As a singer and songwriter on the 2023 youth theme album, Connor Austin has felt the power of the music and lyrics in his life.
“I feel like it’s such an empowering track, especially for the youth,” Austin said of the title track. “The song tells you that you can literally do all things. There’s not one thing you can’t do with the Savior by your side.”
The album “I Can Do All Things Through Christ,” based on the 2023 youth theme, was released Friday, Oct. 14, and can be streamed on Spotify, YouTube, Amazon Music, Pandora, and other platforms. Language versions of the album will be added as they become available.
Songs and sheet music from the album can be downloaded on the 2023 youth theme website, which now also includes art, posters and other resources on the theme.
The Young Women and Young Men general presidencies announced last month that the 2023 youth theme will come from the New Testament: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
‘I Can Do All Things Through Christ’
Nik Day, youth music songwriter for the Church, wrote the song “I Can Do All Things Through Christ” and several others on the 2023 album.
“I tried to write songs that were empowering, that help the listener see their potential and how that potential is magnified when we stay close to the Savior,” Day said. “I hope the youth can delve into these songs, understand the deep meanings of the lyrics and apply the principles into their lives.”
Austin said it was important to him to be spiritually prepared to sing the reimagined version of “I Can Do All Things Through Christ” on the album.
“It wasn’t just one day they called and asked me to sing it, and I did it the next day,” he explained. “I took some time before to prepare, to make sure I was in good standing with the Lord and the gospel. I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything right and making sure I was reading my scriptures.
“Because I really wanted to deliver a powerful spirit with the song, rather than just singing.”
Austin added: “I feel like music is so important to Heavenly Father. It’s one of the ways in which we can feel the Spirit the most, in my opinion. I know that’s how I do.”
‘He’ll Be There’
Austin also wrote and sang the song “He’ll Be There” on the album.
The story of “He’ll Be There” dates back to when Austin was serving in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he said, he wrote the song to uplift members and those they were teaching. The lyrics came as he and his companion were stuck inside their flat, talking about what was going on in the world.
“The lyrics are ‘In this life, there are things we can’t control. But there’s something you should know. You will be all right, because He promised we could trust in the truth He gave to us,’” Austin said.
“In a world that was so unpredictable, we really liked how the truth of the gospel has always stayed the same. And no matter how much the world is changing and how much things were changing because of COVID, we knew that we could always rely on the gospel and there was always the Church to look to for help, the members and leadership, things like that.”
Trusting in God’s truth — and knowing all things can be done through Him — is a timeless message that can be relevant to youth today, pandemic or not, Austin said.
List of songs on the album
The 12 new songs on the album, with links to the YouTube versions, are:
- “I Can Do All Things Through Christ,” featuring Jarica Jamison
- “He’ll Be There,” featuring Connor Austin
- “Faith,” featuring Ben Olsen
- “Highs and Lows,” featuring Madilyn Page
- “How Is It Done,” featuring Nik Day
- “The Only One,” featuring KY
- “I Can Do All Things Through Christ - Reimagined,” featuring Connor Austin
- “I Choose You,” featuring Leah Campbell
- “Your Love Reminds Me,” featuring Kimberly Knighton
- “Sticks and Stones,” featuring Rob Michelson
- “All My Heart,” featuring Dawson Wayne
- “Witness,” featuring Lola Kersey
Leaders, parents and youth are encouraged to use the 2023 youth theme and resources throughout the year in activities, camps, youth conferences and devotionals.
Throughout 2023, related content for the theme “I can do all things through Christ” will be published in the For the Strength of Youth magazine, the Gospel Living feed and on Church social media channels, including the youth @StriveToBe Instagram account.