News Story

New Year's 'FSY' Strengthens Teenage Disciples of Jesus Christ

"For the Strength of Youth" conference is the perfect start to 2024 for young New Zealanders.

New Zealand teens, ages 14-15 years, started the new year participating in a "For the Strength of Youth" conference (FSY) at Kings College in Auckland from 1-5 January 2024.

This is the first FSY to be held in the church in 2024 and with the theme of “I Am a Disciple of Christ.”

The young people sang the FSY theme song, “Disciple of Christ” together, during the musical programme.

Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, a member of the Pacific Area Presidency and his wife, Anita H. Wakolo, attended the FSY musical programme, variety show and devotional.

Speaking in the devotional, Elder Wakolo noted the talent of the teenagers. He encouraged them to “develop your talents” and be prepared to “fully utilise them to bless others and bring the church out of obscurity.”


Elder Wakolo encouraged youth to “love education, enroll in seminary, have a current temple recommend and prayerfully obtain or prepare to receive a patriarchal blessing.” He invited young men to be “ordained to be teachers and priests and prepare to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.” Elder Wakolo also invited them to be disciples of Jesus Christ and stay on the covenant path.”

“When you make a decision for yourself to stay on the covenant path, you are also making a decision for your posterity,” he said. “Bind yourself to the Saviour by reading the Book of Mormon from cover to cover this year and be a strong link in your family and that is how you can continue to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.”

Elder Wakolo concluded with a message of love. “The Area Presidency loves you. I love you. The Lord loves you perfectly,” he said.

FSY gives young people opportunities to study the gospel together, enjoy social activities, share talents, develop friendships and come to know that Jesus Christ is their strength.

Friends, Brooklyn Reid and Erina Frearson, met at FSY and decided to sing together in the variety show. Brooklyn said, “Music is one of the ways we feel the spirit and feel closer to Christ. We hope our singing makes other people happy. It’s like a big room of joy.”

Ben Blackburn played the bagpipes on stage. He said, “When I play the bagpipes it feels like a bit of heaven. This brings me joy.”

A five-day FSY for youth, ages 16-18, begins from Monday, 8 January 2024.

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.