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Young People Embrace New Initiative

New Zealand families among the first to see new worldwide Children and Youth initiative

On Sunday 29 September, New Zealand families gathered to learn about a new Church initiative. They were among the first in the world to see a special video from Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, introducing the new “Children and Youth Initiative.”

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will begin using this new initiative in January 2020. It will include all young people from ages 8 through 18.

Church President Russell M. Nelson, who visited New Zealand four months ago, stated in the video, “This effort has been designed especially for this generation.” A new Introductory Guide for Parents and Leaders describes that the purpose of this is to “Strengthen the rising generation’s faith in Jesus Christ, and help children, youth, and their families progress along the covenant path as they meet life’s challenges.”


The video featured a discussion with church leaders including Elder M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Sister Joy D. Jones, General Primary President; Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, General Young Women’s President; Sister Jean B. Bingham, General Relief Society President and General Young Men’s President Stephen W. Owen.

After watching the presentation, Isaac Nicholls, a 15-year-old young man in the Sunset congregation said, “I was excited because we’re going to be able to work on what we are passionate about.”

His sister Caylin, age 12, said, “I love change because it’s just really exciting to see everything changing.” 

Jane Hunter, age 14, said, “I really love the new program because it’s so inclusive.” 

"I like how this program can help strengthen your family as well as friendships and you can serve other people," said Brian Miller age 14. 

Ashton Mackay, age 13, said he liked, "how you will be doing many more things with your family."



In Auckland, New Zealand, a congregation gathered at their chapel on Sunset Road and were instructed by their bishop, Skye Nicholls.

Bishop Nicholls passed out pamphlets to each youth in attendance and instructed them on the new program. After the video was shown, each family was given the new Introductory Guide for Parents and Leaders and were instructed about the important role families played in the success of this initiative.

“What a wonderful program that’s been implemented in the Church to enable individuals and families to come closer together to focus on personal goals that enable them to build their testimonies and come closer to the Saviour,” he said.

The initiative invites children and youth to set personal goals in four aspects of their lives: Spiritual, Social, Intellectual, and Physical. These goals will be chosen according to their own desires and the inspiration they each receive.

As young people set goals they are encouraged to focus on three areas: Gospel Learning, Service and Activities, and Personal Development.

Congregations all over the world gathered to watch this introductory video and hear from their local leaders. Because of its place near the international dateline, families in New Zealand were among the first in the world to see this presentation.

A special “Face to Face” broadcast will be transmitted in November to further describe the details of this program. Families were also invited to learn more by going to a new website:


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