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Conference addresses student desire for deeper spiritual conversion

The Disciple-Leader Conference will be Saturday at 9 a.m. and will explore the theme, “Becoming More Fully Converted.”

Each speaker will be referencing various conference talks that go with the theme of the conference. The talks can be found on the Disciple Leader Conference Web page and can be read in preparation, according to the BYU-Idaho Disciple Leader Conference Web page.

Libby Staley, a current disciple leader representative and a sophomore studying business management, said the conference this semester will be focused on strengthening individual conversion.

“It’s an opportunity to come to better understand the school’s purpose as a disciple preparation center as well as coming unto Christ,” she said.

Staley said the Disciple Leader Conference, now in its fifth successive semester, has steadily grown in attendance.

“The first one only had 200 people, and we’ve just grown since,” she said.

Staley said that despite the conference’s growing popularity and current attendance goals, the disciple leader council this semester wants to focus on seeing those individuals that need or want to attend.

To see what the Disciple Leader Conference looked like in spring 2015, read “Conference inspires students”

“We want to focus on the one,” she said. “The people that want to work on their own conversion and testimony.”

Staley said the conference will be a wonderful mid-semester, spiritual pick-me-up for those students who feel bogged down by midterms and other responsibilities.

“This semester, we have a really awesome keynote speaker, Brother Baron,” she said.

Staley said the price of the conference is $3, which includes lunch.

She said she would encourage students to try the conference.

“It never hurts to feel the Spirit,” Staley said. “I can promise them that if they come with the mind-set of ‘I will learn something,’ they will take something from the conference.”

Brent Bean, a professor in the communication department, said he is excited to have an interactive time with the audience as a speaker and mentor at the conference.

“I really enjoy teaching,” he said. “To me, teaching isn’t just getting up to give a lecture, but it’s being in that atmosphere where we’re just kind of interacting with each other and discussing things.”

Bean said he thinks the objective of the conference is to teach true followers of Christ how to become better and stronger leaders in their lives.

“They could be leaders in their own individual lives,” he said. “Leaders in the Church, leaders in their family, leaders in their community and leaders in the business and corporate world.”

Bean said this conference is perfect for anyone who might tell him or herself that he or she is not a natural leader.

“I would say that leadership is not necessarily a trait that we are born with,” Bean said. “There are people who are born with characteristics and traits that might make it easier for them to be a leader, but anyone can be a leader.”

Bean said the conference will be a safe environment, conducive to learning the principles and habits inherent to leader-like behavior.

Bean said that no matter what is discussed, if those involved are trying to teach and learn by the Spirit, the conversation will be guided and the Holy Ghost will whisper to the hearts of the participants.

“In any setting where we’re trying to learn, the more that we prepare, the better,” he said. “We come with an attitude of learning and preparing. Instead of an attitude of ‘I dare you to teach me,’ it’s ‘What can I learn?’”

Robert Wahlquist, a professor in the religion department, said he will, in his breakout sessions, focus on the meaning of discipleship and things people can do to be more worthy of the title “disciple.”

“Get out of bed and come to the conference,” Wahlquist said. “What college student gets up on a Saturday morning to go study better how to become like Jesus? Only the best of college kids.”

Wahlquist said the benefits of the conference will only go to those who internalize and apply what they learn.

“Each one of the speakers will make a genuine attempt to teach with the Holy Ghost, and then the Holy Ghost will personalize whatever thing that individual needs to improve their own discipleship, and the Spirit will then take that home,” Wahlquist said.

Wahlquist said he looks forward to students leaving the conference with a renewed faith and determination to follow Christ and reach their potential as disciple leaders.

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