During the month of August, Area General Authorities from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted Utah’s firstever young single adult conference, spanning over three weekends.

This was not only the first conference Utah hosted, but it was the largest YSA conference ever hosted.

With the theme, “Together in Christ,” the conference sponsored activities for the first three weekends in August.

On Aug. 5, the conference began with a concert featuring One Republic, Jordin Spark and Jordan Smith. While there, music artist Jordan Smith sang for those in attendance a popular primary song, “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus,” inviting the 15,000 people in attendance to sing with him. Although not a member of the Latter-day Saint community, Jordan Smith, a Christian himself, joined in uniting together in Christ.

The YSA Committee join together for the devotional with Elder Christofferson.

The YSA Committee join together for the devotional with Elder Christofferson. Photo credit: Jess Shelton

On Aug. 11, 7,000 people attended a dance.

On Aug. 12, the conference hosted a 5K fun run at the Saratoga Springs Temple, the day before the dedication of the temple.

On Aug. 19, the YSA conference held its biggest event yet, the Gather Together convention, held at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. The convention consisted of presentations from General Authorities, politicians, movie producers, athletes, authors and other inspiring people. They also had performances by music groups such as Piano Guys, Truman Brothers, Nashville Tribute Band and Lexi Walker.

“I learned while I was attending the presentations that the Gathering of Israel is gathering yourself to Christ and then gathering others to Him,” said Elise Lisonbee, a sophomore studying chemistry who attended the conference.

Elise Lisonbee attended the conference and said she felt uplifted attending.

Elise Lisonbee attended the conference and said she felt uplifted attending. Photo credit: Elise Lisonbee

A massive service project, tours of the ancient tabernacle, a sports room, an inflatable obstacle course, a quiet hangout room, a family history adventure room, and a speed dating room were also featured at the conference.

“We broke the world record for speed dating by having 4,700 YSA’s come through and speed date throughout the day,” said Jess Shelton, a YSA committee member who helped carry out each event but was specifically assigned to the speeding dating and sports room.

Over 18,000 people were in attendance at the Gather Together convention.

On Aug. 20, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke in a YSA devotional in the Marriott Center at BYU that was broadcast worldwide.

“The purpose of the conference was to help the YSA’s in Utah gather together in Christ’s name,” Shelton said. “We wanted the YSA’s to feel more connected to each other and to see just how many people there are that share their beliefs and their desires to do good.”

YSA prepare for the speed dating to begin.

YSA prepare for the speed dating to begin. Photo credit: Jess Shelton

YSA Conferences like this one have been hosted around the country, but this is the first one Utah hosted.

While working, Shelton overheard an attendee as they left the concert — the first activity of the conference — say, “If tonight was this amazing, there’s no way I’d miss any of the other events.”

Shelton said that the committee was very pleased to see how many people attended, as each of the events sold out of tickets.

While nothing has been finalized for future events, Church leaders want to continue having YSA events. Shelton said that the best way to be aware of upcoming events would be to follow the Utah YSA Conference on Instagram.

“If even one person among all these thousands found a desire to come closer to their Savior, that would be the most successful part about the conference,” Shelton said. “The numbers paint one picture, but the fact that individual lives were influenced and hopefully changed for the better at the conference is the most success we could hope for.”