The youth from the stakes, like a diocese, of Tallahassee, Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola, Dothan and Mobile, came together in July at Troy University for their annual conference. Their theme was “Peace in Christ.”
Why “ Peace in Christ?” This was the message — “Many of you may feel anxious and concerned about what the future holds for you. Many of you wonder about your looks, your abilities, your potential. But no matter what you face, you can find peace. That doesn’t mean all those questions or concerns will immediately vanish, but you can feel the quiet assurance that things will work out. Most importantly, you can feel the love of Jesus Christ for you personally and that brings great peace.”
Their leaders had thoroughly planned this event with much guidance and the youth were treated to four presenters who entertained and educated these young people over the duration of the conference.
“Youth Conference was an excellent opportunity for our youth to get to know other youth with similar values in the region," said Lindsay Smith, young woman president of the Fort Walton Beach 2nd Ward. "It was a wonderful experience for the youth and their leaders to hear spiritual messages from engaging speakers.”
One of the most rewarding activities was the making of more than 100 baby blankets for needy families. Also those children who are in foster care and must move suddenly usually throw everything in a trash bag. Pillowcases were made for these needy youngsters to provide a means to transport their meager belongings. Inspirational messages were written on these pillowcases to encourage and uplift them during stressful moves.
The dances have always been extremely popular and the fellowship opportunity is a chance to meet new friends with like philosophies. The presenters were varied and talented and gave the youth new insights into many topics.
The Austin team consists of two teachers who met in Tallahassee while Carol was a graduate student and Curtis is a professor. They both served missions, he in Germany and Switzerland and she in Taiwan. They married in Tallahassee and stayed there and are raising six children. Curtis is involved at FSU, the Florida Senate, WorkForce Florida, Keiser U and is now the executive director at the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges.
Landon Mauler is from Denver, Colorado, and has lived in Tallahassee for the past five years. He enjoys working with the youth and is an “Especially for Youth” counselor, taught at the Missionary Training Center in Utah and teaches early morning seminary classes. Early morning means 5:45 a.m. each school day. He and his wife have four children.
Stephen Jones is a father of three children, a comedian, actor, host, entertainer and high school religion instructor. Because of his varied talents, he has the ability to make meaningful connections with people both on and off screen. He has appeared in TV and commercials and is a host of “Random Acts.” His passion is to make people smile and find joy in things that matter.
Shane Adams is a twice nominated award-winning producer/songwriter and author. He is a founding instructor for Berklee Online where he has taught lyric writing and song writing to thousands of students since 2003. He is a featured songwriter and instructor for the Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, where he won the Top 10 Hitmaker Award for 2014. He wrote “Words and Music and Songwriters 101” where 175,000 students have learned to write songs. He won the Hallman Award for outstanding contributions to song writing and also composes music for films.