News Release

Church Leader Encourages Young Adults to Love as Christ Loved

“Love is a commandment, not a decision,” Latter-day Saint leader Elder Lynn G. Robbins told around 600 young adults at a special devotional meeting in the Auckland suburb of Mt. Roskill this week.

Elder Robbins is a member of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife, Sister Jan Robbins, are visiting New Zealand and Australia this week with Elder David A. Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Sister Susan Bednar.

Elder O. Vincent Haleck, a member of the Latter-day Saints’ Pacific Area Presidency, and his wife, Sister Peggy Haleck also spoke at the devotional.

Elder Paul R. Coward, an Area Seventy in the Church, conducted the meeting.

Elder Robbins reminded those in attendance of the first two commandments — to love the Lord and to love others. “Love is a commandment,” Elder Robbins said. “Any righteous man and any righteous woman can learn to love — not so much as fall in love but grow in love.”

“Instead of searching for the ‘one and only’ — that soul-mate — you need to become the ‘right one.’ Rather than hope you’ve found the ‘right one.’”

Elder Robbins encouraged the young adults to plan for their future. “It is so important to have a vision and set goals, so we don’t drift and become victims of the currents that will take us where they will, for the winds of life will blow you off course.”

“Be valiant, be strong, and prepare for the future,” he said.

In Elder Haleck’s remarks, he stressed the importance of education, being self-reliant, and finding meaning in life. He told of his parents’ strong desire for each of their children to get an education.

“Every parent wants something better for their children,” he said. “I wouldn’t be standing here before you today if not for the vision of my parents and their desire for their children to get their education, to make something of themselves.

“In regards to your future,” Elder Haleck added, “be encouraged, have faith, be patient, wait on the Lord.”

Sister Robbins encouraged the young adults when making life-changing decisions to: “Turn to your Father in Heaven, pray in earnest and ask for His help.”

Sister Haleck said, “We stand here tonight as leaders to tell you that we stand arm in arm with you, to guide you and to build you up. We know you are our future. As our days fade we will look to you for our leadership.”

In opening remarks, Elder Paul R. Coward introduced the themes of Christ-like love, marriage and covenants.

“When we are in a covenant with each other and with Heavenly Father, there comes into our marriage a more perfect love,” he said. “More perfect love, more perfect protection, more perfect feeling of belonging and purpose. That power of the covenant is real.”

Auckland New Zealand Mt Roskill Stake President, Anthony Wilson, and his wife, Sister Makere Wilson, also attended the meeting.

Many young adults remained after the devotional to meet the visiting Church leaders.

One young attendee, Dave Lavelua, said after the devotional, “I love when our wonderful leaders invite us to do and to act.”

Jimmy Kaufisi, who along with his sister were the first members of the Church in their village in Niue, said,  “Whenever I attend these meetings, I always try and think what I could take back and share with my family and friends. Tonight I will share with them the importance of love and loving each other as the Saviour has shown.”

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