Latter-day Saint Young Adults Call on Federal Parliament

  • 10 September 2011

Small groups of YSAs met individually with 34 Members of Parliament.

In keeping with an annual tradition, Young Single Adults of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints converged on Federal Parliament in Canberra in September. They came from all over Australia to spend a day soaking in the goings-on of government.

Members of Parliament met with small groups of the Latter-day Saints visitors, exchanging views and learning about the Church and what sets it apart in the world.

Church member Arnold Cummins, who helped coordinate the event, said, “Thirty-four key MPs learned a lot about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hopefully some relationships were formed which will blossom in the future.”

Wyatt Roy, MP for Longman, who is 21 years old, told some of the YSAs, “Our generation are not just tomorrow's leaders, we are today's leaders.”

Samantha Gilkes, a delegate from Queensland, said his comment “brought home to me that it doesn't take a lifetime of experience to be able to stand up and lead.”

The MPs were clearly impressed with the leadership potential of the YSAs—with their communication skills, dress standards, and accomplishments. About half the delegates were return missionaries, one-third spoke multiple languages, and two-thirds had one or more degrees.

Hon Alan Tudge, MP from one of the Melbourne seats, expressed sincere gratitude for the fine work of Church members who assisted with flood clean up in his area. One of the delegates happened to be in his constituency and offered to enlist YSAs in his stake to improve the eco systems in local creeks therein. Mr Tudge gratefully accepted the offer.

Hon Philip Ruddock, MP, sponsored and welcomed the group. Hon Andrew Laming, MP, adjudicated their mock debate. The YSAs visited Question Time in both Houses of the Parliament and shared a lunch with a number of the politicians.

Said Cummins, “Thirty-five years ago (when I was baptized) it would have been unthinkable that a group of our YSAs would receive such a warm welcome in the National Parliament. It just could not have happened. It has been happening now for about six years—I was impressed!”