DVD, Online Materials Highlight 2012 Mutual Theme
Heather Wrigley, Church News and Events
Strength of Youth Media 2012: Arise and Shine Forth is a collection of video and music resources centered on the 2012 mutual theme for young men and young women that will be available online in mid-December, with copies of DVDs sent to units in early 2012.
The mutual theme—“Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations” (D&C 115:5)—comes from a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith at Far West, Missouri, in 1838. It was addressed to the presiding officers of the Church at the time, but as the Mutual theme it applies to youth ages 12 to 18 throughout the Church.
“When young women join us at age 12, they are given a necklace with a torch on it to remind them to arise and shine forth,” said Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president. “This will happen as they serve others, as they live the standards found in the new For the Strength of Youth booklet, and as they remain worthy of a temple recommend and use it to do the work for those who did not receive the gospel in this life.”
Young Men general president David L. Beck said the same is true of young men throughout the Church: “Christ is our light. His light shines through us as we arise and follow Him,” he said. “We invite the young men to arise and shine forth by fulfilling their sacred priesthood duty to invite all to come unto Christ.”
Church leaders indicate the theme may be used to enrich Mutual opening exercises, as the topic for sacrament meeting talks by youth, and to provide focus for youth activities such as camp and devotionals. It may also be used as the focus of special cultural events and other dance, music, and drama activities.
Church leaders suggest that local youth leaders introduce the theme by using the new online resources or DVD.
Youth.lds.org will launch the online materials, which will include downloadable graphics centered on the theme that youth leaders can use to create posters and T-shirts for youth conferences.
More free downloadable songs and sheet music, much of it co-written and sung by youth, will be added throughout the year. All sections of the DVD will also be available online.
The DVD contains a collection of 15 videos, ranging from three to six minutes in length, that tell the stories of youth from Brazil, Dominican Republic, North America, and Philippines. It also includes a music video of the 2012 Mutual theme song, “Arise.”
In one video, teenager Hector talks about his conversion to the gospel after reading the Book of Mormon for the first time and praying about it. Sixteen people have joined the Church because of his example.
“The videos are simple examples of individuals sharing their testimony or reaching out to another person,” said project manager Chad Strang. “We didn’t want youth to feel like arising and shining forth means they have to do these huge, unobtainable things. We wanted them to know that it’s through simple and small acts of kindness and love that they can express who they are as children of God.”
Sister Dalton said this resource will help young women realize that they are not alone. “Be confident,” she said. “This is your moment to arise and shine and be a light to the nations.”
The DVD will also include three short messages from Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Sister Dalton, and Brother Beck.
“The purpose is to provide leaders, parents, and youth with rich media sources on the annual Mutual theme that they can use in a variety of lessons and activities,” said Ray D. Robinson, director of music and cultural arts for the Priesthood Department.
Brother Beck emphasized that the online materials and DVD may be used to supplement family home evenings, quorum meetings, classes, youth conferences, bishops’ youth discussions, and other youth activities throughout the year.
“We especially encourage youth, parents, advisers, and leaders to freely share these inspiring stories with those who need Christ in their life,” he said. “Using online technology is a powerful way for our youth to arise and shine forth.”
The resources will be available in Cantonese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Additional support materials will be available in the New Era and Liahona magazines at the beginning of 2012.