LDS Church announces global youth conference initiative patterned after BYU's EFY program 01

Youth laugh during a For the Strength of Youth program.

As a part of the changes in the youth programs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the church will incorporate the U.S. and Canada into its global For the Strength of Youth program.

The church released information Friday that the program would be implemented in 2020 for several stakes in the U.S. and Canada.

The FSY program has been operating outside the United States for more than a decade under the direction of area presidencies and area leaders, according to a church press release. The new program is modeled after the Especially For Youth program, which has been operating for more than 40 years.

According to the church, young men and women in selected stakes in the United States and Canada in 2020 will have an opportunity to experience the FSY program. The program is designed to “strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ.”

Most cities in Utah County will have selected stakes participating in the new FSY program in 2020. The release lists 40 Utah County stakes that will participating in the program in 2020. A full list of participating stakes can be found at http://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org.

Those congregations chosen to participate in 2020 are asked to not schedule any other youth conference or trek experiences, according to the church.

While the program is only being implemented in 2020 for a select number of stakes, full implementation of the program will begin in 2021 and 2022. Each stake will have the opportunity to participate every other year in the program, according to the release.

The FSY conference will include more than 200 sessions each year in 2021 and 2022. Young single adults will be able to volunteer as FSY counselors.

Youth who turn 14 during the year FSY is hosted in their stake are eligible to participate in the five-day youth conferences until they graduate from high school, according to the church.

Including in the FSY program will be activities, devotionals and classes all designed to provide youth with opportunities to grow spiritually, socially, physically and intellectually, according to the press release.

“BYU will offer administrative support and training for local congregations participating in the expanded program,” the press release stated. “EFY’s Special Edition and Express sessions will not be affected.”

Church leaders outside the U.S. and Canada will continue to schedule and hold FSY conferences as they have in the past.

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will provide additional details about the FSY program during a Face to Face broadcast on Nov. 17.

The church also launched a new website this week at http://ChildrenandYouth.ChurchofJesusChrist.org where additional details will be released detailing the launch of the new “Children and Youth” program at the beginning of 2020.

The website includes introductory guides for children, parents and leaders outlining highlights of the new program, a schedule for information that will be released between now and January and an introductory presentation.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

A 32-year veteran of covering news in Utah County, Genelle covers Provo, Orem, Faith/Religion, including the LDS Church and general assignments.

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