For the Strength of Youth … features standards from the writings and teachings of Church leaders and from scripture, adherence to which will bring the blessings of our Heavenly Father and the guidance of His Son to each of us.”

President Thomas S. Monson, “Preparation Brings Blessings,” Ensign, May 2010, 64.

Fishing Champ

Joe Kent, 14, a teacher in the Horbury Ward, Huddersfield England Stake, became Fish ‘O’ Mania 17 Junior Champion last July at Cudmore Fisheries in Staffordshire, England. This competition is one of the largest fishing tournaments in the entire country.

Along with being an excellent fisherman, Joe is an all-round sportsman, who with his friend Joe Perkis—another teacher in his quorum—represented The Wakefield District under 15s at football where they have had a successful year. And that’s no fish story.

Service by Mail

Marnie Weintz, 17, of the Copper Hills 12th Ward in West Jordan, Utah, decided to build on a 12-year friendship with Sister Rebecca Mackey, an elderly woman her mom befriended in the temple. When it came time for Marnie to pick her Choice and Accountability project for Personal Progress, she thought to reach out to Sister Mackey in a different way by sending her a thoughtful card each week. She says that sending the cards “takes discipline to be dedicated in doing it every week.”

Marnie and her family aren’t able to visit Sister Mackey too often, but they maintain their relationship through phone calls. Marnie thought that by sending cards, she could show Sister Mackey in another way that she cares. Marnie has learned that even the smallest service can make a big impact. “I’m just surprised that it’s meant so much to her. I didn’t even know if she would really want me to send them to her every week or if she would save the cards at all.”

Sister Mackey looks forward to and cherishes those weekly cards, and for Marnie, her Choice and Accountability project turned out to be more lasting than she ever thought.

Standards: A Burden or a Blessing?

Those who say Church standards are restrictions probably know some Church members who carry the standards as a burden, not as an advantage in life. If you want your friends to know that your standards make you free from addictions, then live a happy life and try to show the joy you have through a healthy body, mind, and heart. We teach by example, not by words only. Show them the blessings of standards by the way you use your agency for good things.

Patience O., 19, France

By the Numbers

7,708

Number of sound-producing pipes in the Conference Center organ.

The Church in Australia

The first missionary of the Church to Australia was William Barratt, a 17-year-old English convert who arrived in 1840. He was followed a year later by Andrew Anderson from Scotland, who organized the first branch in 1844. Many early converts emigrated to the United States, including Joseph Ridges, who was an organ builder. He later built the organ that was used in the historic Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

In the mid-1950s, the Church in Australia was caught up in an unprecedented surge in membership that has continued ever since. This surge resulted from a number of factors, including fewer converts emigrating to Utah, much-improved social acceptance of the Church in Australia, the start of an intensive chapel-building program, growing numbers of local leaders, and an emphasis on missionary work.

The country’s first temple (shown below), located in Sydney, was completed in 1984.

Here are a few facts about the Church today in Australia:

Membership

126,767

Missions

7

Temples

5

Wards & Branches

284

Family History Centers

148

Finding Christ in Christmas

See if you can find all twenty of these words related to Christmas.

Christmas

Rejoice

Savior

Charity

Giving

Love

Christ

Nativity

Shepherds

Angels

Bethlehem

Mary

Joseph

Star

Manger

Prince of Peace

Service

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Wise Men

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My Favorite Scripture

Moses 1:39 Every time I remember this verse, I remind myself that if I do my part in this world (which is to follow the commandments of the Lord), I will be rewarded with the gifts the Lord has promised me.

Roland D., 17, Pangasinan, Philippines

Tell us about your favorite scripture in one or two sentences. Go to newera.lds.org and click on Submit Your Material.

Photographs by Janet Thomas, John Kent, Craig Dimond, and Michael McConkie; stars © Shauna Kawasaki