Gathering brings 900 Mormon church members to Duluth
The gathering of 900 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at the University of Minnesota Duluth this week has been in the works for 2 1/2 years.
The gathering of 900 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at the University of Minnesota Duluth this week has been in the works for 2½ years.
The regional conference where 800 young women ages 12 to 18 and 100 adult leaders come together happens every six years, and Duluth was chosen after local leaders volunteered to organize it.
Members came from as far as Thunder Bay, Ontario, and Michigan and are spending time doing service projects and crafts, taking classes with a spiritual focus, playing sports, gathering for music as one group nightly and visiting the Tweed Museum of Art and the Planetarium.
"It's to really help the girls gain a strong testimony of what we believe and to have a really strong foundation," said Elsie Davis of Duluth, who helped organize the conference. "Some are the only LDS girls in their high school or middle school. Having a gathering of 900 like this creates a bond and unity, and helps them realize they are not alone in the standards and beliefs we try to instill in youth."
Along with Tuesday's tree-planting, girls spread mulch on trails in UMD's Bagley Nature Area, which was damaged by flooding, and helped clean the campus.
Past conferences have been held in Winona, Minn., and River Falls, Wis. Davis said this year's was the biggest for the region represented.