a spiritual uplift for all who participate. What a blessing it is for the young singles to meet among the sacred historic sites of Kirtland and to feel the strength of the Spirit," said Kirtland Stake President Michael Haymond, who presided over Zion's Camp. "It is wonderful to see the young people excited to be together, having fun in activity and dance, being instructed in the doctrines of the Kingdom, and bearing strong and pure testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Josette Alboreo is the Zion's Camp co-chairwoman.

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