Latter-day Saints’ young singles conference well-received on ASU campus

Eight-year-old Draak Clausing shows off his Romney pin at the 2012 GOP Election Night. (Photo by Aaron Lavinsky)

Eight-year-old Draak Clausing shows off his Romney pin at the 2012 GOP Election Night. Both Mitt and Ann Romney spoke at the Young Single Adults conference this weekend at ASU’s Gammage Auditorium. (Photo by Aaron Lavinsky)

Approximately 3,800 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints descended on ASU’s Tempe campus for the first Young Single Adults conference Friday through Sunday.

The theme of the conference, “There is no obstacle too great, no challenge too difficult that we cannot meet with faith,” came from a quote by late LDS church President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Speakers throughout the weekend included ASU President Michael Crow, former ASU and NFL quarterback Danny White and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as well as his wife, Ann.

Paul E. Gilbert, president of the Tempe YSA stake and conference organizer, said there was no question that Mitt and Ann Romney were the highlight of the weekend.

“They were very well-received and were very touched by this group of people,” he said. “They walked into a spontaneous outpouring of affection.”

Crow gave a terrific speech and wonderful presentation on opening up one’s potential, Gilbert said.

Event coordinator Ron Mabry said each person who attended the event gave a pledge of one hour of service, which resulted in more than 31,000 school kits being put together for national relief charities that work with Native American tribes.

“It was a great need they had and we completed 21,000 backpacks which were finished in two hours,” he said. “Thirteen tribes throughout Arizona and the country will receive the packs.”

The goal of the event was to bring young people together and to expand their friendship base, Mabry said.

“The event was fabulous,” he said. “I could not be more pleased. … It was a great time of spiritual rejuvenation and an overall great time.”

Overflow seating from Gammage Auditorium was required in the LDS building and law school on ASU’s Tempe campus.

Sacrament attendee Don Clifford said he enjoyed the service Sunday morning and took away a special message from the event.

“It was an uplifting and spiritual event,” he said. “I was able to take away some messages to better my life.”

Reach the reporter at jshanco2@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @joey_hancock