BYU-I hosted their Fall Semester Disciple Leader Conference on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 in the John Taylor building from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The event featured key speakers such as President Clark G. Gilbert and Stake President Rudy Puzey in an effort to help students know how to better become a Disciple Leader It also had workshops led by selected students Householder said.
“Discipleship is closing the gap between what we know and what we do,” Puzey said.
During the afternoon session of the conference, President Gilbert addressed those in attendance. He highlighted the importance of charity, academics and standing as a witness as it relates to becoming a disciple leader.
“In the last days you will need to stand as a witness of the Savior and the Church, often in difficult circumstances,” President Gilbert said.
Gilbert continued to discuss the idea of using one’s agency to become actively engaged in life.
“For behold 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,” according to Doctrine and Covenants 58:27.
Throughout the conference, speakers continued to address disciple-leader topics.
John Parker spoke about the importance of living the gospel in our hearts.
“The point is not to just be active in the church, but to become like Jesus Christ,” Parker said.
Jason Hunt spoke about how our brains are constantly changing.
“We need to learn the doctrines to control our brains,” Hunt said.
By the time students leave the conference, three questions should have been answered according to the event director, Jacob Householder, a sophomore studying financial economics.
“What a disciple leader is, how to become a disciple leader, and the role of the school in that process.” Householder said.
Householder said that the student support council that organized the event hopes students keep these questions in their mind after the conference is over to be applied in the workplace, community, family, and church settings.
The conference is meant to begin a foundational change within students, Householder said.
“I personally believe this conference will help people receive testimonies that are seeking testimonies,” Householder said.
The hope is student’s testimonies will Deepen their discipleship and strengthen their leadership according to the Student Support’s Disciple Leadership Conference website.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints said being a disciple is to walk where Jesus walks, in the May 2009 Ensign article How to Become a Disciple of Christ.
“Disciple Leadership is essentially being like Christ all the time,” Householder said.
To help in this process, students were encouraged to read two talks according to the Student Support event page: Rise to the Call by President Gilbert and Christian Courage by Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The council chose these talks to be the foundational messages of the conference Householder said.
“We actually had a massive list of Disciple Leadership talks to choose from,” Householder said.
In order to decide which ones to use the council was challenged to ponder and pray about which talks would help students become Disciple Leaders during the Fall semester Householder said.
” We don’t want to say the conferences have themes. They have foundational talks because the theme is Disciple Leadership,” Householder said.
Christian Courage was selected because it helps show students what a Disciple leader should look like Householder said.
“Disciple Leaders are the same no matter wherever they go,” Householder said.
Rise to the Call was selected as a way to help students to feel the inspired calling of President Gilbert, Housholder said.
“This is a way for students to say, ‘we support you’,” Householder said.
As president of BYU-I, Gilbert spoke about the importance of becoming a witness during difficult circumstances as a disciple-leader.
“These are perilous times, but the Lord has a plan,” President Gilbert said.