Morgantown's Young Single Adults Join Thousands for Conference
It all started on April 28,2013 with a devotional, when young single adults from all the southeastern United States kicked off a summer program, with emphasis on initiation and outreach, service activities and genealogy research. A capstone conference was held on August 9-11 simultaneously in Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Hattiesburg and Orlando with approximately 3000 young singles involved in the activities associated with this event
Organizer was George Menden, under the direction of Elder Rulon D Munns of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Young singles from 18 to 33 from 10 states and 1000 congregations making this the largest conference in the history of the North America Southeast Area of the Church. Stephen Pape Sr from Morgantown participated in the planning and worked with men and women of the Kentucky and Tennessee church units on the Nashville area conference.
During the months from April to August young adults from the Hopkinsville Stake participated in a “Reach and Rescue Blitz.” Divided into teams of two each, they spent an evening reaching out to over 40 young singles in the area, many of whom accepted the invitation to become an active part of the church community again. To strengthen these ties, regular fellowshipping activities were held including weekly gatherings called Family Home Evenings and monthly devotional called Firesides. These activities include a spiritual lesson focusing on the life of Christ, followed by an activity, usually centered around various athletic or board games. Special events during the summer included a cookout at Rotary Park and canoe trip down the Red River. In each of the months of May, June and July, the Clarksville young singles contributed to the overall 30-plus individuals who attended the Nashville LDS temple in behalf of their ancestors. These soul and testimony strengthening activities built momentum for the August Conference.
Elder Munns stated: “The young single adults of the southeast are vibrant, energetic and committed. Never before have thousands of young singles worked together, served together and rejoiced together as they have in the activities leading up to the conference and conference itself” centered on the theme “No More Strangers” (from Ephesians 2:19).
Many have recorded deeply meaningful spiritual experiences as they have participated in the activities and the conference. Attending the Nashville Area conference from Morgantown was Mylan Larsen. Morgan Gibson, from Clarksville TN attended as the Young Single Adult Female Representative commented on the conference, “Participating in al these activities this summer gave me the opportunity to see the Lord’s involvement in our lives. His hand is in all things and He knows who we are. Even when we’re getting together to just have some fun, He watches over us.”
In the words of George Menden, “From the kickoff devotional on April 28 through the conference conclusion on August 11, we have been buoyed by the spirit, love and dedication of the young single adults in the southeastern states,” and from Elder Rulon Munns, “For many, their lives will never be the same again.”