News Release

Leader Encourages Youth to Care for Others

Senior New Zealand political leader the Hon Phil Goff last night drew upon lessons he learned as a child to encourage young Auckland members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help others in their communities.

Mr Goff, who is the Leader of the Opposition in New Zealand's Parliament, shared with several hundred young people at the Latter-day Saints' Robertson Road Chapel in southern Auckland some of the principles he has learned from the teachings of Jesus Christ. One of these was that a just society was one where people cared for each other and "where we treat others as we want to be treated."

Referring to the parable of the good Samaritan Mr Goff stated that this taught him that in our communities "no one should be left behind." These teachings, along with the examples of his grandfather, mother and other family members, led him to a life of public service. He said that his aim is to "make a difference in his family, his community and his country."

Mr Goff spoke to the young people present about the need to care for each other. He reminisced about a time in his life when, as a young child with a very ill mother, his neighbours took in the young Goff children and cared for them until his mother recovered.

Elder Kevin W. Pearson, of the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also spoke to the young Latter-day Saints. He thanked Mr Goff and the other community leaders who were present for the sacrifice and service they rendered to the nation. Elder Pearson invited the young people present to follow their example by standing for something. "Stand up. Stand out. And, be heard," was his invitation.

Elder Pearson reminded the young people that they were children of their Heavenly Father. "You are sons and daughters of God and that makes you important," he said. "That gives you a purpose and a dream for your life."

He also encouraged them to have the courage to hold to their convictions. "I hope you'll be courageous," he said. "There are rights and there are wrongs. There are absolute truths. There is truth taught by the source of all truth and light — the Lord, Jesus Christ."

Elder F. Michael Watson, also of the Pacific Area Presidency, quoted the Apostle Paul as he urged all in attendance to prepare well, trust in the Lord and serve Him by keeping the commandments of God, and by serving our families, friends and others.

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil," he said. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:11-13).

Prior to the meeting, Mr Goff joined Elder Pearson, Elder Watson and Elder Michael Roberts and their wives in a reception with a small group of young Latter-day Saints from across Auckland. Several Members of Parliament and local leaders accompanied Mr Goff. Elder Pearson presented Mr. Goff with a special canvas print of The Family: A Proclamation to the World, explaining that it outlined the Church's core beliefs regarding families.

19-year-old Kelly Paki, a full scholarship recipient at Auckland University of Technology, was excited to meet Mr Goff. "This is a great opportunity for me to meet a leader and to get his point of view about where New Zealand is going in the future," she said.

Another young adult present last night, Eveonne Tiakia, spoke during the meeting. Speaking of the benefits that come from following the guidance of the Holy Ghost, she said: "As we use this gift in our everyday lives, in our schooling, in choosing a companion, we can be happy. As we use this gift we can understand our purpose in this life."


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