OGDEN — The Ogden LDS Institute had its chapel and gym filled with young adults earlier this month as they gathered to hear Jeffrey R. Holland speak via satellite to thousands of young adults throughout the church.
The fireside was sponsored by the Church Educational System and is targeted to single adults in the church between the ages of 18 and 31, but the message is for anyone who cares to tune in. While the broadcast was held on a Sunday evening in September, it was also shown on BYU network and is available on the church website lds.org.
Holland delivered the address from the Dixie University campus in St. George.
Chris Morgan, an institute teacher at the Ogden Institute of Religion, said the young adult turnout was great for Holland’s address, but that the church education system holds the satellite firesides several times a year and many young adults always gather for the addresses.
“They are always top-notch,” Morgan said of the young adult firesides.
The speakers, often general authorities, speak to issues that affect young adults in the church.
Holland’s address was no different. His address lasted about 45 minutes, and he admonished the young adults to stand up for moral issues in the world, but to do so without judging others. He spoke of various situations he had observed in life and how they should be handled.
He spoke of one instance in which an LDS professional basketball player had come to perform at the then-Delta Center and was booed by fans. In the aftermath of the incident, one fan stated that it was no big deal and that he “checks his religion at the door” when he comes to sporting events.
At this statement, Holland exclaimed to the young adults, “You never check your religion at the door. Not ever.”
Holland also spoke of times during the history of the world when righteous groups of people fled wicked places and established their own places of safety and religious worship, called Zion. He told the youths that people would not flee their lands to find religious refuge anymore and that they must make that refuge where they live now.
“This is the 21st century, and we cannot flee any longer,” Holland said.
He suggested the young people walk a careful path to distinguish the difference between loving the sinner and not loving the sin.
“What a hard thing to do,” he said.
He encouraged people to stand up for morals and take part in their communities.
“We can live our religion broadly and unfailingly,” he said.
Morgan said the firesides are popular with the young people and many watch them over and over again with all the media available today.
“These young adults,” he said, “are not going unnoticed.”