News Story

‘Time For Youth’ Event Inspires Teenagers in Adelaide

Mormon teenagers of the Marion Stake [Diocese] who attended recently a ‘Time for Youth’ gathering in Adelaide, were inspired to tackle challenges in their own lives as they were inspired by a motivational speaker.  Brisbane-based Lorin Nicholson a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, musician and speaker shared ‘Climb Your Own Mountain’ presentation and workshops.

Legally blind from birth, Lorin knows a lot about achieving in the face of obstacles and shared his experiences in an informative and motivational three day workshop.

His own disability didn’t prevent him from becoming an accomplished swimmer and springboard diver in his youth, and go on to create Australian history in 2010 when he and his brother Dean became the first blind cyclists to ride (with tandem support) across the country from Perth to Sydney.

Lorin said after a decade of performing and working with students and youth, he was ‘acutely aware’ of the personal, social and emotional challenges they faced.

“What they’re crying out for are positive role models … and to know that with faith, commitment and determination, any hardship in life can be overcome,” shared Lorin.

“The mountains we each have to climb often seem insurmountable and we wonder whether we'll ever make it, or even if it's really worth the effort to try.  But if you knew how great the view was at the top of that mountain, then you'd never give up.  I know, because I've been to the top of that mountain.”

Lorin’s wife, Lisa, also presented several sessions and workshops.

“Lisa and I had a wonderful time working with the Latter-day Saint youth in South Australia.  It's simply inspiring to witness hundreds of young people with a desire to serve … and be the very best person they can be,” Lorin said.

“He had a great effect on everyone, including me,” said Caleb Rice, 16, of Adelaide.

“He talked to us about achieving anything we have in our sights, and to believe in ourselves as we work towards that goal.”

Lorin used a unique blend of story-sharing bridged with virtuoso guitar music to highlight his message, and each session dove-tailed into the challenge of a rock wall climb set-up on the church grounds.

Caleb was one of 200 14-17 year-olds from across South Australia and Victoria taking part in TFY.  The overall theme, ‘Stand in Holy Places,' emphasised living with faith and integrity no matter where they were.

Organisers balanced social and spiritual classes with fun moments and time to develop talents. The programme of activities including workshops such as: ‘Knowing and Believing in the Best You’, ‘Stay Chilled under Pressure’, ‘Cyber Safety for the Soul’; ‘Healthy Mind and Spirit’, and ‘Learning to Learn’.

Dating, dancing, friendships, anxiety, and recognising talents and gifts were covered, while participants also created a musical talent show.

While serious topics were tackled and led by trained psychologists and professionals, peer support from young adult advisors was another important aspect.

Advisor Cassie Scott, 21, from Adelaide, lent a hand and friendly support on the yellow team named, whimsically, the ‘Victorious Super Nuggets’.

“TFY was a great opportunity for the youth to take a break from their lives and come together with others who share similar standards,” Cassie said.  “They were able to make a lot of new friendships that will last a long time.”

 Attendee Joanna Paton, 16, from Mount Barker, appreciated the spiritual aspects. “It was by far the best spiritual experience I’ve ever felt … the messages from our leaders were talks aimed at building us up, encouraging us to be better people, and followers of Jesus Christ,” Joanna said.

 “I really enjoyed the workshops focused on faith, and how to tackle things we come up against in the world that don’t align with Christian values and standards,” said Joanna.

Many of the youth also created an ‘I’m a Mormon’ profile to share something about themselves and to outline their personal conviction regarding their faith.

TFY Adelaide’s service project brought along an early spirit of Christmas-giving, as the teenagers filled 200 shoeboxes with stationery and other goods for disadvantaged children in South-east Asia via Operation Christmas Child, an initiative of charity organisation Samaritan’s Purse.

For Hannah Sims, 14, it was a highlight of the event. “It was great to be able to support such a good cause, and put caring into action,” she said.

“My friends and I can find and access what we want, whenever we need to, but it’s not like that for less-fortunate children,” said Hannah.

Hannah’s realisation was a message shared by Operation Christmas Child area coordinator Alison Elliss who said, “It’s a powerful thing to teach – that not everyone lives like we do. We have people of all ages who support our annual project, and we’re very happy that these Mormon youth got involved this year.”

The shoeboxes will be sent to 10-14 year-old boys in Thailand and Cambodia who are more likely to attend school if they have the stationery items vital for their education.

“Many children live through very difficult circumstances – poverty, war, any number of things – and it does touch them, knowing that someone cares,” Ms Elliss added.

TFY-goers included a photo and brief profile of themselves in the gift boxes, connecting with a wider world of young people along with strengthening unity among their LDS companions.

Marion Stake President Paul Granger said TFY was a ‘defining moment’ for the youth.

“What stood out to me was … lives were changed, friendships built, testimonies developed, commitments to serve missions made and a greater appreciation of Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness gained,” he said. “It really was a fantastic event that ticked all the boxes.”



Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.