I haven't written my "EFY" report yet, but here's a starter....
For those of you who aren't familiar with EFY, it stands for "Especially for Youth," which is a week-long summer conference, hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for youth ages 14-18. I am one of more than 300 teachers who take a couple of days a year to interact with these incredible youth. In my session, at BYU, there were about 400 participants and 3 teachers, so each class is packed full of energetic teens.
I know I have a lot going on in my life, and this is one of those "extras" I could cut out, but I love it so much...it's dessert for me to prepare and teach my classes. Here's one example of a stellar youth I met this month:
In a class titled, "Can You Feel the Love?" which focused on the Love of God in our lives, I asked, "When have you found joy in being obedient?" This young man in the front row raised his hand and said the following,
"I recently went to the prom with a really popular senior girl." (He was a junior.) "She didn't know how to dance the right way." (I thought he meant she was a bad dancer, but he meant that she wasn't dancing appropriately...too sensual, etc.)
"I had a little copy of the "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet in my pocket, so I took it out and read her the part about dancing. I told her I would put my hand on her shoulder, and no lower. She liked that. Then she told all her friends, and by the end of the dance, everyone was dancing that way."
When he finished sharing his story, the class sat in stunned silence, and then everyone just applauded. I asked if I could take his picture.
How many young men would have the courage (or even the desire) to DO that? He holds the Priesthood, and he takes his covenants with God very seriously. Even when he could have easily "gotten away" with dancing like everyone else, he decided to stand strong for what he believes in. And the greatest part is that his courage inspired others to do the same.
I love strong youth.