News Release

Over 1,000 Teens Gather in Sydney for Youth Conference 

Young Latter-day Saints from across NSW come together to learn, make new friends and have fun

Teenagers from across New South Wales gathered for a special youth conference in Sydney recently.

The young people — members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — travelled from near and far to St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill, for a “For the Strength of Youth” conference which took place from 5-17 January.

These conferences focus on providing young Latter-day Saints opportunities to develop their knowledge, talents, friendships and faith in a safe and stimulating environment.

Sessions for youth 14 to 15 years of age were held from 5-10 January; and ages 16 to 18 from 12-17 January.

In all, over 1,000 joined together for instruction and social events over a two week period.

Youth from all of NSW plus some from interstate gathered to take part in the various activities.

The theme for both sessions was: “O ye that embark in the service of God,” which is also the 2015 theme for Latter-day Saint youth (ages 12 to 18) throughout the world.

Devmini Ranasinghe, a 14 year old from Sri Lanka, now living in Sydney, was baptised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in October, 2014.  She was invited to share her thoughts about the FSY conference before an audience of over 500 youth on 17 January. 

Devmini told the congregation that she was a bit apprehensive about coming to the conference as she had not been away from her family before.

“Thanks to the wonderful leaders,” she said, “great friends who came with me, and new friends, I soon became comfortable.”

“The first thing I learned was the importance of gospel study in my life so I can feast on the words of the Saviour. In our complex world there are lots of distractions and temptations and daily scripture study will keep us focused on correct principles.”

One of her favourite parts of the conference, she said, “was the importance of sharing goodness. That our mind is like a stage and we should always have clean thoughts. We, as young Latter-day Saints, are in the world but not of the world. The key is to stay worthy and do things that will help bring the Spirit into our lives”. 

Not all of the hours were spent in serious instruction, there were also a number of fun activities. A variety show, two dances, a games night and a musical program.

David Lakisa, a coordinator for Latter-day Saints’ seminaries and institutes in Australia, said, “FSY generates a spiritual anchor-like experience for all involved. Although it is just one week out of the entire year, the real post-FSY test is what takes place in their lives to develop enduring conversion because of FSY.”

FSY conferences are designed to bring together youth in a specific area to experience a week-long program that includes classes, devotionals and other activities to foster friendships and strengthen faith in Jesus Christ. 

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