News Release

Church Leaders Host Temple Christmas Lights Receptions

More lights, brighter lights, record crowds, a stream of Christmas choirs and two receptions for dignitaries highlighted the first week of the Temple Christmas Lights celebration at the New Zealand Hamilton Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Temple View.

One reception for government, business, and inter-faith leaders was hosted by Elder S. Gifford Nielsen Second Counselor in the Pacific Area Presidency of the Church and his wife Sister Wendy Nielsen.

They were joined by Sidney M. Going, president of the Temple, and his wife Sister Colleen Going.

In welcoming guests Elder Nielsen said, “Christ taught us to love our neighbours, and we take that charge seriously as we reach out to those of all denominations and religions, and everyone in our communities.”

Christmas Temple Lights is one way the Church is reaching out and sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

Member of Parliament, David Bennett, speaking on behalf of one group of invited attendees, thanked the Church for having made the Temple Lights event available to Hamilton and the wider regions over the years.

The annual “Celebration of the Birth of Christ” which began in 1984 is on pace to exceed last year’s attendance of 40,000 people.

Those attending the receptions, included the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Hamilton, the Mayor of Waipa County and multiple councillors and directors from both the Hamilton City Council and Waipa District. 

Also in attendance were members of Parliament, prominent leaders of business and education, and members of the Waikato Interfaith Committee representing the Ratana, Muslim and Jewish faiths.

“This is a room of talented people,” said Elder Nielsen concluding his remarks at one reception.  “I hope we will work with each other to continue to make this a very special place.  

The guests enjoyed a private choir performance after which they walked through the lighted Temple grounds to the visitors centre and participated in one of the tours on the birth of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the World.

Christmas Temple Lights continues nightly through 31 December.  Christmas choir performances are included Tuesday through Saturday evenings.

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