If I were giving a grade to this year’s convention, I’d probably give it an “E”. The “E” I’d give them would be more representative than real, in fact it wouldn’t be an actual grade at all, it would probably be more of a complement than a criticism. I’d give it an “E” for excellence, and “E” for effort, and an “E” for effectiveness.
This convention’s excellence had three parts: the excellence of the theme, excellence in the choice of discussion group topics, and excellence in the group of young people that attended. The theme of this year’s convention was contentment; that contentment that we must have in suffering, self-denial, and under authority. Contentment is an aspect of the Christian young person’s life with which we struggle every day. I know I do. It’s hard to be content when you can’t go to the movies, and it seems everyone else is. It’s hard to be content when Mom and Dad say you can’t do something when it seems everyone else can. I felt the speakers did an excellent job with dealing with the subject and applying it to our lives. The discussion groups centered around topics that also affect our every day lives either in the world or in our own families. The discussion groups I was in really added a lot to my learning experience and were fun to be in. This may not have been true in other groups, but I felt that the excellence of the topics may have allowed the young people to talk about something that they could relate to. The group of young people that attended this year’s convention were excellent too. I thank each of them for making this year’s convention the most memorable yet.
The effort by the chaps, hosts, and steering committee made an impression on this year’s convention too. The hosts who opened up their homes and made us feel welcome are appreciated more than any of us could ever say. The chaps were great too. They put up with us for more than twelve hours each day and still had enough energy and enthusiasm to keep a smile on their faces. The steering committee did a great job in keeping us busy, and most of all making sure we were on time, at least most of the time.
The effectiveness of this year’s convention is something only you yourself or I can measure within ourselves. I had a great time meeting new people, some as far away as Australia and New Zealand that I might otherwise have never met. The Christian friendships that I made, and the old ones I renewed will be part of a place and time that I will never forget. But beyond the friendships there is another direction in which I grew and that was one of a spiritual dimension. I learned a lot about myself and at the same time grew and learned a lot about God and my relationship with Him. Conventions are more than just meeting people and going to discussions and speeches and going places, conventions are also a means of strengthening your faith by being with people who believe as you do. I feel that the convention was effective because it affected me personally. If a convention affects one person in a special way then it’s done its job. To all of you who attended this year’s convention, did it affect you?
This year’s convention was one I wouldn’t have missed for anything. Thanks again for all of you who made it so memorable. See you all in California!!!