News Release

Mormons Around Australia and New Zealand Meet for Special Conference

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—sometimes refered to as "Mormons"—met in around 100 locations in Australia and New Zealand today for a special regional conference.

Church members and visitors gathered in the faith's stake and district centres in both countries for the two hour meeting.

A stake is a group of wards (congregations) in a certain location. A district is similar, but normally has fewer members and often covers a larger area .

The first 30 minutes of the conference included a welcome from a local Church leader, a hymn and prayer. Then, opening remarks from a local leader.

The final 90 minutes of the conference included re-broadcast sermons from Elder Kevin W. Pearson, the Pacific Area president of the Church, and other Church leaders in Salt Lake City, United States.

Leaders participating from the United States were Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy; Cheryl A. Esplin, a member of the general presidency of the Church's Primary organisation; and Tad R. Callister, general president of the Sunday School. 

Sermons focused on the teachings of Jesus Christ and prophets and apostles. Themes addressed included how to increase faith and trust in God, Jesus Christ and His Atonement; prayer; scripture study; and observing the Sabbath.

Elder Cook spoke about missionary work; living in the world but not of the world; and family history and temple service.

Families, couples, singles, young and old attended the conference.

One young attendee, Jane, 10, said, "My favourite part was when Elder Pearson spoke about Matthew Nom, the 11-year-old boy who was in an accident and was very ill with burns to 80% of his body."

She added, "It made me feel really happy to know that after his grandma prayed, Matthew didn't scream or cry while they changed his bed sheets, because he was in so much pain. It helped me to know that our prayers will be answered and we will be blessed if we pray."  

Rachel Lau, who atttended the conference in Adelaide, said, “What stood out to me was the emphasis on the strength and blessings we receive from studying the scriptures, and  I felt impressed to be studying them more with our children.”

For Jenny Ramsay, also from Adelaide, Brother Tad Callister’s basketball analogy resonated.

“We do need to do more than work on our defence against opposition; we need to be spiritually proactive as well to keep progressing in life,” she said.

Sydney seven-year-old, Erica, said, "My favourite message was about trust."

Ethan, 11, said, "It's always great to hear from the leaders of the Church during conference. I am inspired by the message they share. My favourite message was about faith."

Mark Allen, an Australian currently living in New Zealand, said, "I really enjoyed Brother Callister’s remarks about patriarchal blessings which were directed towards the youth." 

Mormon Newsroom explains that: "Patriarchal blessings are given to worthy members of the Church and contain personal counsel from God. A patriarchal blessing is intended to be a road map that helps guide a person through life." Read more here.

Allen continued: "He said that If they wait until a mission or marriage to obtain a patriarchal blessing they may have missed the opportunity to receive divine guidance when it is most needed in their teenage years. As a parent this was wonderful counsel to hear given the significance of the trials and challenges our youth face these days and the evils of the world which continue to confront them." 

In early April Latter-day Saints and others will meet for the annual general conference of the Church.

The conference will begin in Salt Lake City in the Church's Conference Centre, but will be viewed, read and heard by millions around the world via satellite, radio, TV, print and the Internet.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.