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‘Mormon Land’: Young LDS singles sing, dance, run and rock out. Will such connections keep them in the church?

Utah’s big YSA bash drew nearly 20,000 members for three weekends of fun, friendship and faith.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Attendees visit with one another at the 2023 Utah Area YSA Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.

Nearly 20,000 young single adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sang, danced, played, prayed, served, ran and worshipped over three weekends in August for a Utah YSA Conference.

Events, all under the theme “Together in Christ,” included a concert at Salt Lake City’s Delta Center, a dance at a Sandy convention hall, a 5K run at the new Saratoga Springs Temple, devotionals, games and other activities at Salt Lake City’s Salt Palace and Brigham Young University’s Marriott Center in Provo.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Young adults listen and dance as Kaskade performs at the Mountain American Expo Center in Sandy on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023.

The conference came at a time when many millennials and younger generations are leaving the church and even religion altogether. Can events like this one help reduce that exodus?

On this week’s show, University of Utah student Carly Clark, who was a co-chair of the planning committee, and BYU student Josh Newman, who attended, discuss the conference, its purpose, appeal and success as well as whether such gatherings should be duplicated and repeated.

Listen to the podcast: