News Story

It's about Attitude: The Prime Minister's Advice to Youth

On Sunday 11 September 2011, approximately 2,000 youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended a special evening with the Rt. Hon. John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand. The meeting, held at the Pah Rd, Mt Roskill Chapel, was an opportunity for the youth of the Church to meet with the leader of the nation and be inspired by him regarding education and success in life.

Along with jokes about the Rugby World Cup, the Prime Minister spoke of his experiences in entering politics, of growing up without a father, struggling with finances, and pursuing his goals. He reminded the youth that success is not so much determined by ability as it is by one's attitude and determination to achieve one's goals.

The Prime Minister also encouraged the youth to excel in education: "I encourage you to get the best education you can. Make sure you finish your studies in whatever area you're interested in." He told them not to worry too much about what they are studying, but be more concerned with finishing their studies.

Elder James J. Hamula, Pacific Area President, echoed this counsel, and then told the youth that missionary service, education and marriage in the temple are "three pillars to a great life."

Elder F. Michael Watson, of the Pacific Area Presidency, told the youth to be the best they can be, and to "make the sacrifice, do the service, and the Lord will bless you."

New Zealand Latter-day Saint leader Elder Michael Roberts said "We're excited for our youth to have an opportunity to meet the Prime Minister, and we're equally excited for the Prime Minister to have an opportunity to feel the spirit, strength, enthusiasm and virtue of our youth. As followers of Christ, the Church encourages its youth to seek the best education they can so that they can be meaningful members of their community."

Mt. Roskill Stake President Adolf Johansson said, "As a church we reach out to the community and local leaders of the nation. We want to introduce the youth to these government and community leaders. We need to encourage our youth to continue with their education."

Francis Vehikite, 17-year-old Head Girl at Aorere College said "I'm really excited to meet the Prime Minister. It's such a privilege to have been selected from the youth in our Stake to meet him."

Angelique Tuaputa, a head prefect at Waitakere College and the youth speaker at the event said, "I'm so excited and nervous to meet the Prime Minister. I want to hear about what he thinks about Church youth, because we're a global church." Angelique also encouraged her fellow youth to continue with their education: "Press on with your studies! Nothing is impossible!"

Local Member of Parliament Sam Lotu-iga was also present at the youth meeting.

At a special pre-function prior to the evening, Elder Hamula presented the Prime Minister with a record of his family history. The Prime Minister expressed gratitude for the gift.

The Church has given family histories to former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders.


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