Mendham Student Has a Faith-Filled Summer


Brian Davis

The Provo, Utah Temple of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. Also located in Provo is Brigham Young University, where Lance’s “Habits For Life” program was located.

Hanna Kutlu, Staff Writer

Corinne Lance, a junior at Mendham High School, spent a week this summer at a program for Mormon youth themed around “Habits for Life” in Provo, Utah, at the beautiful Brigham Young University campus. Lance has been a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, or LDS Church for short, for her whole life. She became interested in attending the program because siblings, relatives, and friends had gone in the past and, as Lance says, “They all, for the most part, loved it”. These glowing reviews made Lance “excited to have similar experiences in some ways and to learn new things and meet new people”. 

The program lasted one week, and when questioned for her approximation of how many fellow LDS youth attended the program, Lance estimated “about one thousand”. All of these young Mormons, excited to get to know each other and strengthen their relationships to their church and their faith, were housed within the dorms at BYU. This experience was also special because it gave a little bit of experience in college life to the kids who, like Lance, could add BYU to their list of universities they may be interested in attending in the future. 

Lance described a typical day of life in the program as waking up, studying some scripture before breakfast, then devotional. Following devotional were classes, some relating to the church, and some relating the theme of “Habits for Life”, where the students “learned through other’s personal experiences”. After classes were lunch, followed by another class, and then a couple of hours of free time. Then was dinner, and the evenings were finished off with dances or big youth games enjoyed by all. 

Being amongst more than a thousand others who share the same religious beliefs is definitely a bit of a change for Lance. Utah is the state with the most Mormons in the United States, and 68.5% of the population of the state belongs to the LDS Church, according to World Population Review. This is in stark contrast to New Jersey, where only 0.37% of the population is Mormon. Lance refers to this when she states “Whereas living outside, you’re sometimes the only member in your school, and there’s more that you stand by yourself doing”. Lance has experienced some people who are not members of the Church questioning some of her principles, even with small things such as being asked “why don’t you swear, why don’t you drink coffee”, which she may not have experienced had she lived in Utah, which she describes as “kind of a little bubble. Like it’s its own world because there’s so many members there.” Thankfully, Lance has also said that people tend not to react “too negatively” and that she has experienced “no harassment” for her unique faith. When asked if she would attend “Habits for Life” again, or a similar program in the future, Lance gave a resounding “yes”.