News Release

Young Australians Approach New Year with 'Fresh Courage'

Melbourne convention for 18-30-year-olds offers opportunities to make friends, have fun, and strengthen faith in Jesus Christ

Elder and Sister Jaggi sing a fun song with two YSA convention participants at New Year's Eve Devotional© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

As 2023 came to a close, young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from across Australia gathered in Melbourne for a convention. 

Inspired by the words of a beloved Latter-day Saint hymn, “Come, Come Ye Saints,” participants reflected on ways they can “fresh courage take” as they look to the future. 

Elder Jeremy R. Jaggi of the Church’s Pacific Area Presidency, said, “In a country where they’ve been doing young single adult (YSA) conventions for many years, the extra support from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints allowed for a more inclusive environment with something for everyone.”  

The Church offered financial support to young people who had to travel long distances to enable anyone who wanted to attend to participate. 

“From a city scavenger hunt to a silent disco, to food trucks for the foodies, to an amusement park, to a formal ball, everyone could find a place to connect, learning to ‘comfort those that stand in need of comfort and to bear one another’s burdens,’” Elder Jaggi said. 

With young people from around Australia and internationally attending, the conference also included a day at the beach, karaoke, a cultural night, workshops, a sacrament meeting (worship service), a New Year's Eve devotional, a movie night, and an opportunity to worship in the Melbourne Australia Temple.   

Young adults begin Convention with a fun day at Luna Park in Melbourne© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jordan Basil, a member of the organising committee, said, “Attendance exceeded expectations. Six hundred and twenty enrolled full-time in the conference with 150 part-time attendees.”  

David Berry, who oversaw the convention, praised the YSA organizing committee, saying, “It’s been a lot of hard work and they’ve done it all. All the young adults in attendance managed themselves well. Behaviour has been outstanding.” 


Ellen Bailey, YSA committee member over logistics, said, “The goal was for people to build connections with each other and the Saviour. The best part of the conference was the sacrament meeting. It was a quiet contrast to the rest of the activities and a real opportunity to feel the Spirit (of God).”  

New Year’s Eve began with a devotional with addresses by Elder Jeremy R. Jaggi and Sister Amy Jaggi. Elder Damon Page, Pacific Area Seventy, and his wife, Alethia Page, also attended. 

Elder Jaggi spoke of how the Church was restored from a question, and looking for light brings more light.   

“Are we not all looking for light?” he asked. “It’s not just about logic, it’s about feeling. Mind and heart.”  

“Jesus Loves you perfectly,” he continued. “It’s not tough love, not unconditional love. He loves you perfectly.” 

“Be still and know that he is God. Jesus is the answer,” Elder Jaggi said. “As you choose Him, life gets incrementally better. It’s because He knows you, he understands you.”  

Vanessa, a new member of the Church from Brisbane, noted how her life has changed since being baptised.  

 “My life has been like a puzzle gradually falling apart. The Prodigal Son story (from the Bible) is my story,” she said. “When I found Jesus, I felt at home, and now I see how the puzzle pieces are all coming back together. I want to serve a mission and be the light that the Elders were for me.”  

Katie Grant, a young adult from Victoria who spoke at the devotional, said, “One of the first things we learn in our Church is that God knows us and loves us and wants to bless us with peace and joy. . . This is a religion of Redemption through Jesus Christ.”  

She continued, “He suffered a spiritual agony of soul that only a God was capable of suffering. If that wasn’t an act of divine love, I don’t know what is. If you don’t feel God’s love, you just need to change where you’re looking.”  

David Berry shared an experience where he prayed to know what to teach his teenage daughters who would one day decide whom to marry. The answer he received was, “Teach them to hear, and understand the Holy Ghost.”  

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