News Story

Church and City Leaders Launch Christmas Lights Program

Elder F. Michael Watson of the Quorum of the Seventy and Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker at the launch of this year’s Temple View Christmas lighting program on Saturday evening, 8 December 2012.

“The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of Christ, and we come together to remember the birth of our Lord and Saviour and to reflect on how He has blessed humankind, and us personally,” Elder Watson said.

“These lights, these displays, this temple, all lift our thoughts and hearts to the Saviour of the world, even Jesus Christ.”

Elder Watson quoted a traditional Maori proverb, “He aha te mea nui? He tangata! He tangata!, He tangata!  (What is the most important thing? It is people! It is people! It is people!), noting that many guests to the temple and its grounds stopped to view the Christus statue in the Visitors’ Centre, allowing for moments of quiet introspection. 

“We do what we do, including our building of temples and our holding of events such as this one, to invite all to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him,” he said.

Mayor Julie Hardaker told guests on Saturday night that ”Christmas is about families and enjoying being together. That’s what I will be doing this Christmas, spending time with my family, and I hope that you are able to do the same.” 

"This year the Church has partnered with the Hamilton City Council and other community organisations to promote family-centred, non-commercial Christmas activities, including the Christmas lighting display in the grounds of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple," according to Peti Transfield, a local Church spokesperson.

"The event was advertised by the City Council as 'Christmas in the View' and members of the the Temple View Stake worked with the City to open the activity to the wider community," she said.

"Temple View Latter-day Saints are excited to be sharing the spirit of Christmas with  the lighting displays and by hosting visitors with refreshments."

Tens of thousands of Hamilton residents and visitors from out of town are expected to visit the Temple grounds and view the lighting display this Christmas season.  The lights are turned on each evening at 9.15pm.  The display contains over 200,000 lights.  The program runs throughout the rest of the month and concludes on 31 December 2012.

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