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News Story —  17 January 2013

Church Leader Urges Youth to 'Focus on What Matters Most'

Auckland, New Zealand — 

Elder F. Michael Watson, a senior leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently encouraged around 1,000 New Zealand teenagers to “filter out the static of social media” in their lives.

Elder Watson, who is a member of the Church’s First Quorum of the Seventy and Pacific Area Presidency, was speaking at a five-day youth conference earlier this month in Auckland. Elder Watson was accompanied by his wife, Sister Jolene Watson, who also spoke at a special devotional meeting at Auckland’s Kings College on 8 January 2013.

The conference was attended by young members of the Church from Auckland, Northland and the Cook Islands.

In Elder Watson’s remarks he urged the youth to “make sure that the trivial doesn’t get in the way of the most important things and people in our lives.”

Elder Watson quoted from the writing of former President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, in his book Standing for Something. “We must be diligent in a world that has moved so far from spiritual things. We must put on the whole armour of God.”

Sister Watson told the youth: “We will all learn together through group discussions.” She encouraged the youth to fully participate in a new teaching and learning curriculum launched by the Church this month.  “As a result,” she said, “you will be closer to the Saviour and be filled with the love and peace that comes through His atonement.” 

“If we are to be truly converted we need to stand strong,” she said.

According to organizers, the conference was filled with many inspirational and motivational talks as well as hands-on opportunities for learning new skills and making new friends in workshops, community service projects, sporting events and dances.

Style Guide Note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online style guide.

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