New Year's Eve has traditionally signaled a period of fresh starts and new beginnings. Folks worldwide will undoubtedly resolve to, perhaps, drop a few pounds, get back in shape, adhere to a budget or make amends with an estranged relative or friend.
For LDS youth, the year-ending holiday can also be a special time to renew spiritual commitments and, well, enjoy some late-night, wholesome fun. To help enrich the New Year's Eve experience, the Church is preparing a DVD resource entitled, "A Brand New Year: A Celebration for Latter-day Saint Youth."
Stakes, wards and branches in the United States and Canada can expect to receive the DVD in early December. The production will include three segments designed to strengthen and inspire the young men and young women as they embark on a new year.
The DVD's 15-minute introductory segment will include a message to the youth from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Holland's message will be augmented by music provided by a youth choir and orchestra.
The middle section will feature a 30-minute celebration of youth activities from around the world in 2008. It's designed to be fun, uplifting and celebratory. The segment will be hosted by young people and include inspiring stories, music and messages from members of the Young Men and Young Women general presidencies.
In the final segment, the Young Men and Young Women general presidencies will introduce the 2009 Mutual theme: "Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12). A performance of the special 2009 theme song, "We Are Example of the Believers," will also be included, along with the testimonies of youth from around the world sharing their commitments to be "an example of the believers" in the coming year.
Leaders are being encouraged to utilize the DVD as part of a New Year's Eve activity for youth or throughout the year in Mutual activities or in class, quorum or seminary lessons. Parents and families may also use "A Brand New Year" in their homes.
Additional suggestions on how to use the DVD can be found at the Church's Web site, lds.org.
The Web site also offers direction on hosting uplifting, testimony-building New Year's Eve youth activities ranging from service projects, social activities, cultural programs and family history activities.