News Story

Teens Connect at Virtual Convention

With bushfires and COVID-19 halting plans for a youth convention for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, event organisers turned to technology to make the event happen over the weekend.

The three day event included a dance, exercise classes, service projects, Iron Chef cooking competition, trivia, a live session of general conference, and a devotional, all hosted online using Facebook and Zoom.


“I’ve never done an online convention before,” said Jordan Hutchinson, one of the attending youth. “Was crazy to get your head around at first but allowed us to be able to see other members without leaving our house.”

Initially scheduled to take place in January at a camp venue in Gippsland, the Braeside Stake (diocese) youth convention was cancelled due to bushfires that blazed through rural Victoria. Then after a change of date and venue and a complete overhaul of the original program, came a setback no one saw coming: a global pandemic.

Rather than shelving the event, church leaders recognised an opportunity to bring the isolated youth together using technology.

The convention’s theme was ‘Go and Do,' based on a scripture in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, in which a prophet named Nephi faces a significant challenge with faith.

"The strength in Nephi’s resolve to 'go and do' is found in his knowledge that ‘the Lord will prepare a way.’” said David King, of the Braeside Stake Presidency, addressing the youth group on Sunday night.

“The best example of 'go and do' has just happened on your screens this weekend,” said President King. “Your leaders never complained, they never gave up.”

At the devotional, President King invited the youth to “consider what you need to do to ‘go and do.’” They were also encouraged to download the Church’s new Gospel Living app, which allows users to stay in touch and share inspiring content with each other.

Liana Rogers, one of the youth who participated in the convention, addressed her peers at the Sunday devotional about finding peace during this time of uncertainty.

“In our lives we’ll experience so many trials and hardships, but it’s important to try our hardest not to focus all our time and attention on those moments, but rather on the joy and peace Heavenly Father has waiting each step along the way.”

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