Ambassadors for Zion

...Junior and Senior High Youth in Mission

by High Priest Corwyn Mercer, General Church Youth Leader

Volume 18, Number 4, Oct/Nov/Dec 2017, Issue 73

Looking forward to upcoming youth events:

—The next event for the youth of the church is the Winter Retreat at the Gathering Place from 3:00 p.m. Thursday, December 27th through 11:00 a.m. December 29, 2017. This coming summer, 2018, we will again have youth camps for junior high and senior high youth at the Blackgum Campgrounds. David and Dani Patrick are responsible for planning camps and have already lined up directors. Junior High Camp will be held Saturday, June 23rd through Saturday, June 30th with Elbert and Coral Rogers of Sperry Branch leading again. Senior High Camp will be held Saturday, July 7th through Saturday, July 14th with Richard and Rebecca Paris of Southern Indiana Branch leading. As always, campers should not arrive before 3:00 p.m. on the opening Saturday of camp and should be picked up at 11:00 a.m. on the closing Saturday of camp.

Taking stock of ongoing ministry to the youth:

—In the Center Place of Zion, Derek Ashwill has taken on the youth leader responsibility. CPZ has ongoing, weekly activities for the youth from kindergarten age through seniors in high school. For elementary youth, we have Handmaidens for the girls and Remnant Warriors for the boys, both meeting on Monday evenings during the school year. For middle school and high school youth, there is FISH: Fellowship In Serving Him. This year FISH is meeting again on Sunday afternoons.

—Apostle Terry Patience has developed a wonderful series of classes for developing a missionary mindset. He is currently teaching a series of classes for the youth in the Missionary-In-Training (MIT) program on the beliefs of the church. Apostle Patience has about five youth that meet twice a week in the early mornings to learn the beliefs of the church and how those beliefs might be shared with the world around us.

Even with all these programs in place, we are always looking for ways to reach even more youth with the fullness of the gospel. I see the youth programs as missionary outreach and evangelism to youth inside and outside the church. It is our responsibility to the youth of the church to raise them up with an understanding of the truth of the fullness of the gospel. An understanding of their part in helping prepare the Bride of Christ (the church) with the goal of gathering a righteous people who will build the kingdom of God on earth, Zion. How are we, specifically the youth, currently actively involved in building Zion? A large part of this is character development within each of
us. In Section 119 of the Doctrine and Covenants are relevant directions to the elders of the church that are applicable to each of us.

“There is a great work to be done by mine elders, and that they may be fitted to do this work and the accomplishment thereof be not prevented, it is enjoined upon them that they shall not only be kind of heart and of a lowly spirit, that their wisdom may be the wisdom of the Lord and their strength the strength of the Spirit, but they shall lay
aside lightness of speech and lightness of manner when standing to declare the word, and shall study to approve their ministrations to the people by candor in speech and courtesy in demeanor, that as ministers of the gospel they may win souls unto Christ. The elders and men of the church should be of cheerful heart and countenance among themselves and in their intercourse with their neighbors and men of the world, yet they must be without blame in word and deed. It is therefore not seemly that they indulge in loud and boisterous speech, or in the relating of coarse and vulgar stories, or those in which the names of their God and their Redeemer are blasphemed. Men of God, who bear the vessels of the Lord, be ye clean in your bodies and in your clothing; let your garments be of a sober character and free from excess of ornamentation. Avoid the use of tobacco and be not addicted to strong drink in any form, that your counsel to be temperate may be made effectual by your example” (D&C119:2a-3d).

I have to ask myself, as I truly control only myself, “Do I exhibit these habits of character for the world to see? Am I ‘of cheerful heart and countenance’ in the world and in worship of the Lord?”

I would ask you, the saints, to take a moment to include in your prayers the youth, the youth programs, and those involved in leading the youth.