Book of Mormon LDS Youth Conference Ideas

Our stake Youth Conference this summer was absolutely amazing. It was based solely on the Book of Mormon, and the entire thing from start to finish was something I will never forget. My testimony of the Book of Mormon {which I shared in THIS POST}  is strengthened, and I know a lot of the kids felt the same way. Testimony meeting the Sunday after was probably the most spiritual testimony meeting I have ever been to in my life.

For those of you who are LDS, I figured you may want to know details about what we did, but if you aren’t LDS it may be interesting to hear about what we did too. 

First of all, a “stake” is a geographical area in the LDS church, and youth conference is for the 14-18 year olds. So if you want details or are curious, I’ll tell you all about it. 

I was only a small part of the planning, so I want to give proper credit to those on the committee, so that’s why I will try my best to name those who did a lot of the work. 

Karen and Matt Fergusen are an amazing couple in our stake who were asked by our stake presidency to be in charge of youth conference this year. I think I have thanked them 100 times for letting Dan and I help. I genuinely felt lucky to be a part of such a wonderful event. I felt the love of God firsthand. I felt His hand directing us, and like I said before, I was only a small part of the planning. 

Look how cute the Fergusons are! 🙂 {Sidenote: Jen Hurst took all of the amazing pictures! Check out her Instagram page}. Amy and Wes Nance helped a ton too. They were the Fergusen’s assistants in planning youth conference. Dan and Shelly Flake were in charge of the tribe games, and Dan built our iron rod and amphitheater. 

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In October 2016, the Ferguson’s had a Youth Conference fireside and challenged those who would be attending youth conference to read the entire Book of Mormon before Youth Conference. 

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This is the section of the Book of Mormon that is called “Moroni’s Promise.”

Moroni’s promise is at the end of the Book of Mormon, and in short, it promises those who want to know if the Book of Mormon is true to read it and ask with a sincere heart  if the book is true. And if they do these things, God will testify to them individually of its truthfulness. 

The youth {and adults} of our stake were encouraged to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and ask God if it’s true. 

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Karen and Matt found the perfect place to have our youth conference. A member of our stake named Alan Heaton owns 200+ acres near Glendale Utah. Karen said as soon as she got out of the truck the fist time, she knew she was in the right place for the event. Alan opened up his cabin, his land, and his heart to our stake youth, and I will forever be grateful for his service. We were able to go up to the Heaton property a few times beforehand, and every time we went up, Alan was taking such detailed care of his property for the youth. He even walked the property himself to exterminate ants. 

Alan is the best! 

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Look how beautiful his property is…

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He built an amphitheater and stage in the side of a mountain, and even opened up his cabin to the stake leaders. The youth used the stage to do skits about Book of Mormon stories and compare them to this day and age. 

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The kids and leaders were asked to dress in Book of Mormon attire, and it was really cool to see their creativity.

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The Ferguson’s had prayed for inspiration on which stories from the Book of Mormon should be a big part of the youth conference schedule, and as soon as they decided, a committee was formed to help. Since I had just finished reading the Book of Mormon myself {like I discussed in THIS post}, the stories were fresh to my memory, and I knew it was the most important book on Earth, and when I was asked,  I could not wait to help. 

The first night of youth conference started with a short fireside by a member of the Stake Presidency who was “Nephi.” He discussed how Nephi and Sam were obedient but Laman and Lemuel just didn’t get it. How they were always disobeying their father Lehi. Later that night, the kids got to experience first hand a reenactment of Lehi’s dream. 

This is the part of youth conference that Dan and I got to help with.

Lehi’s Dream. Lehi had a dream that his family was trying to get to the Tree of Life. A long iron rod led the way to the tree, but many people were getting lost along the way because they weren’t holding tight to the rod. There was a great and spacious building full of people mocking those that were on their way to the tree, plus a dark and dreary mist made it hard to find their way without holding to the rod. 

I read and studied the story in the Book of Mormon many times, and we wanted to make sure we were doing what the Lord wanted and needed us to do. Allyson and Rich Luekenga {good friends of ours} asked us to help them with this task, so we put our heads together to make it as great as we could.  Dan Flake, another member of our committee found some aluminum fence piping on a major sale, so our “Iron Rod” was actually a 400 foot long metal rod. We started the activity as soon as it got dark.

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The kids started with short instructions from a man in a white robe. He told them to hold tightly to the rod in order to make it to the tree.

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After they were on the rod for a few minutes, they found themselves in a dark and dreary world. We created this with smoke machines.

