Family History, temple work and service were the themes at a recent Conference held for youth of the Leeds Stake. Through a series of activities, they were able to learn more about various temples around the world, better understand the mission of Elijah and discover how to research and prepare their own names for temple ordinance work.
The weekend started with the youth dividing into groups to discuss interesting stories and facts about a specific temple, about which they then designed a T-shirt. Next came a series of physical challenges such as running, cycling and rowing to achieve a total combined distance of 50 miles (the distance from the Leeds Third Ward Chapel to the Preston Temple). Each mile achieved earned a line on a map to indicate how much closer they were getting to their goal.
The evening concluded with an inspiring Bible video, showing Jesus Christ as a boy teaching the reason for Elijah’s return and the eternal importance of “turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”
On Saturday morning, the youth got the chance to engage in their own family history research. Having come prepared to receive help, twelve family history experts from around the stake were able to show the young members how to conduct research, enter the names found into Family Tree and produce family ordinance request forms for submission to the Temple. Of the 34 youth who participated, ten were successful in finding names and printing the forms, which achievement was greeted by a rousing cheer and round of applause from others in the room!
Meanwhile, the remainder of the youth were out working at Bramley Park on a 'Helping Hands' project, two miles from the chapel. Under the supervision of the Council Parks Department Ranger, Jon Dunster, they planted just under 3,000 wild flower plants and various species of trees. With no resources for this type of project, the Council relies on volunteers and Mr Dunster was most impressed by the hard work, dedication and even enjoyment displayed by this particular group of volunteers.
Later Saturday evening, the youth returned to their groups to build replicas of the temples they had been learning about, with a prize being awarded to the winning team. The conference was brought to an end with a devotional presided over by President Justin McKeown of the Leeds Stake Presidency.