Thousands Attend Latino Cultural Events Featuring Elder Christofferson, David Archuleta

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 26 October 2015

David Archuleta sings as "Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa" is performed at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015.  Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

“You are and will continue to be a tremendous force for good. You can be a shining light to those who walk in darkness.” —Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve

Today’s youth live in a day marked by both historic peril and promise. Blessings and protection await young people when they exercise faith and build their relationship with the Lord.

That was a central theme of a three-day Spanish-language event for Latter-day Saint Latinos at the Conference Center.

On October 23 and 24, a large cast of young Latinos from across Utah staged a cultural event in the Conference Center. The multimedia gathering featured colorful dances and songs—along with prerecorded video messages from young members from a variety of Latin American nations.

American Idol alum and returned missionary David Archuleta sings during the Latino cultural event “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The Latino cultural event “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” is performed at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

American Idol alum and returned missionary David Archuleta talks with his sister during the Latino cultural event “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson speaks to LDS Latinos during a Sunday devotional October 25 at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Entitled “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” (Light of the Nations: Youth of the Promise), the celebration concluded Sunday, October 25, with a devotional message from Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

American Idol alum and returned missionary David Archuleta and singer Rebecca Penailillo performed each evening at the Conference Center. Brother Archuleta also shared his testimony at the Sunday devotional.

The Church has hosted several Latino-themed events over the past several years, typically in autumn or around Christmas. This year’s program focused on the youth and the blessings and opportunities awaiting them as they grow and serve others.

During the cultural event, dances and songs from Spanish-speaking lands such as Mexico, Argentina, and the nations in the Caribbean and South America prompted cheers from the diverse crowd.

Another staple of Latino culture—soccer—was also on display. Dancers reenacted a “futbol” match on the Conference Center stage. The youth choir doubled as animated fans—even unfurling a massive banner after their favorite “team” scored a goal.

A youth orchestra also performed at all events.

During the cultural celebration, the songs and dances were bookended by several video presentations featuring young people and families from across Latin America. In the videos, they introduced their families and shared the joy discovered in missionary service, temple work, and living gospel principles.

The young men and young women highlighted in the video spoke of the joys of knowing Christ’s love. They are not ashamed of the gospel and are dedicated to creating a better world as they live lives anchored by values.

A returned missionary from Chile, Brother Archuleta saluted his second home with a familiar Chilean song, “Si vas para Chile.”

On Sunday, Brother Archuleta sang several LDS-themed songs and shared his testimony of the gospel and the many blessings that can be realized by the youth. Young people in the Church, he said, can find strength through the living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. Other key blessings include the scriptures, the temple, and the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

 

In his Sabbath devotional, Elder Christofferson spoke, in Spanish, of building a relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

“That relationship will become our rock, our foundation in life,” he said.

Elder Christofferson also encouraged his listeners to read the scriptures regularly.

“We can’t consume large amounts once a week and think it will sustain us,” he said. “We need daily physical and spiritual nourishment that is found in the word of God.”

Daily prayer, he taught, allows one to know God and the Savior.

“Spend time on your knees in prayer. Tell your Heavenly Father what worries and what concerns you. As you sincerely pray to Him and tell Him the desires of your heart, He will listen to yours. He will be there to comfort you and to guide you.”

Young people can also develop a close personal relationship with the Father and the Son by completely submitting to the will of God.

Elder Christofferson also spoke to the youth about preparing for the joy and rewards of marriage. He encouraged them to seek a good education and pray for help to do well in school. Live a clean life, make wise entertainment choices, and “avoid pornography as you would a poisonous snake.”

The world needs the goodness and strength found in the youth of the Church, he said.

“You are and will continue to be a tremendous force for good. You can be a shining light to those who walk in darkness.”

 

The Latino cultural event “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” is performed at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The Latino cultural event “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” is performed at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson speaks to LDS Latinos during a Sunday devotional October 25 at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Latino cultural event “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” is performed at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The Latino cultural event “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” is performed at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The Latino cultural event “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” is performed at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The Latino cultural event “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” is performed at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The Latino cultural event “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” is performed at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The Latino cultural event “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” is performed at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The Latino cultural event “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” is performed at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

The Latino cultural event “Luz de las naciones: Juventud de la promesa” is performed at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.