Handbook 2:
Administering the Church

 

13.4 Youth Conference

Young men and young women ages 14 to 18 are invited to participate together in an activity or series of activities called youth conference. Youth conferences are usually held once each year on a ward or stake level. They may also be held on a multistake or area level.

The purposes of youth conferences are to help youth build faith in Jesus Christ, strengthen their testimonies, develop talents, make new friends, and have fun with youth who share similar beliefs and standards. Youth can also learn leadership skills as they assist in planning youth conferences.

Ward youth conferences are planned and carried out by the bishopric youth committee, under the direction of the bishopric. The bishopric obtains the stake presidency’s approval of plans for a ward youth conference.

Stake youth conferences are planned and carried out by the stake Aaronic Priesthood–Young Women committee, under the direction of the stake presidency. Youth should be invited to assist the committee as much as possible in planning stake youth conferences. The stake presidency may invite youth to attend the committee’s meetings as needed.

Youth conferences are to be funded from the stake or ward budget. Members should not be asked to pay for youth conferences.

As leaders and youth plan a youth conference, they should observe the policies in this chapter and the following guidelines:

  1. 1.

    Select a gospel theme, such as a scripture, that will inspire the youth and help them understand the expectations of the conference. The annual Mutual theme could be used as the youth conference theme. The bishopric or stake presidency should approve the theme.

  2. 2.

    Plan activities such as devotionals, group meetings, learning experiences, and service projects that are consistent with the theme.

  3. 3.

    Obtain approval of the bishopric or stake presidency for all speakers and activities. Speakers should be Church members who teach by the Spirit. Speakers who primarily entertain, with only casual reference to the gospel, should not be selected. Nor should speakers who would have to travel long distances be selected. See 21.1.20 for other guidelines concerning speakers.

  4. 4.

    Avoid scheduling events for Sunday that are not appropriate for the Sabbath day. Testimony meetings, bishopric youth discussions, or similar meetings are permitted. However, sacrament meetings are not to be held—and the sacrament is not to be administered—outside the boundaries of the ward or stake where the priesthood leaders preside. Any exceptions must be approved by a member of the Presidency of the Seventy or the Area Presidency. Groups should not travel to or from youth conference on a Sunday.

  5. 5.

    Ensure that adequate adult supervision is present at all times (see 13.6.2).

Members of the bishopric or stake presidency are invited to attend as much of the conference as possible. Young Men and Young Women presidencies are encouraged to attend the entire conference.