Face to Face with Elder Gong to Provide “Deeper Dive” into Children and Youth Program
Contributed By Camille West, ChurchofJesusChrist.org Church News
- Join the Face to Face with Elder Gong on November 17, at 4:00 p.m.
- Elder Gong will give more details about the new Children and Youth program beginning in 2020.
“Our hope is that our children and youth will be inspired to seek personal revelation in following Savior and becoming more like Him.” —Elder Gerrit W. Gong
Elder Gerrit W. Gong is taking over the Church of Jesus Christ Youth Instagram account this week to share some of the goals he’s working on in preparation for the Face to Face event on November 17, at 4:00 p.m. for children and youth ages 7 to 18 and their parents and leaders.
Elder Gong, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, joined by Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President; Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President; and Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President, will answer questions from youth and children around the world about the Children and Youth program.
In a November 5 Instagram post, Elder Gong talks about progressing with his goal to learn Spanish. “Though I am far from fluent in Spanish, I can see progress and improvement. As you and I strive to be better in whatever we choose to improve in life, I know our Heavenly Father will bless us. He cares about you, me, and each of His children. He wants us to grow and experience enduring joy.”
The November 17 Face to Face follows on the heels of information released September 29 that introduced the principles behind the Children and Youth program, which is designed to help young people follow the Savior as they grow spiritually, socially, physically, and intellectually.
In an introductory video shown to wards and branches around the world, President Russell M. Nelson said this new approach to gospel learning and growth is designed especially for today’s children and youth. It encourages young people to counsel with the Lord and seek personal revelation about how they can grow in a balanced way. “You will need to seek personal revelation,” Elder Nelson said. “You will need to choose for yourself how to act on it.”
The Face to Face on November 17 will provide a deeper dive into how children and youth and their families, and leaders can successfully implement Children and Youth beginning January 1, 2020.
“Our great desire is to strengthen faith in Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ as our rising generation joyfully follow the covenant path,” said Elder Gong. “Recent changes in curriculum; gospel learning, activities and service, and personal development; and organization are intended to draw youth and children closer to parents and families, Church leaders, friends, and of course, to Heavenly Father and our Savior.”
Sister Cordon said Children and Youth “invites youth to discover their divine gifts through the guidance of the Holy Ghost, grow those gifts and talents, and then use them in blessing those around them.”
“As I travel throughout the world, I am humbled to see the faithfulness of our young men as they fulfill their priesthood duties,” said Brother Owen. “They have opportunities and challenges that have never been seen before on the earth.”
“As they grow like Christ—spiritually, socially, physically and intellectually—they will be more prepared to fulfill their unique divine responsibilities as faithful priesthood men of God.”
“Our beloved children and youth are an essential part of the Lord’s work in gathering Israel,” added Sister Jones, “and in this event we will be able to discuss more about how this new approach is already changing lives.”
Program Tools, Materials, and Resources
During the Face to Face, Elder Gong said he and the general officers will explain how Children and Youth “combines study, growth, and activities at home and Church”; present “new emblems of belonging and achievement,” and demonstrate how to use a new app and website for youth and leaders.
Leaders will also introduce program booklets, and highlight other resources like FAQs, music for youth, and videos, said Michael Madsen, a product manager in the Priesthood and Family Department.
“We are excited for them to discover more about the tools that have been developed to help them at the upcoming Face to Face event,” said Sister Cordon. “Our youth have been uniquely and gloriously prepared for this time. … They are helping to prepare the world for the second coming of our Savior. With Jesus Christ as their example and His Spirit as their guide, our youth will be a mighty force for good in their homes, in the Church, and in the world.”
“We express great confidence in our youth and children,” said Elder Gong. “Our hope is that our children and youth will be inspired to seek personal revelation in following our Savior and becoming more like Him.”
Post Your Questions
Prior to the Face to Face, leaders and parents are encouraged to post questions about the Children and Youth program on FacetoFace.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Members have already posted questions like, “Will the young women still have the torch as their symbol,” “Will the children in Primary ages 8-11 still meet every other week for Activity Day or Faith in God (boys) activities?” and How will the children’s activity program during the week be tied into their individual goals?”
To help answer these and other questions, the Church is preparing a list of frequently asked questions and answers that will be published on the Children and Youth website, said Madsen.
“Even if a question isn’t addressed during the Face to Face event, knowing what questions people have helps us at Church headquarters know what we need to clarify and communicate better,” he said.
How to Participate
Children and youth ages 7 to 18 and their parents, leaders, and teachers are encouraged to gather as families and friends in meetinghouses, homes, or other locations on November 17 to view the broadcast that will be transmitted in 18 languages live on the Church satellite system, ChurchofJesusChrist.org, the Face to Face event page, YouTube, Facebook, Latter-day Saint Channel, and other media.
Watch on Demand
Shortly after the live event, a recording of the broadcast will be archived on Face2Face.ChurchofJesusChrist.org, the Latter-day Saint Channel, Gospel Media, and the Gospel Library app under Youth, which may be streamed or downloaded at any time.
In a November 5 Instagram post, Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared a goal he’s working on in preparation for the Face to Face event on November 17, at 4:00 p.m. for children and youth ages 7 to 18 and their parents and leaders.