Church Leader Engages in 'Q&A' with Auckland Teens and Young Adults

News Release

On Saturday evening, 10 March, Elder L. Whitney Clayton, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, met in Auckland with around 600 young people, ages 16-30.  


Elder Clayton provided counsel and sought out participation to better understand the needs and questions of the youth in Auckland.

He was accompanied by Elder O. Vincent Haleck, president of the Pacific Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and other local leaders.

Both leaders were accompanied by their wives, Sister Kathy Clayton and Sister Peggy Haleck.

Other Auckland-based Latter-day Saint leaders in attendance included Elder Paul R. Coward, and his wife, Sister Julie Coward; and President James Walker, and Sister Harumi Walker.

A large portion of the meeting was a question and answer session. Several of the young people in the congregation asked questions and Elder Clayton, Elder Haleck and other leaders in attendance offered responses.


Questions that weighed heavily on the minds of the young adults present included: how to truly feel like a child of God; how to know if they should serve full-time missions; how to increase sincerity of prayers; and how to ensure that their future children will have spiritual convictions in a world that is straying farther away from religion and traditional values.


Elder Clayton encouraged the large group to always ponder their uncertainties and promised that the Spirit would speak directly to those who were invested and engaged in the meeting.

He also promised that if they would read the scriptures and pray every day to “feel the connection occur,” the questions of their souls would be answered daily.

He encouraged the young people to honour the Sabbath, to attend Church services each week and to partake of the sacrament (similar to communion in other churches).

Elder Clayton closed by encouraging the young people to “study, learn, and become something,” and to strive to be the best at whatever profession they pursue.

He added, "Over time, you will be blessed for your preparation.”

In his remarks, Elder Haleck counseled the youth and young adults to "stay connected to heaven through the scriptures."

“Answers to my prayers come from reading the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon," he said.

Young Auckland man, Robert Taupau, who recently returned home from a two year mission in the Philippines, also spoke. He emphasised the importance of being united with friends and family as young people strive to live their faith on a day-to-day basis.

Watch an address given by Elder Clayton during the April 2017 General Conference of the Church.


Newsroom contributors: Mallory Mortensen and Lincoln Reid.

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