This year was the 16th performance of our Stake Youth Musical. This year's theme was "We Testify of Him". What a beautiful missionary tool. Through beautiful music, powerful scenes from the Book of Mormon, and a touch of witty commentary - the youth bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and their Savior, Jesus Christ. * I am so grateful for this fabulous opportunity for our youth - both as a mother and as a leader. "Thank you to those who dedicate their time, energy, and talents!" * I wish you lived near enough to attend one of these marvelous performances. Jeff's parents were able to make the two and half hour drive Saturday night to attend the performance where Brie sang with a small group of four. To give you an idea of how this experience inspires our youth... I found these posts from both Brie and Maddy after the musical (they posted online-so I am sure it is fine to share here): :)
MADDY (age 12): "I'm pretty sure the musical is the best thing that ever happened to me. This year was my second year and it was amazing. I got to know so many new people and I became a lot closer to those that I already knew. Tonight I felt the spirit so strongly and I know that my testimony has grown stronger. Thank you to all those who bore their testimonies tonight they all touched me very much. Thank you to a...ll the leaders too who helped put the musical together. I know that the LDS church is the true church and I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I love being a latter day saint and I am proud to share my religion. And all my friends who don't get my religion or have questions about it please come and ask me. I love you all :)"
BRIE (age 16): "I know I've shared this a lot, but my heart is filled to the brim with love right now. We just finished our last performance of our musical... I can't believe it's over. The musical was one of those things that really kept me going. This month has been amazingly stressful and hard and difficult. There's been problem after problem and you know what? It was Satan pressuring me into forgetting what was really important. Every time I'm in these musicals, that particular month is really hard. But because of my strength and my faith and the spirit that is felt every single practice, I am able to overcome anything. I am ready for anything now. I know that we are faced with difficulties, but our Heavenly Father knows we can handle them. He knows our strength, and He wants us to know it too. If we listen to the spirit, everything will be OK! I know it will. I also know that if you take the time to read the Book of Mormon, you will come to know that it is TRUE. There is no other truer book on this planet. I promise you that. I know that Christ is our Savior. I BELIEVE IN CHRIST. I do, I really do! He has saved me! I am eternally indebted to him, and it's my job to be the best I possibly can. He loves me. He loves YOU. He loves us all! There is no one that can fall too far away to never come back unto the gospel. Who wouldn't want to feel how good I'm feeling right now? I feel... uplifted, literally. Like my heart is just filled with goodness and my soul is singing and my eyes are sparkling and I love everyone and everything around me and I just want to hug everyone and I'm crying tears of joy. Who doesn't want to feel that? It's like every hard thing I've had to go through this month was totally worth it. Being LDS is... amazing. I am so blessed to be apart of this church. I'm more than blessed, really. I know that it's true and I will NEVER deny it. I will NEVER deny my Father or Jesus Christ. I will NEVER deny this Book of Mormon. I have had too many amazing moments like this to say that it's not true. I've been touched by the spirit... it has saved me. I am who I am because of this church. Because of the people, the leaders, the youth, our loving prophet, the Book of Mormon, the music... everything. Please read the Book of Mormon. I PROMISE YOU that your life will be changed for the better. I promise you that if you pray as you read, the Lord will reveal things unto you. I promise you that life will become clearer. Heavenly Father loves YOU. Don't ever forget that. I LOVE WHO I AM AND WHERE I'VE COME FROM. I am proud to be Mormon." * The month of October is dedicated to the musical. It all begins (for the youth) with a Musical Kick Off Fireside on the first Sunday of October. Then there are musical practices every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evening from 6:30-8:30 pm. Each practice begins with a devotional. Do you know how many devotionals that is? Performances take place the first weekend of November (two on Saturday and one Sunday evening). * There are no ward mutual activities during the month - obviously. But each ward takes a couple nights to chaperon and provide snacks (for approximately 250 youth) during each practice. * It is amazing what is accomplished in such a short amount of time. Script. Music. Orchestra (yes, the music is live). Costumes. Lighting. Set Designs. Vocal coaching. ... so many hands involved! * Here is a glimpse of what you missed (photos taken by Shelley Van Wagenen, our Stake Young Women's President):