That was my son’s Facebook status a few weeks ago after he returned from a couple of days in Kirtland. It’s the kind of thing that makes the heart of a parent of a mid-teen soar, especially when for a long time that mid-teen seemed to find something to complain about with everything he did, especially at church.
I don’t know exactly what made his youth conference awesome. (I do know he was really impressed by the bathrooms at the Morely Farm – very high-tech ones in a trailer, but with wood floors and MoTab music piped in…) In any case, I’m glad that the conference was awesome enough for him to note it.
There’s that saying that 90% of life is just showing up. I don’t think that’s really true, but I do think it may be true for teenagers. Getting them to the right place at the right time is crucial to the development of testimony, values and character (hopefully those three intersect well).
The summer before my senior year, I was away from home when my mom signed me up for youth conference. When I came home, I complained just a little, but my mom played the “Do it for me” card (one she played only very rarely in my life). I went. And it was awesome, and for more than just the bathrooms (frankly I don’t remember the bathrooms!). I made a new friend at that conference that significantly influenced a couple of key future decisions in my life, like going to BYU and going on a mission. I felt the spirit in that conference like I hadn’t in several years, and had a testimony rekindled. That conference – and the keynote speaker in particular (someone from Salt Lake whose name I no longer remember) – contributed significantly to who I am today.
By the way, I love Kirtland. If you haven’t been, it’s well worth the trip from wherever you are. Apparently, even the bathrooms are awesome.