On Saturday, July 30, LDS youth in Brazil participated in a special devotional in preparation for the world convening in their country for the XXXI Olympiad (see Church News Aug. 14 edition, pp. 6-7).
General Authority Seventies offered remarks and several youth performed musical selections. Among them was 14-year-old Nicole Luz, who is already a familiar face to many Brazilians.
Last February, the whole country of Brazil was introduced to the talented young singer when she impressed all four judges during the first season of the reality show “The Voice Kids,” a TV show that reveals musical talents from ages 9 to 15 and is broadcast on a national television network. Nicole, age 14, not only showed that she has an amazing voice, but also that, as a young Latter-day Saint, she is willing to live and uphold her high standards and values.
Nicole, a Mia Maid from the Sobradinho 2nd Ward in the Brasília Brazil North Stake, drew attention after wearing her Young Women pendant during her performance. During her first audition, the costume designers asked her to remove her necklace because the rules of the show do not allow the use of any religious symbol. When she moved on to the second round, the young woman asked permission to wear the pendant. She explained its meaning and her dress standards and recited the Young Women theme and motto. Deeply moved, the costume designer allowed Nicole to wear her necklace and choose her own clothes.
Nicole recalled, “She started crying and said, ‘How beautiful! I have never heard anything like that! What you said was so beautiful that from now on you can wear whatever you want.’ I wore my necklace in all of my performances on ‘The Voice Kids.’ That was my way to express: I’m here, I’m a Mormon, I’m living my values,” said Nicole.
In her opinion, “young women … wear the pendant as a symbol of who they are. The torch is the light of Christ, and they are the light of the world.”
Upon entering the Young Women organization and starting to work on their Personal Progress, “young women [are invited] to make a commitment to hold up their light by being an example and remaining worthy to make and keep sacred covenants” (Personal Progress, “Motto and Logo”, p. 2).
Nicole said she believes that having a good example is very important for people to be converted to the gospel. “It’s important when someone who conveys the happiness he or she has because of the gospel makes others want the same and seek to know how it is possible.”
The young women of the Sobradinho 2nd Ward — as well as Nicole’s family — made a significant difference in showing her their support. Alfredo and Iraci Marinho Luz raised their children in the gospel, surrounded by music.
“I have always had my parents as an example. They have served a lot in the Church. My family is my example, my anchor,” she said.
Along with her siblings — Oliver, Eliot and Aquiles — Nicole acquires the strength to raise her voice and her light as a standard for the nations.
But Nicole’s dreams do not stop here. She said she was sad when she was eliminated from “The Voice Kids,” but she had prayed and felt the Spirit, and knows that everything has its due time.
“I thought, ‘Could it be that this is what Heavenly Father wants so that I experience even more growth and development?’ Everyone grows slowly, it does not happen out of the blue. I know the Lord knows everything and He will always be there for me. I know everything will be all right, the way the Lord wants it to be.”
After “The Voice,” Nicole was selected to participate in an international talent competition called iPOP!, competing in Los Angeles against 500 youth from 80 countries. She returned to Brazil with a silver medal for winning first runner-up as best singer in the “teen” category.
Nicole said, “My desire is to be able to share music with other people for the rest of my life and to share the gospel through music.” Her greatest dream? “Maybe to sing for the prophet someday,” she replied with a smile.