Drawing from stories found in the Book of Mormon, full-time seminary teacher and youth speaker Ryan Sharp gave a live presentation about engaging in the battle against evil and wickedness in the latter days to LDS youths. It has since been recorded to a new audio CD titled "Engage in the Battle: Latter-day strategies for today's stripling warriors."
Sharp talks about each one of his children during the first 10 minutes of the 54-minute audio recording. Based on the "oohs" and "aahs" of the audience, it sounds like he was showing audience members slides of his children. These visual aids are lost on the audio recording, however. The recorded crowd often reacts to something listeners cannot see. And there are visuals at various moments during his entire talk, so listeners may feel disconnected at times.
Using experiences with his kids, Sharp introduces the topic "Engaging in the Battle." He continues with several quotes from modern-day leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about the real battle that is raging for the souls of men and women.
Turning to the Book of Mormon to illustrate the three main points of his presentation, Sharp reads from Chapter 43 of Alma by retelling the story of two great Book of Mormon generals: Moroni and Zerahemnah.
The three main points he illustrates are:
The scriptures are an offensive weapon. The sword of the Spirit is the word of God.
Fight with passion and zeal in the battle we are engaged in and God will be with us.
Satan attacks families, so families must be defended.
Sharp is a good storyteller and uses a variety of scriptures, quotes from LDS leaders and personal stories to drive home his points. One of the best stories he tells is about a young man he taught and baptized while on his mission.
This touching missionary story illustrates the second point of Sharp's presentation about fighting with passion and zeal. The young man he baptized was filled with light and zeal and was later baptized. He served a mission, got married in the temple and continues to remain active to this day.
Aside from the issues listeners should be aware — primarily the missing visuals — the CD, which is also available in an MP3 format, does contain some inspiring stories, positive examples and interesting information.
Ryan Morgenegg is a multimedia specialist for the Deseret News.