News Release

Papua New Guinean Latter-day Saints Welcome Visiting Church Leaders


Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Papua New Guinea—young and old—welcomed Elder Peter F. Meurs, Pacific Area President of the Church, to their homeland this past weekend. Elder Meurs was accompanied by his wife, Sister Maxine Meurs.

Sister Amy Wright, a member of the General Primary Presidency of the Church, accompanied by her husband, Brother James Wright, visited Papua New Guinea with Elder and Sister Meurs.

Primary is the Church’s children’s organisation. In each ward or branch (congregation) there is a Primary (like a Sunday School) which provides singing time, classes and other activities focused on helping young people strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ.

While in Port Moresby and Madang, the visitors met with Church members including children and youth.

Elder Meurs told the youth that he had faith and confidence in them. He encouraged them to stay on the covenant path and be strong. He also urged them to get as much education as they can, to not only build the Church in Papua New Guinea, but also to be a blessing to the entire country.


Sister Wright shared with children a special message from the Prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, that they can "bring light and life to the world, and help gather Israel, by following Jesus Christ and doing small and simple things like helping others, learning the gospel, sharing the gospel with their family and friends, and preparing to go to the temple."

The children drew pictures about the things they could do to follow Jesus Christ, and some shared their thoughts and feelings.

Sister Wright helped the children to know that they were loved, trusted, and needed by their Heavenly Father (whom Papua New Guineans refer to as "Papa God") to help in His work.

The leaders also met with women who volunteer as “Mum’s Pre-school” leaders in several Papua New Guinean communities.


A large gathering of local "Mum’s Pre-schools" volunteers and children put on a cultural event for the guests, which included dancing and singing.

The Meurs and Wrights then visited one of the Mum's Pre-schools, known as "Aunty Helen’s." This education centre is run by Helen Johnson with two other mothers, Sarah Kaibo and Marylou Yalaboi. It has been operating for eight years and cares for between 80-100 children each year. The mothers do this, as volunteers, out of love for the neighbourhood children.

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.