News Release

For The Strength of Youth Conference

Approximately 500 youth members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aged 12 to 17) boarded buses to what would be five days of alluring fun. On December 10th the youth gathered from all corners of Kenya, arriving at the Lukenya Academy to participate in the “For the Strength of Youth” (FSY) conference session. Based on the Mutual Theme ‘Peace in Christ’, the conference sought to help the youth draw closer to Christ, develop appropriate friendships and deepen their conversion in the gospel through the programs carefully designed classes, activities and devotionals.


The bleak Monday morning weather dared not dampen the spirits of the youth as some started arriving as early as 8am. Young Single Adults (YSAs) were at hand to welcome them and assist them to register and settle in. Each individual was put into a group of about 12 youth supervised by a YSA of the same gender. For some joint activities, 2 or 3 counselor groups would come together to form a company. By the end of the registration day, 16 companies had been formed with about 60 YSAs assigned as counselors to supervise the youth for the week.

The standards taught to the youth come from scripture and teachings of Church leaders. They have been compiled into a booklet entitled For the Strength of Youth. It contains suggestions for behavior on topics such as agency, accountability, dating, as well as dress and appearance. This guide was first published in 1965 with its most recent edition in 2011. The guide was meant to be put into the hands of every young person in the Church, to help them lead and guide with strength. As the world grows ever-more challenging, youth who live the standards can be a righteous influence in others’ lives who may inquire about the principles and embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Many hours of planning made a memorable conference with various activities. Most notable was a Variety Show where the youth got to showcase their talents as comedians, singers and even actors. They also presented cheers that they prepared as companies and displayed their artistic skills on banners before a panel of judges. Among the winning designs was one depicting Joseph Smith had the chance to be painted on a mounted canvas sheet. These activities culminated in an evening filled with melodious music presented during the Musical Program. Given that the youth choir only had a few days to practice, they not only managed to astound their fellows with their angelic voices, but they also spiritually prepared and invited them to reflect upon their experiences at the conference.

One may wonder where the adults were during the week. Well, Brother and Sister Machio were always on site during the FSY Session, providing spiritual leadership to the young men and women of the church as the Session Directing Couple. Elder Chatora and Elder Mdletshe too were present as Area Seventies at the ready to support the Brother and Sister Machio whenever necessary. And on the final day, Elder Sitati, the First Counselor in the Africa South East Area, surprised the youth by making a stopover with his wife as they came home for the holidays. He was proud to see so many youth of the church together. He assured them that if they remembered all they were taught in such an atmosphere of spirituality, their testimonies would be strengthened ever more.

Even though the conclusion of the conference left the youth with a bittersweet feeling, it was evident that they had resolved to become better young men and women. One even remarked, ‘At first I was not sure whether I really wanted to go serve a mission. But now, I know I need to go and serve the Lord.’

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