News Release

Church Leaders and Teens Testify That Jesus Christ is the Strength of Youth in Fiji

Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, a member of the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and President Emily Belle Freeman, Young Women General President for the Church, addressed approximately 900 teenagers at the campus of the University of South Pacific in Fiji on Thursday, 14 December 2023.

The event was a “For the Strength of Youth” (FSY) conference devotional based on the 2023 youth theme of the Church, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me” (Phillipians 4:13).

Elder Wakolo was accompanied by his wife, Anita H. Wakolo. President Freeman was accompanied by her husband, Brother Greg Freeman. Elder Paul B. Whippy, Area Seventy, was also seated on the stand.


Elder Wakolo read from the “For Strength of Youth” booklet: “Of all possible choices, the one that matters most is the choice to follow Jesus Christ. He is the strength of youth. His gospel is the joyful way back to your Heavenly Father.”

Elder Wakolo gave five invitations to youth to walk the “joyful way back to [their] Heavenly Father.”

He invited youth to have a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. He promised them that the more they loved the Saviour, the more they will want to be like Him and follow Him, including through missionary service.

Elder Wakolo invited youth to have a current temple recommend, which will give them the opportunity to worship in the House of the Lord. He encouraged youth to look to the FSY booklet to prepare to worship in the temple.

He invited youth to “never stay home on any Sunday, unless you are sick.” He added, “I hope you will run to the chapel every Sunday to willingly partake of the sacrament emblems of the body and blood of the Resurrected Lord.”

He invited youth living close to the Suva Fiji Temple to regularly worship and serve in the House of the Lord.

Elder Wakolo also invited youth to enrol in seminary, a religion class for young people. He promised youth that as they attend seminary, their parents would experience joy “because they see you walking in truth” (3 John 1:4).


Encouraging youth to find joy during the Christmas season, President Freeman read the story of the birth of Jesus Christ from Luke 2.

She noted the actions of the different groups mentioned in the account and invited youth to consider what “seeing Jesus caused them to do.”

“Angels rejoiced. Shepherds testified. Wise men went home and journeyed another way,” said President Freeman.

She continued, “At the end of this devotional we will sing ‘Joy to the World.’ I want you to remember what joy feels like and when you go home from here, I want you to remember the strength you felt here and the friends you made here.”

“You’ve been in classes where you got to testify of Jesus Christ and tonight some of you came up and stood here and testified of Jesus,” President Freeman said.

She added, “All of us will be going home from FSY. Maybe we will be like the wise men and journey a different way because we saw Jesus. Jesus Christ has been with us this week and we have felt His strength.”

Holding up the booklet, “For the Strength of Youth,” President Freeman read, “’There may be times when you don’t feel strong or capable. That’s normal. Especially, in those times, turn to the Saviour. If you are afraid, He will help you in all aspects of your life. Every day we can try to become a little bit more like Jesus Christ.’”

President Freeman thanked the youth for “the good you bring to Fiji. The Lord needs you. Jesus Christ is the strength of youth,” she said.


Following the devotional, Kelera Vosa, 14, from Labasa District, said, “When I go home, I will change my testimony. I only would say that the Book of Mormon and the gospel of Jesus Christ are true, but now, FSY has helped me to learn more about Jesus Christ and that He is always there for us during our hardships.”

Jade Chan, from Suva, said, “Coming to FSY has helped me to learn how to live more like my Saviour. In all the challenges we are facing, with the Saviour, Jesus Christ, we can overcome them. We can keep holding on to the word of God. Jesus Christ believes in us.”

To begin the devotional, youth performed several songs from the 2023 For the Strength of Youth album and shared testimonials about how their faith in Jesus Christ had been strengthened through their FSY experiences.

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