2019 Youth Theme Resources Include Album and Concert—by Youth, for Youth

Contributed By Eleanor Cain Adams, LDS.org Church News staff writer

  • 12 February 2019

Youth artists from the 2019 Mutual theme album receive applause at the annual Mutual album concert on January 15, 2019, in the Tabernacle at Temple Square. The youth recorded and helped write songs for the album If We Love Him.

Article Highlights

  • Songs from the Mutual theme album entertain and strengthen testimonies of youth.
  • Now youth can watch the video of a concert featuring performances of songs recorded and written by youth for the Mutual Theme album.

“[The Mutual album] is a really strong driving force, especially for youth that are looking for things that are positive in the world today.” —Judy Alba, Temple Square Performances administrator

Youth started filling the Tabernacle pews at Temple Square, smiling and chattering as their ward leaders shuffled them along to settle in their seats before the concert began. But those few hundred Sunday-dress-clad youth weren’t the only ones about to watch the 2019 Mutual theme album concert.

Thousands more youth as far away as the Philippines, Argentina, and Saudi Arabia were tuning in via Facebook live, sharing their excitement for the concert through Facebook comments with smiling and waving emoji.

Although Temple Square Performances coordinator Stephen Breinholt suspected some youth attended the Tuesday-night concert somewhat reluctantly (as Breinholt, his own ward’s Young Men president, would know), he saw their attitudes shift the moment the music began.

“Some youth seem to come with a lot of skepticism—not sure if they're going to like the activity,” Breinholt laughed, “and then they hear this music—they see these youth singing, they hear the talent level, they get the connection to what some of the text is in the music—and it starts to really impact them. I think they’re shocked. They’re surprised that it’s as powerful for them as it is.”

The 2019 Mutual album concert on January 15 showcased music from the 2019 Mutual album, If We Love Him. The album is one of the Mutual theme resources available for Latter-day Saint youth as they learn more about the 2019 theme in John 14:15: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

The Mutual album concert—now in its second year—featured performances from youth singers who helped record and write songs on this year’s Mutual album, including the 2019 theme song, “If We Love Him.” The album (available for free download) is now in its seventh year and features a variety of uplifting, modern songs by youth, for youth worldwide. The video of the concert is another good resource to help youth learn and appreciate the 2019 Mutual theme.

“Our audience is way out there in other places across the world,” Breinholt said of the concert’s intended international audience, “and they really appreciate this concert. They’re looking for these kinds of resources and connection.”

A unified message for youth everywhere

Each year, the Mutual theme song is translated into over 30 languages. Often, the song is performed and recorded by Church members all over the world. The entire album is translated in Spanish and Portuguese, though some local areas in Europe and other countries also translate and record songs themselves.

Mutual theme product manager Fernando Camilo said the theme has a special unifying power for youth across the globe. From sharing the same 2019 theme T-shirts at For the Strength of Youth conferences to singing the same theme song in their native language, he said the single message creates a camaraderie between youth everywhere in their journey to learn about the Mutual theme scripture.

“There are youth in Japan and youth in Ghana and youth in France all learning about this scripture together—a lot of them memorizing it,” Camilo said. “It’s a unique experience that every year there’s something to look forward to. They love it—just look at the social media comments.”

Jordan James sings his song, “Merciful,” from the 2019 Mutual album at a dress rehearsal for the Mutual album concert. Photo by Judy Alba.

Elica Moore sings her song, “Rest,” from the 2019 Mutual album at a dress rehearsal for the Mutual album concert. Photo by Judy Alba.

Claire Westcott sings her song, “His Name,” from the 2019 Mutual album at a dress rehearsal for the Mutual album concert. Photo by Judy Alba.

Indeed—over 18,000 viewers tuned in to the 2019 Mutual album concert via Facebook live alone, leaving almost 500 comments of praise: “This music is beautiful!” wrote one youth; “I can feel God’s love through these songs. Thank youuu!!!” commented another. Youth even left comments in other languages: “Gracias por esto, lo necesitaba” (Thank you for this, I needed it).

Youth were also invited to participate during the concert via social media by sending Instagram messages to @ldsyouth explaining how the gospel has brought them happiness.

One of many responders, a young man named Marshall wrote: “There’s one thing I can always, always rely on: the grace of God. He hears us, He knows us, but most importantly, He loves us. Hearing these singers and the Spirit that has been here so far has brought me so much joy and happiness. Christ truly does live, and, by His grace, loves us more than we will ever know.”

For Camilo, the songs on the Mutual album can serve as reminders of testimonies youth already have about gospel principles. “The Spirit touches them in a way that reminds them of the truth of the principle in the song, and the good melodies just help to carry the message through.”

The power of music to build testimony

Seeing other youth on stage performing faith-building songs about Christ and the Church was powerful for the youth watching the concert, said Temple Square Performances administrator Judy Alba.

“They didn’t realize that these songs were so tailored to them and to what they’re going through,” she said. “Some of them had never even heard the songs before they came, so they were excited to know that there was something out there especially for them.”

Talin Everett sings his song, “Forget,” from the 2019 Mutual album at a dress rehearsal for the Mutual album concert. Photo by Judy Alba.

Many of the youth leaders in attendance were surprised as well, Breinholt said. After all, most of the songs aren’t exactly the sort you’d expect to find in a typical sacrament meeting. “In some ways, that’s a real bonus,” he said. “It’s the kind of music youth want to listen to during their week to get them pumped up and jazzed up.”

But more than that, the songs are geared toward giving youth a testimony-building resource to turn to amid the negative media pervading their daily routines. Music, Alba said, can be an especially poignant tool for good.

“Music is the quickest way to touch somebody’s soul,” she said. “It just seems to be something that can immediately give a feeling or bear testimony of the words that are spoken. It’s a really strong driving force, especially for youth that are looking for things that are positive in the world today.”

More than anything, Breinholt pointed out, the 2019 Mutual album and concert are meant to help youth know that there are positive, uplifting resources for them to access through the Church.

“We want to help the youth—wherever they are,” Breinholt said. “Since we have powerful music that's been created, my hope is to get that music out so that people know it's there and know that this is a resource to help them out.”

2019 Mutual theme resources

Youth, leaders, and other Church members are welcome to explore the following free 2019 Mutual theme resources on the 2019 youth theme homepage:

Nicole Luz, a youth singer from Brazil, performs a song in Portuguese at the 2019 Mutual theme album concert on January 15, 2019.

Youth artists from the 2019 Mutual theme album take a bow after the Mutual album concert on January 15, 2019, in the Tabernacle at Temple Square.

Youth artists from the 2019 Mutual theme album sing at a dress rehearsal. Photo courtesy of Judy Alba.

Church composer Nik Day and guitarist Brady Bills accompany youth performers at a dress rehearsal for the 2019 Mutual theme album concert. Photo by Judy Alba.