Young adults pack Conference Center, overflow seating with largest crowds since pandemic

May 16, 2022, 10:39 AM | Updated: 3:09 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Thousands gathered at the Conference Center and overflow seating in Temple Square for a big event that hasn’t taken place with this many people in-person, since before the start of the pandemic.

Many of them took away more than just a message and connected with others sharing their age and beliefs.

President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invited young adults between the ages of 18-30, and those in their last year of seminary, living within an hour and a half drive of the Conference Center to a Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults.

Approximately 24,000 secured a seat between the Conference Center, and the Tabernacle and Assembly Hall on Temple Square. Many more who couldn’t make it in sat outside the Conference Center, watching the talk on their phone.

The sound of thousands of voices echoed with excitement across the Conference Center courtyard, with many showing up two hours or more early in hopes of making it inside for the event.

“I haven’t been in this atmosphere for a long time, so I was like, ‘Yes! We are back again.’ I was so happy,” said Ericson Weih, who lives in Sugar House and arrived two hours before the devotional began.

Naomi Gonzales said she drove down from Clearfield and found it “really awesome” to be surrounded by so many people with similar beliefs, and who care about the Church as much as she does.

“With people my age, I can relate to them more,” she said.

Inside the Conference Center, thousands of young adults eagerly listened to President Nelson and his wife. President Nelson shared a message centering on choosing what kind of life one wants to live forever and understanding fundamental truths to prepare for their future course—relayed in a way young adults could appreciate.

“These truths ought to prompt your ultimate sense of FOMO,” President Nelson said, as everyone laughed. The crowd chuckled again as he continued. “Or, ‘fear of missing out.'”

Gonzales shared how she loved hearing President Nelson describe important labels about who she is, including being a child of God, that she will now prioritize in her life.

“Everything he said was so perfect with what I needed,” she said.

“It pushes me to go back again, to come back to myself, go back to the principals– which is learning and improving all the time,” Weih said.

Gonzales and Weih also felt something else resonate during the event—finding connection and friendship with each other. The two met outside the Conference Center, after they couldn’t make it in. Weih saw Gonzales taking notes, and the two opened a conversation.

“To be honest, I didn’t really expect it. I just kind of expected to come and take notes,” Gonzales said. “But that was really awesome to have someone talk to me, and it was really nice– so thank you.”

She said it was good for her to step out of her comfort zone and meet new people her age, who share the same belief as she does.

“I want to experience more of these things, and especially as this gospel is centered around people,” Gonzales said. “What a good opportunity for me.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Attendees at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Conference Center for the second d...
Eliza Pace and Ladd Egan, KSL TV

18 new temples announced during October 2022 General Conference

The locations of 18 new temples were announced during the 192nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
1 day ago
A Sacred Monument...

WATCH: Washington DC Temple — A Sacred Monument in a City of Monuments

Towering 288 feet above the skyline in Maryland, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint Washington DC temple has been a landmark in the nation’s capital for nearly 50 years.
1 day ago
Follow @KSL5TV...

WATCH: ‘Book of Mormon Videos: Behind the Scenes, Christ Visits the People of Nephi’

A behind-the-scenes look at Season Four of the “Book of Mormon Videos” where Jesus Christ visits the Americas.
1 day ago
Shawn Bradley: Strangely Grateful (KSL TV)...

WATCH: ‘Shawn Bradley— Strangely Grateful’

Recently a bicycle accident left Shawn Bradley paralyzed. Confined to a wheelchair, his colossal size is a challenge without medical precedent.
1 day ago
Attendees at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Conference Center....
Michael Houck & Ladd Egan

Day One of 192nd Semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tens of thousands gathered in downtown Salt Lake City Saturday for the 192nd Semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
2 days ago
Follow @KSL5TV...

WATCH: ‘A More Perfect Union’

We are the United State of America but today our divisions seem to run deep. Many people from across the political spectrum believe the Constitution is in crisis.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
Young adults pack Conference Center, overflow seating with largest crowds since pandemic