OGDEN -- Latter-day Saint youths, their parents and leaders packed the Dee Events Center earlier this week to hear messages of encouragement from Area Seventy Lynn Summerhays and General Young Women's President Elaine Dalton.
The message to the young people from everyone was simple: "The Time is Now."
The leaders reminded attendees to move forward with family history work, to be ready and worthy to attend the temple and not to hold back and wait for life to pass them by.
The catalyst for the fireside, which included 32 stakes across Weber County, was a celebration of and an encouragement to follow General Authority David Bednar's counsel from last October's General Conference for young people to be actively involved in family history work.
Summerhays said that when he met with the 32 stake presidents late last year, they all decided they wanted youths in the area to focus on Bednar's challenge, because they wanted them to receive the promised blessings Bednar gave: Being closer to family and ancestors, and being protected from worldly temptations.
Summerhays said he soon started receiving letters showing that the spirit of family history work had landed in small towns in Weber County. He was thrilled by this and now wants all the young people to catch that same fever.
"Tonight is a celebration for what has been done ... and a commitment for what will come in the future," Summerhays said.
As they walked into the Dee Events Center, each person was handed a bright-yellow bracelet that read, "I was there" and "The Time is Now."
Two youths from each stake were featured in a video presentation talking about their experiences doing family history work and how it had helped their lives. At the conclusion of the video, Dalton spoke to the crowd.
She said she is thrilled that the young people are learning who they are and whose they are.
"You are some of the noble and great ones," she said, smiling as she looked across the vast crowd.
Dalton talked about her early years in Ogden. On the night of the fireside, she arrived in Ogden a little early and had her husband drive by Ogden High School, where she graduated.
"I went back. I was in high school again. I remembered the temptations and the trials," she explained. She encouraged the young people to be worthy and strong, saying that virtue is moral purity and vitally important.
She talked about Bednar's speech. He had called her to his office to listen to the speech before he delivered it at General Conference. At that time, she knew the power it could generate for the youth.
"Now is the time. We have so much faith in you. We have so much confidence in you," she said.
Both Summerhays and Dalton told the young people that the family history work they are doing will not be forgotten by those who have passed before them, and that should be an encouragement for them.
"When you go to heaven, they will fall upon your neck and thank you," Dalton said with emotion.
Leaders and parents have been encouraged to work with the youths and the youths have been encouraged to work with each other to do more family history work and to visit lds.org and follow the simple steps to start their own work.