News Story

Elder L. Whitney Clayton Speaks to Sydney Young Adults

Missionary service and marriage among topics discussed

Elder L. Whitney Clayton, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to young people in Sydney on 15 March.


He was accompanied by his wife, Kathy Clayton; and Elder Ian S. Ardern of the Seventy, and Paula Ardern.

The visiting Church leaders spoke to 16 to 30 year-olds at a devotional in the Church's Baulkham Hills meetinghouse in Sydney.

Elder Clayton and Elder Ardern, and other guests, listened to questions from members of the congregation in order to speak directly to the issues and challenges of most concern to young people.

Those present shared their thoughts and questions regarding missionary service, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, doctrines of the Church, marriage, family and mental illness.

Many in the congregation commented that their understanding of the gospel grew as a result of the open dialogue with Elder Clayton, Elder Ardern, and others who offered responses.

Local Church leader, Elder Johnny Leota, also addressed several points that were raised by young people.

Jamie Browning, one of the young adults in attendance, said, “It was a good opportunity to ask questions that are sometimes difficult to ask your local leaders and those who know you. The topics of depression and mental illness aren’t normally addressed in such a formal setting. In my opinion, it was a much needed good.”

Jamie and others in the congregation commented that mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, is experienced by various members in the Church. They expressed that they are pleased that Church leadership is boldly addressing these issues.

A message taken away by many in attendance was that the Church seeks to bring aid and comfort to those who struggle with such afflictions, along with any other struggles they are going through.

The devotional with Elder Clayton was described by one attendee as "a safe and welcoming environment where difficult questions were lovingly considered and answered."

The evening was part of a ten-day visit to Australia and New Zealand by Elder and a Sister Clayton earlier this month, accompanying Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife, Kathy Andersen.

Watch an address by Elder Clayton at a general conference of the Church:


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