The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Friday it will launch For the Strength of Youth conferences in the U.S. and Canada starting in 2020.
For the Strength of Youth conferences, known as FSY, are modeled after BYU’s Especially for Youth conferences (EFY). According to the Church Newsroom, the Church has offered FSY outside the U.S. for more than a decade and will continue to do so.
Traditional EFY sessions will be discontinued so BYU can support the Church in facilitating FSY, according to efy.byu.edu. EFY Special Edition and EFY Express sessions will continue.
According to a Church-released notice, FSY lasts 5 days and consists of activities, devotionals and classes “designed to help strengthen faith in Jesus Christ and provide opportunities for youth to grow spiritually, socially, physically and intellectually.”
All stakes will participate in FSY every other year beginning in 2021 and 2022. Youth ages 14 and older are invited to attend until they graduate high school. Only select stakes will participate in FSY in 2020 as the Church rolls out the program. The complete list of participating stakes can be found here.
According to the notice, young single adults will be called as FSY counselors and youth leaders do not attend FSY.
The Church has asked stakes hosting FSY in 2020 to not plan treks or youth conferences, but the stakes may host young women and young men’s camps.
FSY is just one facet of the Church’s new initiative for children and youth, which was announced in May 2018 and will begin in January 2020. The initiative will also replace the Church’s scouting, Personal Progress, Faith in God and Duty to God programs.
Some Twitter users expressed disappointment about EFY ending, but others celebrated the decision.
Having taught with EFY for almost 13 years, I’ll definitely miss it and I have so many great memories and friendships.
That said, I’m way excited to see how this FSY program is going to give even more youth a similar, great experience as they grow… https://t.co/dxe0oxvRf7
— Derek Crimin (@brocrimin) July 19, 2019
EFY has been some of my kids fave memories and testimony builders. And it now employs one of them! But not everyone can afford it. It looks like this new program will be more inclusive and they will be using the EFY model to run it.
— Linda (@seemomsmile) July 19, 2019
Wow. I’ve been an instructor / keynote speaker with EFY for several years, and I gotta say — this can be an awesome change if they pull it off properly. A lot of underprivileged units and youth will be hugely blessed by this.
— benbernards (@benbernards) July 19, 2019
Wait so there is no more EFY? How lame. Doing it as a stake is not he same. My daughter loves meeting youth from all over the country. Hearing from different leaders that are not the same voices she always hears. I hope I read it wrong.
— Diana (@dianaallen) July 19, 2019
As someone who has to deal with EFY kids taking over campus and blocking every walkway in buildings and outside, I won't miss it.
— Christian (@ChrisMESA96) July 19, 2019