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At one point, we put a large tent over the river so that the smoke would be extra thick. In the tent, the kids crossed the river by walking over a small bridge. At this point, they could not see where they were going. They had to hold tightly to the rod or they wouldn’t make it. 

After they held to the rod through the dark and dreary world, they emerged to see the great and spacious building. Dozens of people dressed in costly apparel were dancing, playing on their phones, drinking out of goblets, and mocking those who were on the rod. 

The Heaton cabin had an upper balcony that served as the great and spacious building. We had party laughter and a beat playing in the background. We were very particular on what kind of music we played. It was eery, and had mocking laughter. We also had strobe lights that pointed at the cabin, and we put black visqueen on the bottom of the cabin to mimic the story since it said the great and spacious building seemed to “float.”

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The kids {and adults} on the rod went directly past the partying at the cabin. Some stopped to look, others left the rod and tried to get onto the balcony. But most of the kids and leaders who were on the rod, held tight and paid little attention to those who were calling their name. 

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We found a perfect little tree for the Tree of Life and wrapped its branches with LED warm white Christmas lights to make it bright like it is in the story. In fact, you could see the tree from the start of the journey. But it was hard to tell how to get to the tree because it was so dark and there was a lot of brush in the way. 

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After they past the great and spacious building, the kids could see the Tree of Life. It was bright and welcoming. We had instrumental music playing and as soon as they turned the corner, the feeling of the Spirit was very strong. The contrast of feelings between the great and spacious building and the feeling at the tree of life was huge. 

It was kind of crazy because the people who were on the balcony were loud. But as soon as you could see the tree, the feeling of light and good drowned out the dark feeling from the great and spacious building.

The rod led them directly to the tree. 

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Each bishop in our stake took their turn standing by the tree wearing white to welcome the youth of their ward. We also had three angels standing to welcome the youth to the tree. {These were the Stake Presidency’s wives}. 

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The experience was one I will never forget. Testimony meeting was that Sunday and we heard story after story of the kids’ experience at the tree of life. I am grateful for the spiritual guidance we had while planning the activity. I know that the Lord helped us. 

Some of the other stories that were discussed and reenacted were: 

King Benjamin’s Tower, King Benjamin was a righteous king and taught his people from the top of a tower. His people traveled to hear him speak and pitched their tents facing the tower so they could hear him. Our youth pitched their tents facing King Benjamin’s tower also. They camped in wards, and each ward had an area that was chalked off for them to live in during the conference.  

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I was so impressed with the tower that the Ferguson’s built! 

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Nephi built a ship. Even though Nephi didn’t know how to build a ship, the Lord commanded him to do so. He prayed for help many times, and found ore to make his own tools. His brothers were rebellious of this plan and murmured against Nephi. 

Our youth built ships before youth conference and brought the ships with them to sail in across the sea. Some ships broke, and others sailed successfully. 

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The Anti-Nephi Lehi’s who buried their swords. The Anti Nephi Lehies made a promise to God that they would no longer fight, so they buried their weapons of war. Even though they knew that their enemies were coming, they still did not break their promise to God. 

We made cardboard swords to bury, and the kids wrote something they needed to work on or give up and promised to bury it with their swords. 

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Helamon’s Strippling warriors. These were the sons of those who took an oath to not shed the blood of man. So their young and valiant sons went to war at a very young age to fight for freedom and righteousness.

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My daughter who was at youth conference said this was her very favorite part. While the boys were taken to their portion, the girls were taught about the importance of mothers and how the sons of Helamon had been taught well by their mothers.

Meanwhile, the boys who were between 14-16 were asked to meet by Helaman {who was a member of the stake presidency} and were each given a bandana to unite them as a group. They marched as warriors behind Helaman into the camp and when the girls saw their friends as warriors it was really special. It helped them to realize that the warriors in the Book of Mormon were young like their friends. Sound of drums was what Oaklyn heard first. She said the spirit was so strong that everyone was crying.

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The older youth had a different part in this reenactment. This was one of the coolest parts of youth conference. The parents of the older youth, 11th grade and above were asked to come to a different portion of the camp and were asked to put on Sunday clothes. This was a surprise for those youth, and the parents had prepared their clothing for them. 

These “modern day warriors” marched in after the stripling warriors marched in. Some who had received mission calls carried flags to those countries and some were going into military service, so they carried those flags. The girls who were juniors and above were also part of this march. 

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At the end of youth conference, the Stake President talked to the kids as “Captain Moroni” and had each of the bishops in our stake take a small portion of time to talk to the youth too. 

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A few other things that they got to do:

Participate in a battle {where they played steal the flag}

Tribal Games in the field.

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