ARLINGTON, Texas — Mormon young single adults in North Texas participated in a three-day conference centered on the theme "No One Can Take Your Place."
The Arlington Texas Stake hosted the conference and invited more than 10 surrounding stakes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Weatherford, Denton, Waco, Killeen, Fort Worth, Hurst, Colleyville, Lewisville, Plano, McKinney, Dallas, Frisco, Dallas East and Allen.
“I thought the conference was a success. We were able to help over 500 young single adults feel the Spirit, meet new people and hopefully make lasting friendships,” says Becky Jones, the young single adult conference chair.
The conference started Sept. 9 at the Elzie Odom Athletic Center, where LDS young singles roller skated, climbed the rock wall, and played volleyball, basketball and ultimate Frisbee.
Saturday was a full day with workshops, service projects, socializing time, games, lunch and dinner, and a dance. The keynote speaker for the opening session was Emily Jones, whose message was that everyone can have hope and faith during very difficult times. Jones became a widow in 2009 when her husband died in a tragic caving accident in Utah County. She has two young children.
Other speakers included Kevin Hinckley, Trudy Johnson, Patricio Lucio, John Elmer and Keith J. Burkhart. The concluding speaker on Sunday was Virginia Hinckley Pearce, the daughter of the late LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley and author of several books.
According to Becky Jones, one of the highlights of the conference was when President Charles H. Spitzer of the Arlington Texas Stake had all the singles who had served or are serving in the military stand and introduce themselves and tell how and where they have served. They were then given a neck pillow (which was the service project throughout the conference). The crowd gave all these men and women a standing ovation. “It was a really touching moment of the conference,” Jones said.
Many people from the Arlington Stake offered help in making lunches, serving dinner, staffing registration, making the neck pillows, and assisting in the Friday night activities.
The young single adults left the conference with new friends, stronger testimonies and a reminder that "no one can take their place."
Christy Jepson is a freelance writer who lives in Mansfield, Texas, with her husband and six boys.