Young adults with mission calls view upcoming LDS conference differently

Published: Monday, April 1 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

He asked his bishop for tickets to general conference on the slim chance they might be available. To his surprise, his bishop came back with tickets others had sacrificed so Levi could attend one final conference before his mission.

During his shifts working at Village Cleaners, he reads his scriptures and tries to get in three chapters a day, whereas before he read only when he had spare time.

In preparation for general conference, Levi has worked on taking better notes. His note-taking was not very structured in the past, but he has a newfound motivation to gain knowledge so he can more successfully teach people who are investigating the church.

Next to notes that relate to him — areas he feels he needs to work on or that tie into his patriarchal blessing — he puts a "P" for "personal." Other notes will have an "O" for "others" marked next to them.

Brandon Clark, a senior at Bingham High School, said he will listen more intently to the messages in general conference so he can receive spiritual guidance before he reports for mission service in the Tampa Bay Florida Mission in July. For him, the mission age change announcement “totally was an awakening.”

He will prepare specific, detailed questions before conference, especially those he has not yet been able to answer up to this point in his mission preparation. He expects he will receive answers as he listens to the addresses.

The spiritual discipline acquired by Levi, Brandon and Kaleb is not unusual among the high school young men with mission calls. Carly Barton, a senior at Brighton High, said she has noticed a distinct shift in how open people are about religion. The young men who have their mission calls have been more interested and willing to participate in seminary. The young men have been more friendly and excited, which has caused greater unity throughout the school.

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