In the 2023 youth theme music video, Junior Victoriano from the Dominican Republic plays the role of a young baseball player who gets injured. The athlete feels sadness and regret when he has to sit out.
“But he realizes that there is no end, but that with God he can recover and learn from that experience to achieve his goals and dreams,” said Victoriano, who recently turned 18.
Victoriano said participating in the video helped him better understand and appreciate the message of the 2023 youth theme — “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
“Jesus Christ is our friend. … He is waiting for us to seek Him to help us overcome anything that may be afflicting our lives,” Victoriano said.
Victoriano’s character is one of two stories in the 2023 youth theme video, which was filmed entirely in the Dominican Republic with an all-Dominican crew and actors.
Wilbely Valera plays the role of a young professional runner who has ups and downs. “Her strength was to remember the love of Heavenly Father and that she was never alone,” the 17-year-old told the Church News.
Valera said participating in the video was an introspective experience. “When I tried to show the emotions of my character, which were needed at the moment, similar situations were going through my mind. Remembering back and comparing how I am now made me remember how blessed I have been and my family, too.
“That made me more grateful to God and to know that it is true that He is always with each one of us, we just have to recognize it.”
Like the baseball player and the runner, Victoriano said, “We all at some point in our lives have had difficulties, and perhaps we are going through things that only we talk [about] to ourselves in our mind. The scripture says that ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28).
“God’s love is wonderful, and many times we hear that phrase but we will not understand it until we accept it in our heart, and let Him work in our life and let Him show us how easy and incredible that He can change our life for good and that all things will be solved not at our time but at the perfect time of the Lord.”
When asked what she hopes those who watch the video understand about doing “all things through Christ,” Valera said: “Putting the Lord first creates a balance in our lives. When we put our goals and desires in His hands by trusting Him fully and acting as we know is right, He will always guide us.
“We usually have someone we look up to — let’s make sure that someone is Jesus Christ. He is perfect and will never change. He will never let us down.”
Material things do not bring lasting happiness, Victoriano added. “God will give us that true happiness and peace.”
He said he hopes his fellow youth can have faith in Jesus Christ — that they can “truly believe” and “not half believe.”
“I promise you that if you do things the Savior’s way and trust fully in Him, you will see the joy, peace, spiritual evolution and good in your lives,” Victoriano said.