I first heard about the results of the very successful Appleton Stake Youth Conference tonight from a young person in our ward who was just about bouncing off the ceiling from excitement about what a great conference it was. And then I heard an hour's worth of great stories and experiences from my 16-year-old son, who was involved in planning and running the event. I'm so grateful to the youth leaders who made this happen - three and half days of great activities, fun, and faith-promoting experiences at a remote Wisconsin site. Very worthwhile. And they even had healthy food, like salad bars with great veggies.

One of the highlights my son told me about was the session with James Fullmer, an amazing artist and creator of the games at Book of Mormon Battles (BookOfMormonBattles.com). I don't know much of what he did yet, but the youth loved it. My son did tell me that he showed them an example of the Mesoamerican sword (macahuitl) that may be the kind of sword that we read about in, say, the Book of Alma. I also heard about some fun battles with their own foam-based macahuitls. They had something of a simulated Book of Mormon battle scene, with the surprise twist that the group with my son in it acted like the converted Anti-Nephi-Lehites who buried their weapons and refused to kill any more. The other party didn't know this and was surprised to encounter no resistance. Unlike the attacking Lamanites in the Book of Mormon, though, the Wisconsinite band was a little more hard-hearted and wiped out all of the converts. Well, some moments are more faith promoting than others.

Oh, did I mention they had a couple of dances? The second dance was awesome, and my son learned the power of Altoids. Open a case of popular Altoids, and females gather. An important tip for you young men -- remember, you heard it here at Mormanity.org.

Lots of fun, great instruction, great speakers, and great activities, with no major injuries that I can detect. What more could parents ask for?

Youth conferences seem to get a lot of attention from adult leaders as key events to help strengthen the youth. I'm so pleased that youth leaders and Stake leaders work so hard to bless the lives of our young people. Thanks!
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