The original vision for the 2023 Utah Area Young Single Adult Conference was something small and local.
But with the “ideas and enthusiasm” of young single adults, the event “exploded,” said Carly Clark, co-chair of the Utah Area Conference Committee.
The concept was then brought to the Utah Area Presidency, who “welcomed and supported” it becoming something for all young single adults in Utah, Clark continued.
Preparations for the conference are now well underway, with an event lineup including a concert, a dance, a fun run, a devotional and more.
The conference, themed “Together in Christ,” will be held throughout the month of August with different activities each weekend for young adults ages 18 to 31.
All of the conference events were created by young single adults, for young single adults, with support from Church leaders and employees, Clark said.
“It’s unprecedented, and it’s going to be absolutely amazing,” she said.
What to expect
During a July 9 broadcast, members of the Utah Area Conference Committee, comprised of about 35 young single adults, explained in greater detail what each weekend of the conference will include.
They were joined by Elder Robert Smith, Elder Mark Bonham and Elder Thomas Checketts, all Area Seventies in the Utah Area.
Registration is $50 per person for all of the events and closes July 31. (See utahysaconference.org.) Young adults who are unable to afford the registration fee should talk with their bishops about financial assistance, Elder Smith said.
He also asked young adults to register as soon as possible so that conference leaders can make plans as effectively as possible.
“We need everyone to not delay but to think of today as the moment to to jump in the pool, so to speak,” Elder Smith said.
Aug. 5: The concert
The conference kicks off Aug. 5 at 8 p.m. with a concert at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City featuring OneRepublic, Tori Kelly and Jordan Smith.
Additionally, singer Jordan Smith will be accompanied by a choir of 1,000 young single adults.
Aug. 11: The dance
Utah Area Conference Committee member Taleah Smith highlighted the young single adult dance, held Aug. 11 at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy at 9 p.m.
Professional DJs will play a range of music, including non-English genres such as Latino, Polynesian and K-pop.
Aug. 12: The sunset fun run
Jessica Jensen, another Utah Area Conference Committee member, introduced the 5K sunset fun run, starting at 8 p.m. on Aug. 12. The course starts and ends at the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple, symbolic of “carrying your burdens on the run and then dropping them at the temple,” Jensen said.
The run will include music, snacks, foam guns, glow sticks — and Sister Kristin M. Yee, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, who will be running with the young single adults.
The Saratoga Springs Utah Temple will be dedicated the morning after the run.
Aug. 19: The Gather Together Conference
The 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Gather Together Conference will take place Aug. 19 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, said committee co-chair Carly Clark.
“Even though we hype the concert a lot, this is the biggest event,” she said, adding that it has a variety of activities “just to make it something fun where you can go and realize it’s not actually that scary to get to know new people.”
The day’s lineup includes:
- Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson as the keynote speaker.
- 30-minute TED Talk-style messages called “Christ Daily,” given by Church leaders such as Elder Ahmad S. Corbitt, General Authority Seventy; Sister Tracy Y. Browning, second counselor in the Primary general presidency; and Sharon Eubank, director of Humanitarian Services for the Church and former first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.
- An ancient tabernacle tour (the same one that recently went through Utah).
- A service project focused on packaging a million meals for the Utah Food Bank.
- Life coaching from licensed therapists.
- An appearance by the Brigham Young University Dunk Team.
- A karaoke competition.
- An attempt to break the speed dating world record.
Additionally, the conference has partnered with the Salt Palace Convention Center to offer a meal of braised short ribs, potatoes, salad, carrots, rolls and cookies. Options for those who are vegan or who have dietary restrictions are available. This is the only meal provided by the conference.
Utah Area Conference Committee member Katie Perez emphasized that they want the conference to be as accessible as possible for all young single adults.
“We know there might be a lot of concerns for those who feel they might not be able to participate,” she said, “... and so we will be able to work with [you] if you contact us and figure out what we can do to accommodate [you].”
Conference organizers can be reached at email@example.com.
Those unable to attend in-person can tune in via broadcast to the Christ Daily segments, available at a link that will be posted on UtahYSAconference.org.
Aug. 20: The devotional
“It’ll be a really awesome, uplifting experience for everyone,” said Elder Nathan Powell, a missionary on the Utah Area Conference Committee.
Frequently asked questions
During the question-and-answer portion of the broadcast, Elder Robert Smith, an Area Seventy, said the conference is being held over multiple weekends in the hopes that as many people as possible can attend at least some of the events.
The conference’s schedule will also allow young adults to make friends who they’ll see more than once across multiple events, Elder Smith said.
Additionally, young adults who aren’t members of the Church are welcome to attend the conference.
“We want you to use this as an opportunity to invite friends who are not of our faith or those who haven’t been actively participating to come together and be uplifted by the Lord Jesus Christ,” Elder Smith said.