Wednesday night about 5000 youth gathered at the Portneuf Wellness Amphitheater to enjoy an evening of entertainment in preparation for the opening of the Pocatello, Idaho Temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The temple is a place where members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints go to draw closer to Christ, make promises to serve more like Him, and to receive added blessings from God. The crowning experience of the temple is the opportunity to be joined as families together for eternity.
The focus of Wednesday night’s gala, was the protection a person can receive by connecting with his or her family whether that family is living or already passed on.
Musicians Whitney Permann, Brooke Stone, and Soni Muller of Mercy River opened the gala, sharing their songs: “Be One”, “Something Out of Me”, “Undeniable”, and “Stand”.
Brooke shared that she grew up in a family that was very athletically talented. However, she didn’t have athletic abilities so at times she felt like an outsider. It wasn’t until one day she read about a great-grandmother who was incredibly talented musically that she realized that she had a very significant connection with her family. Their last song, “Stand” featured a music video that paid tribute to women whose actions made significant impact, including Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, and Malala Yousafzai.
Nik Day has composed over 100 songs that have been included in the Youth Music albums for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including many of the youth theme songs. When he performed the 2020 youth theme song, “Peace in Christ” he invited the crowd to sing along. A highlight of his performance was when his wife, Darla joined him on stage to sing, “Like Him”. Before singing she shared that she had spent many years living her life and trying to solve her problems by worldly standards. Then one day while driving she began to wonder if there was any hope for her with God. She prayed for the first time in a long time and she had the thought to look right, and she saw the Utah penitentiary. She then had the thought to look left, and she saw the Draper Temple. Immediately she thought. You can choose. You can choose bondage with Satan or freedom and joy with me. Nik also ended the evening by inviting the crowd to sing this year’s youth theme song, “Great Work”.
Hank Smith, took the stage by storm. The crowd laughed as he joked about family and family relationships. Amidst his humor were reminders and encouragements. He reminded all present that anything that is anti-family is anti-Christ. He encouraged the audience to seek to make strong families, and he reminded everyone of the miraculous power that is associated with temple attendance.
The evening ended with a brief message from, Bruce H. Winegar who will be the first President of the Pocatello, Idaho Temple.
Many talented people pooled his or her resources to make the evening a success. Soda Barn donated 5000 cookies. Shane Moulton set up a huge LED screen allowing those in attendance an up-close look at the performers. Derk and Kirk Mitton supplied sound and Colton Jensen filming expertise. Whitney Permann of the group, Mercy River coordinated the performer’s performance. The Gala was under the direction of Kevin and Ann Loveland. Troy and Jennifer Dye oversee all events in preparation for the dedication of the Pocatello, Idaho Temple.
The evening was the beginning of several other activities planned in preparation for the temple opening. Sixteen to eighteen-year-old youth will be invited to help plant flowers later in the summer. There will also be a youth fireside the night before the temple dedication; as well as, a youth fireside before the open-house.