3-day youth conference encourages participants to become perfected in Christ

By Ramona Siddoway

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, May 11 2014 10:55 p.m. MDT

“Being called as co-chair was terrifying at first,” Alyssa Stewart said. “I had no idea what I was doing, I had never been on a committee before, I was really uncomfortable speaking in front of people, and I didn't know hardly anyone on the committee. It was a bit rough and overwhelming to begin planning everything, but eventually we fell into a rhythm. We worked really well as a committee and months flew by.”

“It was a Book of Mormon youth conference, but Christ was our theme,” said co-chair Jaren Strader, “and we hoped that after youth conference was over that they (the youths) would allow Christ to be the theme of their lives.”

But when it was all said and done, both co-chairs spoke of their love of the Klein Stake youth.

“As I looked down at those kids (as I spoke from the tower) and they looked up at us so expectantly, I realized that I did love them,” Stewart said. “How could I not? After all the driving, the meetings, the tears, the prayers, the fasting. In all that service I had done for them I fell in love with them. All those kids; I didn't even know their names. And as youth conference progressed, I just came to feel that love even more. In the way they served each other, and the way they would laugh and play, and the comments they made during the rotations, I just could feel the Savior’s love for them.

“People say that the generations keep getting progressively worse,” Stewart said, adding, “but youth conference taught me that they also get progressively better. These youth are unbelievably strong and valiant. I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve them. And with Christ, we will love, convert and perfect these people.”

Ramona Siddoway is a freelance writer who has published articles in Belgium, Angola, and the United States. She lives with her husband in Houston. Read more at anauthenticpractice.com or ramonasiddoway.com

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