An oft-quoted scripture believed by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(the “Mormons”) promotes service to one’s fellowman.* The Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Mormon
youth aged 12 - 18 recently put that principle into practice by hosting a Sports Day with and for
special guests. About 30 refugee students came by bus to join the 30 or so LDS youth in a
public park to play outdoor relay races and games together. After several hours of fun,
friendshipping and food, the refugees returned to their camp and compact quarters.
Enthusiasm reigned as randomly chosen teams participated in relay games on the grass in the
shade, running with hats on their heads or with their hands on their knees. Encouraging calls
and cheers erupted as victory was secured for the fastest team or for the funniest stunt.
Changing teams helped the youth to interact with the visitors as they went on to play dodgeball
and other activities.
A chaperone of the refugee group thanked all involved for providing this outlet to these
sheltered young people who rarely leave their homes. He said, “So much thanks to God, to you
and all the church members for having the students to participate in your sport day. They said
they were so happy to play in an open play ground as they are stuck in a small center all the
time.” He went on to thank the church group for also providing them with cooking oil, rice, lentils
While the health purpose of such a Sports Day may be to increase physical fitness and
encourage friendshipping through athletics, a larger purpose was fulfilled while doing that. The
principle of service was demonstrated, illustrated and experienced. These LDS youth had the
opportunity to learn that thoughtful service can be simple, and fun! One teaching found in the
LDS pamphlet, “For the Strength of Youth” centers on service. “Often the most meaningful
service is expressed through simple every day acts of kindness…Service and sacrifice are ways
to overcome selfishness…You will enjoy happiness that comes only from giving service to God
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides structured youth programs for both the
Young Men and the Young Women ages 12 - 18 designed to help them lead purposeful lives.
For more information, visit www.mormon.org.
* “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye
are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” Mosiah 2:17; pg.
148 - 149; The Book of Mormon