News Story

Church Leaders Worship with Ni-Vanuatu Women and Girls

Latter-day Saints urged to "help others along their path back to our Father in Heaven"

Wearing brightly coloured island dresses given to them the day before by local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Young Women General President Sister Bonnie H. Cordon and Primary General President Sister Joy D. Jones met with women and girls in Port Vila on 13 November.

This is the second stop on the visiting Church leaders' Pacific tour. They are heading to Tonga next and then New Zealand.


Elder Ian S. Ardern, First Counselor in the Pacific Area Presidency of the Church, presided and also spoke at the meeting.  

Also in attendance was Elder Adolf Johansson, an Area Seventy, and Yvon Basil, president of the Port Vila Vanuatu Stake of the Church.

Elder Ardern shared that President Russell M. Nelson teaches us that we “can follow the light of Christ if [we] follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.” There are six ways to do that, he said.  

“Be thankful, in prayers, to parents and to teachers. Be smart by going to school and getting an education. Be clean in words and in thoughts. Be true to your covenants. Be humble. Be prayerful.”

“If you do those things,” he said, “you will be a light and have much happiness.”
Both Sister Jones and Sister Cordon shared personal stories that inspired the women and girls to seek the Lord in all they do.

Sister Cordon invited the congregation to "help others along their path back to our Father in Heaven."

“We need our own light and to do that we need to pray always, read the scriptures, learn academically, go to church each week and be worthy to worship in the temple,” she said. 

“We need to share our own light so people can see,” Sister Cordon added.  “As the Lord Jesus Christ encouraged us: ‘Let your light so shine before men.’”

Sister Jones shared that President Russell M. Nelson, the president of the Church, spoke with her about the importance of Primary songs—how they "bring us closer to God." 

She also reminded parents in the congregation that “small oblations and daily religious practices provide [their] families with strength in times of great need.”

A choir comprising local young women sang a beautiful musical number during the devotional.  

Floral arrangements of local blooms decorated the meetinghouse.

Sisters Cordon and Jones were both visibly touched by the outpouring of love which greeted them when they arrived in Vanuatu and throughout their visit.  

In response to this outpouring, Sister Jones said: “Vanuatu has already stolen my heart.”

Sister Jones is travelling with her husband, Robert Jones; and Sister Cordon is travelling with her husband, Derek Cordon. Elder Ardern is travelling with his wife, Paula Ardern.

Newsroom contributor: Tessa Dewsbury

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