The Europe Rising Generation summer Reach and Rise programme was planned to compensate across the UK and Ireland, for cancelled FSY (For the Strength of Youth) sessions, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Heavenly Father truly guided it.
I volunteered to be a young adult counsellor to the youth in my stake. My responsibility was to go through the scheduled lesson plans with the youth in my assigned group, every morning for an hour. Each lesson followed a theme inviting young adults and youth, to get themselves mentally, physically, and spiritually to the Temple, even though at home.
The youth and young adults each had a physical distance goal, equivalent to the number of miles from Cheltenham Stake centre to the London Temple. The miles completed, through local walking, running or other exercises, were recorded each day to help stay motivated. I’m proud to say that my group collectively ‘covered’ the 129 miles to the London Temple.
The mental and spiritual goals were more personal – the intention for each person being to increase their mental and spiritual efforts so that, by the end of the week, they felt they carried the same spirit that they would have felt if they had visited the temple.
At the end of the Reach and Rise week the youth were invited to a socially distanced event to gather and celebrate. I know, for at least a few, it was the highlight of their summer.
The summer of 2020 was generally dull and lonely, but it was made brighter through the Reach and Rise programme. Just as intended, I benefited from it mentally, spiritually, and physically. I was also blessed socially. I loved seeing so many of my young adult friends jump at the opportunity to get involved. I took comfort in the fact that we were doing this to support one another; to have fun together and to edify one another as the Rising Generation in God’s kingdom.
In July 2021, I hope we follow the patterns set by Heavenly Father and the leaders of this programme, as we young adults serve each other in uplifting ways.