Young Single Adults Strengthened by National Convention

Young Single Adults Strengthened by National Convention

News Release
 

Melbourne recently played host to a large gathering of young single adults from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from around Australia and abroad.

Approximately 500 participants travelled from interstate and overseas to attend the annual six day convention based at Mannix College at Monash University, celebrating the New Year in a slightly different way than most 18-30 year olds in Australia.

The purpose of the convention was to strengthen friendships and faith in a fun and wholesome environment. The attendees came from all around Australia and even as far as New Zealand, Norway, Finland, USA and Taiwan, and while their backgrounds were diverse, they shared common beliefs and way of life.

Most of those who attended were from areas where being a ‘Mormon’ puts them in the minority in their community. Tristen Lammi, who travelled from Bundaberg, Queensland to attend the convention said he was strengthened by being part of a large group of young adults with the same values.

“I was impacted most by the people, such a great spirit was there,” reflected Tristen. “It's not often in today's world that you meet 500 plus young adults that are mature, spiritual and friendly.”

Calvin Paki from Melbourne, valued “being able to come together with a commonality of furthering and developing the spiritual skills necessary to deal with the growing demands of our world."

Courtney Donald also from Melbourne mentioned she was glad she chose to attend the convention.

“Not only did I make some new friends, but I was able to have an opportunity to learn more as well as strengthen my testimony of Christ,” said Courtney. “Here's to a good start for the new year.”

The theme of the convention was ‘Ask of God’ based on the New Testament passage James 1:5-6. Young adults were encouraged to bring questions to the convention and many went home with the answers they were seeking.

The week’s highlights included a ball at Docklands, a beach trip to Phillip Island, a Hawaiian Luau, and a variety show featuring music, dance and comedy performances from talented young adults. The young adults demonstrated that you don’t need alcohol and drugs to have a good time, dancing and mingling while keeping the Word of Wisdom (the Church’s health code).

Despite it being New Year’s Eve, Sunday was still treated as the Sabbath day, the young adults bringing in the new year with a church service, spiritual workshops, games and a countdown at midnight.

Attendees also participated in morning workshops focused on physical wellbeing, spiritual development and self reliance. Special guest presenters from around the country shared their expertise on a wide range of topics including finance and business, mental health, emergency preparedness, fitness, goal setting, salsa dancing, choosing a career, and gaining spiritual direction.

Service is always a significant part of the annual convention. This year young adults participated in three projects: a Red Cross blood drive, service at the Melbourne temple, and a working bee at Myuna Farm.

Approximately 200 young adults travelled to Myuna Farm, a public community farm in Doveton, to complete much appreciated maintenance work including painting a fence, laying rocks, and weeding. Members of the Church have volunteered at the farm a number of times over the years.

Steve Hill, Manager of Myuna Farm was impressed with the teamwork displayed by the group.

“A great group of productive young people,” he observed. “The farm is a much better place from their visit.”

Area Seventy (regional leader) of the Church, Elder Daniel G. Hamilton who presided over the convention was moved by the faith of the group of young adults.

"Having attended the Melbourne YSA convention, my wife Cyndee and I were deeply impressed by the YSA and how they exemplified true discipleship to the Lord Jesus Christ,” said Elder Hamilton.

"Their love and respect for each other and their leaders was very moving. Each had fun but always remembered who they are."

Stake (diocese) President Damon Page who oversaw the planning of the event was similarly impressed.

“The conduct of our YSA throughout the convention was exemplary and was positively noted by leaders and staff at each of the external sites used,” said President Page.

“This created a positive and spiritual environment for all. Our YSA are talented and capable emissaries of the Lord.”

This is the second year that the event has been held at Mannix College. Dom Kilduff, Business Manager at the College said he was happy to have the group back at Mannix.

“It was clear to us the young members of the Church displayed a positive and joyful approach to the conference."

“Mannix staff were again pleased with the manners and respect shown for the people and property of the College. The organisers and their support staff should be proud of their efforts, as should the Church of its young members.”

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