KATE LEONARD | Scroll Photography

Conference inspires students

BYU-Idaho held its third Disciple-Leader Conference Saturday, June 6.

Throughout the conference, those in attendance had the opportunity to listen to speakers, participate in group discussions led by student mentors, engage in workshops taught by faculty members and have lunch.

The conference began at 9 a.m. with a lecture by Julie Willis, the geology department chair at BYU-I.

In her lecture, Willis said students can become disciple-leaders by “stepping up” in a variety of ways that she illustrated through the examples of Esther from the Old Testament, George Washington, Florence Nightingale and the Brother of Jared from The Book of Mormon.

She used these examples to show students how to “step up” in the following four ways:

  • Step up from fear
  • Step up from failure
  • Step up to learning
  • Step up to revelation

Willis said it is sometimes easy for students to want to give in and not step up because of a bad experience in the past. She said students are at BYU-I to grow, and the only way to progress and move forward in life is to keep stepping up when we face challenges.

After Willis’s talk, students split into breakout sessions and met in smaller groups with student mentors.

Rachel Scoresby, a mentor at the conference and a junior studying elementary education, said the mentors for each group chose the topics of their discussions. She said she and her mentor partner, Kyler Wilcock, a sophomore studying music education, prayerfully sought inspiration for weeks as they chose their topic.

“While it’s not a priesthood function, and we’re not entitled to revelation for the participants, we are able to invite the Spirit through testifying of truth, and they can receive revelation for themselves,” Wilcock said.

After the first breakout session, students were able to attend two of four workshops. During the workshops, students were able to learn about different ways in which they could become disciple-leaders in their homes, families, communities and occupations.

The workshops were taught by Ross Baron, Rexburg YSA 3rd stake president and professor in the religious education department; Rachel Huber, curriculum designer for the online curriculum development department; Timothy Rarick, professor in the home and family department; and Chris Wilson, professor in the teacher education department.

At the close of the workshops, students gathered for lunch in The Crossroads.

The conference reconvened as students gathered into their breakout groups for the second time to continue discussing doctrine together.

The conference ended with a lecture given by the keynote speaker, Greg Palmer, Rexburg YSA 8th Stake President and professor in the religious education department.

Palmer focused much of his lecture on principles of disciple-leadership that he has observed from past and current apostles. He then gave examples of disciple-leadership from the life of Jesus Christ.

Scoresby said she felt the conference was a success.

“What I think made today successful was the Spirit was definitely here,” Scoresby said. “We put a lot of work into this, but really, the Spirit made the difference.”

Emily Pitts, a senior majoring marriage and family clinical studies, said that she felt like the Disciple-Leader Council did a good job in organizing  the event.

“I think my favorite thing was just that everything was pointed back to Christ, to the Savior,” Pitts said.

Parker Carson, a junior studying biology, said it was interesting that he is always surprised at what he gains from the conference. He said as he commits himself to the purpose of the conference, becoming a disciple-leader, he finds that he gains great knowledge.

“There’s no better way to spend a Saturday morning than to come to this conference and to be blessed with that knowledge of how to become a disciple-leader,” Carson said.

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