Mormon Newsroom
News Release

Paralympic champion, Jason Smyth, speaks to Young Adults at Convention

Over 337 Young Single Adults, aged 18 - 30 years, converged on the picturesque campus of Ardingly College in West Sussex for a fun-filled, uplifting weekend with guest speaker, Jason Smyth, the double gold Irish Paralympic champion from the London 2012 Paralympics.  “I Know it!  I Live it!  I Love it!” was the theme for the Convention, taken from Ann M. Dibb’s address from October 2012 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This was the first time a YSA Convention had been held in Southern England and was hosted by the Crawley congregations.

Jason Smyth, Irish member and London 2012 Paralympic Games double gold medal winner, spoke at both the Sunday Sacrament meeting and Sunday night fireside.  He spoke with humility of being diagnosed with a rare eye disease at age 8 that reduced his vision to 10 percent of normal and how this became, “the greatest blessing in my life.”  He quoted 1st Corinthians 10:13 “. . .God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able. . .” Jason focused on taking challenges or weaknesses and making them strengths.  He reminded us that God wants us to succeed and told the YSA, “You were not sent here to fail!” Elder  Clifford T. Herbertson, Area Seventy, with his wife, Julie, were the featured speakers at the fireside.  Elder Herbertson asked the young adults to add one more thing to the theme, “I Share it!” He challenged each of the YSA to bring one less active or new member into the Church by the year’s end.  

Monday was a perfect finale at the London Temple, where temple work was performed and President Stilgoe, a Church leader from Crawley, asked them to “remember”—to remember the spiritual experiences and feelings they had over the weekend and determine to live the gospel fully going forward.  As one YSA posted about the Convention, “Unexpectedly I found friendship, peace, happiness and love and my testimony is stronger for these experiences. . .”  

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