Youth and adult leaders can now find helpful resources on youth.lds.org for introducing the 2015 youth theme in their classes and quorums and emphasizing the theme throughout the year.
General Young Men and Young Women leaders announced the 2015 Mutual theme last September [see related article]: “O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day” (D&C 4:2).”
Downloadable videos and music, articles by general leaders, and even graphics for T-shirts and posters are available now on youth.lds.org/theme/2015.
All of the new resources help prepare youth to serve in Christlike ways in their homes, at the temple, at church, and in their communities.
What’s unique this year is that all of the songs and videos were created by youth.
“Our youth have never lived in a time where there are so many ways to share their testimonies and experiences with others in the world,” said Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president. “We think these wonderful resources reflect the goodness of our youth as well as their talent and creativity.”
According to product manager Jared Haddock, the Priesthood Department invited a group of youth singers and songwriters to fast and pray about personal testimonies they would be willing to share with the youth of the world. This led to amazing discussions about the challenges youth are facing every day, he said.
Each singer and songwriter then began working on a song that shares that testimony. “The result is 12 songs that are youthful, sincere, spiritually powerful, and extremely relevant.”
One young songwriter noticed that he and his friends have trouble talking about the problems they deal with, such as depression, chastity issues, and financial and family concerns. He wrote the song “Silent” to testify that youth don’t need to keep their feelings bottled up; God has placed in their lives parents, leaders, and friends who can help them.
A young woman witnessed family and friends being bullied—some even having hate accounts built for them on social media. When she saw how the victims started believing what was being said about them, she wrote the song “Fragile,” testifying of youths’ power to lift others and turn to Heavenly Father, who will strengthen them.
The videos were created the same way, with youth filming most of the video footage themselves. The videos capture youth embarking in the service of their God. “It is quite powerful to see how the actions of one youth can inspire so many others to serve,” Haddock said. The films also highlight how youth have been given a powerful tool to lift, strengthen, and inspire others: social media.
“They are following the advice of our leaders to use their communication skills to share the goodness of the gospel,” said Sister Oscarson. “It gives the admonition to be ‘a light to the world’ a whole new meaning!”
Additional materials will be published in Church magazines and on LDS.org throughout the year, such as more free songs and sheet music, all of it created by youth as well.
“We hope that youth, leaders, and families will be inspired by these resources to find ways to serve others in Christlike ways and to share their light with the world through responsible use of social media,” Sister Oscarson said.