February 15, 2018

Did You Miss the Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults?

Elder and Sister Uchtdorf

Elder and Sister Uchtdorf recently spoke at a Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults. The broadcast can be viewed here.

The Scene

With large crowds gathering outside, there was an energetic feeling surrounding the Conference Center on Sunday, January 14, 2018. The crowds slowly filtered into the building as thousands of young adults waited to enter the building. The seats quickly filled, and soon many young adults were redirected to neighboring buildings to watch the devotional in overflow seating. Eventually, even the overflow was full, and some viewed the devotional in other buildings and on their phones, and some sat around Temple Square and listened while the devotional was piped through speakers.

Over 30,000 members and friends ages 18–30 attended the event, filling the Conference Center, Tabernacle, Church History Museum, and North Visitors’ Center theater. Every available screen was streaming the devotional. In one instance, there was no screen available, so one young adult contributed his phone and found a microphone so that a group could gather around and hear the message. In short, there were many young adults filling every available space and doing everything in their power to hear the words of an apostle.

The audience was delighted with the messages Elder and Sister Uchtdorf shared. The energy of the crowd meant the speakers had to pause after any joke. Still, the young adults were focused on the messages Elder and Sister Uchtdorf taught.

The Messages

Sister Uchtdorf spoke about God’s love for us and our purpose here on Earth. She shared her conversion story and reminded young adults that they have the potential to be ministering angels to each other. In addition to the truths that she testified of, she shared valuable insights into her courtship and marriage, which Elder Uchtdorf also elaborated on later in the devotional.

Elder Uchtdorf concluded the devotional with five key messages he wanted the young adults to remember:

  1. God’s answers to our questions are worth the wait and may come in unexpected ways.

  2. Have faith and pray to Him.

  3. Walk the path of discipleship the best you can.

  4. Remember that you answer to your Father in Heaven and don’t let negative voices distract you from your journey.

  5. Make decisions by following promptings, having faith that God will make your efforts worthwhile.

The Gathering

After the devotional, young adults spread across Temple Square to explore and mingle, sipping hot chocolate and eating cookies. They particularly enjoyed the activities that encouraged exploration, such as the Snapchat Geofilters and the Discovery Center at the Family History Library. In the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, young adults were able to visit booths and get information about the Mormon Newsroom, various Church organizations, and volunteer opportunities.

Many organizations set up booths for the young adults to visit, offering opportunities to learn more about and even volunteer for those organizations. Represented organizations included the following:

The Sharing

Many young adults flooded social media with their testimonies using the hashtags #LDSdevo and #ShareGoodness. You can find their testimonies by searching for these hashtags together on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Application

Multiple aspects of this Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults can be incorporated into the classroom. Hopefully many of your students were able to view or participate in the devotional; however, those younger than 18 may not have experienced it.

The messages and themes in this devotional were not strictly aimed toward young adults, though that was the primary audience. The gospel truths that Elder and Sister Uchtdorf testified of are applicable to all ages. Elder Uchtdorf related, “Older generations have much more in common with yours than you might suppose. … For instance, many of you have questions about God and about yourself—deep, fundamental questions that are similar to those asked by people much older than you” (“The Adventure of Mortality” [worldwide devotional for young adults, Jan. 14, 2018], broadcasts.lds.org).

Not only will your students benefit from the devotional’s message, but so will you. Incorporating clips or quotes from this devotional will edify your lessons and help strengthen testimonies.

Some of the major themes you can incorporate into lessons or discuss with your students from the devotional include the following:

  • Sister Uchtdorf began with these truths:

    • God has a plan for our lives.

    • God loves each of us.

    • The gospel brings us peace.

    • We are placed here for a purpose.

    • We are tools in the hands of the Lord.

    • The Book of Mormon will help us achieve our purpose.

  • Elder Uchtdorf discussed these truths:

    • We are all children of God and have similar struggles and questions.

    • God will answer our prayers.

    • God will direct our path as we strive to follow Him.

    • We need to trust God and do our best.

    • Committing to the “easy” or “small” things will allow the “big things” to fall into place.

    • God has a plan for us.

    • How we respond to decisions can be more important than the decisions themselves.