News Story

Western Australian Youth Bounce Back from Challenges of Pandemic

As COVID-19 restrictions ease in Western Australia, youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are following government and health care guidelines as they begin a measured return to normal worship and activities.  

A recent communication sent by leaders of the Perth Australia Southern River Stake to all members entitled, “Revive & Thrive in Faith," announced the return to weekly Sunday worship services and encouraged mid-week gatherings, service and social activities to help build sociality and community. 

Youth from the Jandakot Ward (congregation) were quick to follow their leaders’ counsel.


“To get the youth out into nature, to get some fresh air and to take a break from being behind a computer,” were the “thrive and revive” purposes shared by youth leader Laura Mackwell. 

The youth hiked from the picnic ground in Mundy Regional Park, 20 km (12 miles) east of Perth, down Lesmurdie Brook to the Lesmurdie Falls, with a commanding view of the coastal plain from the lookout platform.  To return to the top they hiked up a more difficult trail.  The hikers were treated with a "sausage sizzle" for lunch.  


“There was lots of fun and interaction during the hike," Laura said.  "A lot of the youth got out of their comfort zone and learned that they can achieve something hard.  One of the tracks we went on was a bit challenging and they completed it." 

Youth participant, Courtney, explained they were given a choice about which way they would make their way back up to the original meeting place.  “There was an easy way and a hard way," she said.  "Even though some of the adults chose the easy way, I didn’t come here to do the easy track.” 

The youth discovered that connecting with nature, socialising and doing hard things are ways to “revive and thrive in faith.”

On a separate occasion, young women from the same congregation in Perth organised a “high tea”  for the women of the Relief Society organisation

Many women, particularly the senior, single women had experienced feelings of isolation during COVID-19. 


Now that restrictions are easing, “The girls wanted to show how much they love these women by serving them,” Laura shared, “plus they wanted to show off their cooking skills.” 

Service is central to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and another way to "revive and thrive in faith."

Tui Hutley attended the high tea with her daughter Shakira, who helped serve. 

Tui said, “I enjoyed myself.  It was really lovely to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen for a while …  and the food was yum.”  

Local Church leader, Donna Mackwell was delighted. “We had a wonderful evening," she said.

"We were grateful to the young women and all their hard work especially during these trying times.  Our (Relief Society) sisters felt loved and spoilt and enjoyed the opportunity to spend time together."

Resuming worship services and gathering for meaningful activities and service are ways the youth of Western Australia are “reviving and thriving in faith” in a cautious return to normalcy. 

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