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Elder Cook Encourages Christian Love and Unity in Kiribati

“Be a light, everywhere.  Be an example of Jesus Christ, helping the communities where we live,” said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to a gathering of more than 3,000 people on the island of Tarawa in Kiribati on Thursday, 23 May 2024.

Elder Cook was speaking to Latter-day Saints and friends of the Church in an evening devotional, held outdoors, at the Moroni High School campus.

He was accompanied by his wife, Sister Mary Cook; and Elder Peter F. Meurs of the Pacific Area Presidency, and Sister Maxine Meurs.

Dignitaries attending the evening devotional included: Tetiro Semilota Mate Moaniba, The Honourable Chief Justice of Kiribati; Sarai Lindauer, First Secretary of the New Zealand High Commission in Kiribati; Tabera Tenieu, Church of Christ, Kiribati; Reina Timau, Kiribati Protestant Church; and Pastor Kanta Randolf, Kiribati — Church of God of Prophesy.

Elder Cook witnessed, “I testify to you in all humility that He [Jesus Christ] lives. He guides His Church. We are His disciples.”

He encouraged Latter-day Saints to “be temple-worthy people and to reach out with love and kindness to all the people on this island, cultivating love and kindness and belonging.”

Elder Cook read Paul’s words from the Bible, “‘Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19).’”

“That is what we want for everybody.  We want everybody to be united,” the Apostle said.

He continued, "We can be one. We are all children of a loving Heavenly Father. We can be united, particularly as we worship the Saviour and try to be one with Him.”

Elder Cook invited those in attendance to “build Zion in your hearts and in your homes.”

He encouraged all to make their homes the place “where we study the scriptures, where we pray together and where there is love and unity.”

Elder Cook speaks to Latter-day Saints and friends of the Church at a devotional held at Moroni High School in Tarawa, Kiribati on Thursday, 23 May 2024. A translator shares Elder Cook's message with the people in the Kiribati language. © 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Speaking to parents, Elder Cook emphasised “treating our children with kindness.”

“Guide your families toward the Saviour that your families will be blessed,” he said. “And in the world where there is no peace, you will have personal peace. The reward of righteousness is peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come.”

Elder Cook arrived in Kiribati earlier in the day. His first appointment was to meet with the students of Moroni High School. The students were eager to meet an Apostle and lined up along the roadside to welcome him.

Addressing the students, Elder Cook reminded them that they are "a great young generation.”

He encouraged them to gain knowledge, both practical and eternal.

Elder Cook read from the Book of Mormon, “‘O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God (Alma 37:35).’”

He offered a challenge to the students to “keep God’s commandments,” to avoid the diversions of the world, and to “stay true to the faith.”

Elder Quentin L. Cook speaks to Moroni High School students in a special devotional held on Thursday, 23 May 2024. © 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Elder Cook counselled students to “not delay” their service as missionaries for Jesus Christ. “A mission will prepare you to be kind fathers and mothers, and leaders in every aspect of your life.”

“Your life will be blessed. You will be protected,” he promised.

Elder Peter F. Meurs speaks at a special devotional for students held at Moroni High School in Kiribati on Thursday, 23 May 2024 during Elder Quentin L. Cook (far left) and his wife, Sister Mary Cook's visit to the South Pacific. © 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Elder Meurs spoke about a legendary All Black rugby player, Sid Going.

"He chose to leave his rugby career to serve his mission first for the Lord," Elder Meurs said. “His remarkable missionary experience changed his life. He had a great testimony of the Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Elder Meurs added, “The opportunity exists for you to serve the Lord as disciples of Jesus Christ and share the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That will have a great impact on your whole life.”

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