Brother Stephen W. Owen: ‘Be Faithful, Not Faithless’

Young Men general president

Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men general president, speaks during the Saturday morning session in the 189th Semiannual General Conference of the Church on Oct. 5, 2019. Credit: Screenshot
Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men general president Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Notable quotes:

“Many of the messages that bombard us in the information age are the spiritual equivalent of feeding hay to deer — we can eat it all day long, but it will not nourish us.” “These are our days, and we need to be faithful, not faithless.” “Bishops, leaders and parents need to give more time to children and youth.” Summary points:

  • Disconnect from the world and connect with heaven.
  • Starting in January, curriculum for Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women will align with the home study of “Come, Follow Me” for increased spiritual nourishment of youth. 
  • Bishops, leaders and parents need to give more time to children and youth.

Talk summary:

In a complex and contentious world with the bombardment of relentless messages from social media and news, individuals must deliberately take time each day to “disconnect from the world and connect with heaven.” Just as hay does not provide adequate nourishment for deer, the trending news does not offer true spiritual nourishment.

Church members must press forward on the covenant path and be truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through His prophet, the Lord is preparing His people to face challenges with faith. President Russell M. Nelson’s recent call for a home-centered Church is designed to provide spiritual nutrition to “survive and thrive in the latter days.”

While each home and family may look different, all individuals regardless of their circumstance can build their homes into a “sanctuary of faith” for learning and gospel living by taking responsibility for personal conversion and spiritual growth. Be wary of the adversary who will confuse what is important and what is not. It is essential for parents to build strong relationships with their children.

To further support spiritual nourishment in the home, curriculum for Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women will be aligned with “Come, Follow Me — For Individuals and Families” starting in January 2020. The Church also supports home-centered learning through the ordinance of the sacrament and providing the opportunity to gather with fellow disciples: “Never underestimate the strength that comes from gathering with others who are also trying to be strong.”

Children and youth need to know they are not alone on the covenant path. They need more time from bishops, leaders and parents — not less. Helping connect a young person with heaven is another way to provide spiritual nourishment needed to “be faithful and not faithless.”

In the news:

  • Brother Owen was featured in an article from August 2019 about the new training course to prevent child abuse in the Church. He quoted a passage from the Book of Mormon about Christ blessing each child, and claimed that this training policy would allow leaders to do the same by upholding safety policies regarding the Church’s children and youth. 
  • Brother Owen was part of the committee that created the 2020 youth theme. With this theme, Brother Owen claims the desire to teach the Church’s youth to understand the doctrine of Christ more deeply. 
  • Brother Owen was featured in a worldwide video presentation about the new Children and Youth program shown to congregations on Sept. 29.

About the speaker:

  • Brother Stephen W. Owen was sustained as the Young Men general president in April 2015. 
  • He and his wife, Jane Stringham, were married in the Provo Utah Temple and have five children.
  • Previously he presided over the California Arcadia Mission from 2005 to 2008 with his wife.
  • He graduated from the University of Utah with a finance degree and is the president of Great Harvest Bread Company in Provo, Utah.
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