One of the largest youth conferences in eastern Idaho was held July 7-8 on the campus of BYU-Idaho as Laurels and priests of 19 area stakes came together for spiritual, social and service purposes.
Some 1,700 people — about 1,500 of them teens — gathered from all the Idaho Falls stakes, and those in the neighboring communities of Ucon, Lincoln, Iona, Shelley, Firth, Moore and Salmon.
The conference began with a banquet and a talk by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve who, accompanied by his wife, Susan, spoke to the youth about recognizing and using the promptings of the Holy Ghost to guide their lives.
Others participating were President John H. Groberg of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, an emeritus General Authority, and his wife, Jean; Elder Shayne M. Bowen of the Seventy and his wife, Lynette; Elder Gerald A. Mead, Area Seventy, and his wife, Karen; and Kim B. Clark, president of BYU-Idaho, and his wife, Sue.
Workshops on Saturday were followed by a service project, in which the youth assembled more than 10,000 hygiene kits and cut out hundreds of school bags.
"It was thrilling to see all of those youth working together for a good cause," said Kenneth Taylor, a former stake president who oversaw the organization of the event.
"The goal of this conference was to have the youth see a large group of their peers who have common values and are striving to gain stronger testimonies as they are."