News Story

Youth Gather From All Over New Zealand for Special Conference

1200 teens from all over New Zealand gathered for a special youth conference held at Kings College in Auckland recently.  


The young people—members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-—spent five days together at a "For the Strength of Youth" Conference, also known as FSY.

This year's theme was "Go and Do" which is the worldwide theme for Latter-day Saint youth.  It is a reference from The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ  (1 Nephi 3:7). The theme song was filmed in New Zealand and the two women featured in the video were at the conference.  

This conference and other like it around the world focus on providing young Latter-day Saints with opportunities to develop their knowledge, talents, friendships and faith in a safe and stimulating environment.  

According to the FSY website, "conferences include activities, devotionals, and classes designed to help strengthen faith in Jesus Christ and provide opportunities for youth to grow spiritually, socially, physically, and intellectually." 

Session directors David and Lenise Onekawa and their committee worked hard for over eight months planning the conference.

David said, "The youth need this to carry them through the year—to be immersed with other youth of faith and belief." 

25 presenters offered workshops on topics of interest to attendees. After a day of workshops, a group of 13-year olds shared their feelings about the conference. 

Mario said, "It was great fun and I liked the experience of meeting new friends."   

Dennan noted, "It's pretty cool here because you get to meet new friends, many of whom will be lifetime friends and you get to learn about the gospel."

The youth weren't the only ones who had a good experience. Awanui Morris, who served as a leader as well as presenter, and will soon be serving as a full time missionary in the Philippines said, "It was the best five days of my life!"      

Rocky came from Wellington to help out as a conference leader.  When asked if he would do it again, he replied, "Oh yes, of course!  Anything to help the youth."  

Stephen and Heidi Dill taught a workshop in which they shared some of their life experiences.  Heidi later said she was impressed by [the youth's] willingness to learn and how receptive they were.  

Stephen noted, "They were hoping to have a spiritual experience. They were engaged."    

Similar youth conferences were held in Brisbane and Sydney in January.  

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