This Monday night I was able to participate in the LDS Share Expo on BYU campus. For those who don’t know what that was, it involved learning and understanding how to use social media to share the gospel online. There were excellent classes and presenters and the energy was incredible. While I was watching the incredible numbers of people whiz past me in herds my mind thought for a moment about the miracle that I was witnessing right before my very eyes. There were several people volunteering to teach their peers; others were volunteering to learn and understand. Goals were being reached, and good things were happening everywhere. From this experience I learned three things about Young Single Adults in the church.
First, I observed that they were being involved! A few years ago I remember reading a book by Gordon B. Hinckley called “Ways to Be”. In this book he suggested 9 things we ought to become to be happier. He said, “Be involved in good works, or in other words, be willing to work” In Doctrine and Covenants 58:27 we read, “Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.” Hundreds of young adults were actively engaging in activities, classes and experiments. They weren’t passive listeners, but they were engaged learners. They learned by doing. They were going from booth to booth trying the activities presented to them. Some were running because they were so excited. At moments they literally stood back to back with little wriggle room but they were undeterred.
Second, they were being supportive of each other. My favorite part was watching as presenters’ friends would enter the room. They would try to make each other laugh, wave to let them know they were there, and even participate and answer questions to help the conversation get going. Personally, although I was not a presenter, I was involved in the expo and my ward showed up to support me as well. It was fun to see familiar faces in a crowd of so many individuals. Many of the presenters were also example of support by supporting and cheering each other on. Beforehand many were talking excitedly about what their part of the expo would be and finding out what else would be going on.
Third, be willing to change! Many of the ideas talked about were new and different to people. It is easy for us to get stuck in old habits or ways. It can be a challenge to change the way we do things. We have been asked by prophets and apostles to use our hands. Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “Use your hands to blog and text message the gospel to the world.” Elder Ballard asked us to consider the following questions: “This is the world of the future, with inventions undreamed of that will come in your lifetime as they have in mine. How will you use these marvelous inventions? More to point, how will you use them to further the work of the Lord?” For many that means doing things like using #hashtags, sharing videos about Christ on our Facebook walls, or even blogging like this. It means getting outside of our comfort zone to help the work progress. These YSA were willing to do it. Many were taking selfies with missionaries and posting them to instagram, or creating Google+ profiles to start sharing the gospel there. It was really cool!
Last night at Institute this all came together for me , and I learned finally that when we apply what we were taught we can be ready to see miracles! A girl in the class raised her hand and shared her story. One day while surfing the internet, her browser froze on a Youtube page with a Mormon video of some kind. She thought it looked interesting so she clicked through and eventually was led to a church website where she requested a copy of the Book of Mormon. Missionaries came and shared the book with her and eventually she joined the church. That is what this is about! It is about making information available for those who are searching!
So to summarize, be involved in good works. Be supportive of each other. Be willing to change. Be willing to witness miracles! Good things are happening out there! With general conference coming up this weekend, let’s all try to apply these principles and see what good can be accomplished!
Ashley Dewey is extremely talented at being single. Hobbies include awkward conversations with members of the opposite sex, repelling third dates, talking to boys about their girl problems and to girls about their boy problems. In her spare time she also has a very fulfilling school life, work life, and social life. Besides being a professional single, Ashley is also a BYU graduate with a degree in linguistics (Aka word nerd). She enjoys studying other languages, particularly American Sign Language, and finds most all of them fascinating. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Ashley works most of the time and has often been accused of being a workaholic. Currently she works full time as a merchandiser and supervisor in a retail store, and part time doing social media work. On her day off she works (really it doesn't feel like work) in the Provo LDS temple. The only kind of work she finds difficulty focusing on is house work. Her favorite activities in her free time are reading, writing, creating social experiments, and spending time with great friends and family. Specific activities with those family and friends include: going to concerts, plays, dance recitals, BYU basketball and football games, and watching sports on television.