Seven is Christie Kight’s favorite number these days. She recently took second place in the National Junior Olympics for the heptathlon, in which athletes compete in seven track-and-field events. Christie, a Laurel in the Auburn Washington Stake, says that after all her practice and hard work, the most important thing she did was pray to do her best.
And her best is exactly what she did, setting personal records in high jump, javelin, and shot put.
Is your stake planning a youth conference this summer? As we prepare future articles about youth conference, we’d appreciate hearing about what you’ll be doing. Please send a short description of your conference, along with your stake and phone number, to 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.
How do you stand out in a field of very qualified students? That was the question facing Liberty Belleza, a native of Muntilupa City, Philippines.
Her hometown was conducting a search among the city’s 15 high schools to find the ten most outstanding students based on scholarship, talent, and extracurricular activities, and Liberty was a finalist.
Liberty, 17, a member of the Las Pinas Second Ward, Las Pinas Stake, was interviewed, given an IQ test, and asked to perform in the talent presentation segment. But it was in the interview portion, with a group of dignitaries as panelists, that Liberty did something surprising. Instead of talking about academics, she changed the focus.
“I introduced myself as a Latter-day Saint, and after that their questions were almost all related to our religion,” Liberty says. “I told them about the Book of Mormon, and I told them about the Word of Wisdom and the Young Women values.”
In the end, Liberty was one of the ten selected, and she is now a freshman at the University of Philippines. “It was a good experience for me, especially when I bore my testimony. It felt good to share the gospel,” she says.
Youth in Redlands, California, received high marks for their marksmanship at youth conference. Hitting a target before they were allowed to eat breakfast was part of an all-day event that focused on the Book of Mormon. The youth learned that, much like the pioneers that would follow hundreds of years later, the faithful Saints in the Book of Mormon have left behind a legacy of faith and courage.
After a long day of reading, role playing, and talking about the Book of Mormon, the youth held a testimony meeting.
“When I stood below the tower of King Benjamin and repeated what his people had said, I was there!” said one participant. “I asked for mercy and stated that I believed in Jesus Christ, and I really meant it.”
Spending an evening at the Catholic Community Services food pantry bagging groceries for patrons was a great way for the youth of the Clinton (Utah) Tenth Ward to serve the needy in their community. It was also a great way to have a good time.
As a member of the Buckhorn High School marching band in Huntsville, Alabama, for more than three years, 17-year-old Jennifer Hunt (center, with other members of the band) has had plenty of opportunities to share her music. Since she is also the only member of the Church in her band, she has also had plenty of opportunities to share her testimony.
Starting with her freshman year in high school, when she would carry her seminary manual with her from early-morning seminary to school, friends from the band have been full of questions about the gospel. Later, during a band tour of Washington, D.C., Jennifer got to explain about temple worship and the importance Latter-day Saints place on it.
Although there aren’t many LDS students in Jennifer’s school, she realizes that, “because of the Church, I have friends all over the world who are as busy as I am and are still getting to all their meetings and trying to do all of the things they should. That helps me do it.”