News Release

Elder Ronald A. Rasband Teaches Australian and Papua New Guinean Church Leaders

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other visiting Church leaders met with stake, temple, mission and district leaders of the Church from Australia and Papua New Guinea today in Brisbane.

Referring to statements by President Russell M. Nelson, the Prophet and President of the Church, Elder Rasband said, “The greatest work on the earth today is gathering Israel on both sides of the veil.” Read more about this topic here.

He warned against “casualness, complacency and apathy,” and encouraged faithfulness rather than fearfulness.

Elder Rasband cited Doctrine and Covenants 1:17, “Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments.”

Quoting from Doctrine and Covenants 45, Elder Rasband encouraged faith in and obedience to God, saying, “But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved…Be not troubled, for, when all these things shall come to pass, ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled. And I said unto them, be not troubled.”

He promised, “Our homes become refuges from the storms of life not because of the address, but because of the environment in our home.”

Elder Rasband continued, “You must be the under-shepherds of the Lord, teaching these principles. We need to teach the importance of sacred places, such as our homes, sacrament meetings, and the temple.”

He added, “These are our days which have been prophesied. What is needful for you and I is how we respond to these days.”

Elder Rasband promised the leaders that they would receive revelation from God to know how to bring souls to Jesus Christ, and to prepare for His Second Coming.

“I remind you today to be wonderful, effective, husbands, fathers, and grandpas,” Elder Rasband said. “Please thank your families. Remember where your most important work is, in your homes.”

Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke about some of his family members who have served as missionaries in Australia, starting with his grandfather who served in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide from 1915 to 1917.

Elder Johnson shared ways that Church leaders can assist young people to strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ, such as reading and applying the principles of the “For the Strength of Youth” booklet, and searching the scriptures, especially The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

“I know we have a Heavenly Father who loves us; and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, loves us,” Elder Johnson said.

Elder Rasband in Brisbane 6
Elder Rasband in Brisbane 6
Bishop Gerald Caussé, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaks at a Church Leadership Seminar in Brisbane, Australia, 16 March 2024.© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bishop Gérald Caussé spoke about ways to make sacrament meetings [worship services] welcoming, inspiring and joyous experiences for members and friends of the Church.

He asked attendees at today’s meeting to share ways to make discipleship a meaningful and joyous journey.

Some of the responses included inviting others to “come and see,” by attending a sacrament meeting; giving service in a ward or branch [congregation]; searching the scriptures; and regular worship in the House of the Lord.

“I continue to enjoy being a disciple of Jesus Christ and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Bishop Caussé said. “This is a gospel of joy.”

“The gospel is the greatest gift I have received in my life. God’s blessings are incomparable and infinite. Jesus is the Christ, He taught us His gospel, and leads this Church on behalf of the Father. He is showing us the way.”

Elder Peter F. Meurs, Pacific Area President of the Church, talked about the Church’s Pacific Area Focus.

He invited the leaders to invite other local leaders to hold ministering interviews with each adult member of the Church, asking, “Who do you know and love who has stopped coming to church meetings?”

Elder Meurs encouraged Church leaders to help members of congregations to reach out, one by one, to individuals and families whom they have identified in a ministering interview with one of their leaders.

He promised those in attendance that as more members ministered in the Saviour’s way to “someone they know and love,” that more people would come back to Jesus Christ through worship in sacrament meetings and in temples.

Elder Meurs bore testimony of The Book of Mormon. “It is written for our time, it is perfect for our time. It answers our questions and brings us closer to Jesus Christ.”

An attendee asked about helping senior members of the Church to serve missions. Elder Rasband said, “We need tens of thousands of senior missionaries. We must remove all barriers to our senior missionaries serving the Lord as a missionary.”

Elder Rasband said that there are 72,000 young missionaries around the world, and that more are needed.

Responding to another question about the Church’s recent acquisition of the Kirtland Temple and other historical facilities and artefacts from the Community of Christ, Bishop Caussé said this was “part of the ongoing Restoration of the Gospel.”

One attendee, Ben Vinson, a stake president [leader of several congregations] from Sydney, said he was uplifted by the meeting.

“For me,” he said, “helping young people and those of all ages is about assisting them to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

“All the other aspects of worship and fellowship are wonderful, and do make a difference, but a personal and growing relationship with the Saviour will help each person move forward with faith, hope and confidence, regardless of the challenges they face.”

Elder Rasband and the other visiting leaders also met with missionaries from the Australia Brisbane Mission during their visit to Australia. 

A similar meeting of Church leaders from New Zealand, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and New Caledonia was held in Auckland, New Zealand on Sunday, 17 March. Two additional leadership seminars are scheduled in the next two weeks in Samoa and Fiji.

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