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SALT LAKE CITY — The Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake was filled Sunday night with LDS youth who came to hear from President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It was a rare occasion for a president of the church and his wife to speak directly to the youth — church members ages 12-18. President Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, encouraged them to eliminate distractions and make better use of their time, so they can focus on their faith.
“My dear extraordinary youth, you were sent to Earth at this precise time — this most crucial time in the history of the world — to help gather Israel,” the 93-year-old church president said as he began his message.
Telling the young church members they have an eternal destiny, President Nelson gave encouragement and counsel to the next generation of the church in the hour-long devotional.
Sister Nelson urged the youth to live up to their potential in life.
“What we choose to do is part of our testing. The choice is yours and mine. Will we choose to do whatever it takes to fulfill the wonderful missions for which we were sent to earth?” she said.
President Nelson challenged young church members to set five goals in their lives — No. 1, take a break from social media.
“Choose seven consecutive days and go for it. See if you notice any difference in how you feel and what you think, and even how you think, during those seven days,” he said.
It was a message many LDS youth in attendance believed will help eliminate a distraction in their lives.
“I love my phone. I shouldn’t, but I do, and I think it will help me personally to be in tune with others and not focus on my phone,” said Anna Eaton of Sandy.
Others said from what they heard Sunday night, they see new opportunities to help their peers.
“I’ve got plenty of friends who don’t live the gospel, so I think I can help them out,” added Caden Baines of Lehi.
It was a night many LDS teens said they won’t forget being a part of in person, according to Erika Newman, an 18-year-old Latter-day Saint from Sandy.
“It was amazing, super spiritual, I was crying, it was something that I needed in my life right now,” she said.
Watch the full youth devotional at LDS.org.