A Brand New Year
On New Year's Eve, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broadcast via satellite from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, "A Brand New Year". This was a special production of music, dancing, and inspiration by and to the youth of the Church all over the world, during which the new YM/YW theme for 2009 was introduced. Any of you who have seen it know how uplifting and enlarging it was, as well as the Spirit that prevailed as both youth and leaders of the Church bore their testimonies of the truthfulness of the Gospel and their love for our Savior, Jesus Christ. More than 500 young people participated in the orchestra, choir, and stage crew, and truly dazzled all with their talent.
In conjunction with the program, the Church has launched a new website called "A Brand New Year". Chock full of the latest web effects and widgets, the Church has made it the Youth's site on lds.org. I highly recommend it to all of you, whether or not you have teenagers. Here are some of the features:
- Read: Read current or past New Era Magazines, as well as search for articles or key words.
- Photo Gallery: Lots of pictures taken during the rehearsal and performance of "A Brand New Year".
- Listen: Download MP3's from "A Brand New Year", as well as ring tones, a great way to keep the music and the message fresh in anyone's thoughts. Also really great is the 'print music' feature, which allows members throughout the world to make "A Brand New Year" music their own songs.
- Watch the Videos: Recording of the production in several three- to five-minute segments. Full of catchy tunes, amazing production values, and uplifting messages, each individual piece or taken as a whole can provide an excellent addition or focus of your Family Home Evening.
- Commit: A place to print out personal commitment cards, as well as to subscribe to the site's e-newsletter.
- Share: This is the comment section where youth are encouraged to share their own experiences as they keep their commitments to pray daily, read the Book of Mormon daily, and to be happy, as well as read the thoughts of others.
- Resources: A great place for young people to go to read the scriptures online, watch, listen, or read messages from General Conference, learn about a specific gospel topic, access the New Era Magazines, and a terrific set of activities to help memorize the Scripture Mastery scriptures. Other sites on their links list include: LDS.org, Mormom.org, JesusChrist.lds.org, and Especially for Youth.
- Widgets: This is a tool which can be used to embed music and video on personal sites and blogs, such as the one in the right-hand column of this page. This is a great way for teenagers to share what matters to them with their friends, and can be a terrific missionary tool.
Visit the site, watch the video, surf through the different features, and find new ways to inspire your family with the joy that is the gospel of Jesus Christ.