LDS Church News

LDS Church's growing presence in Hawaii

By Kara McMurray

LDS Church News

Published: Saturday, July 12 2014 5:50 a.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, July 18 2014 12:09 p.m. MDT

On Nov. 13, 2013 — just over two months after the branch was formed — one of the branch members, Kirk Passmore, went missing after a surfing accident. Branch members quickly came together to pray and offer support and encouragement for his family and his girlfriend, Taylor Moyes. Many of them joined search and rescue crews to help look for him in the ocean.

President Lee described the time as a “unifying experience” that showed the love the branch members have for each other. It was a time for members of the branch to “come together and feel the strength of the branch family,” he said. Brother Passmore’s body was never recovered.

Another such experience happened during their first branch conference on April 27. During Sunday School, members heard a loud bang, and many rushed outside to see what had happened. A woman riding a moped had been hit head on by a Dodge Ram truck. She was lying unconscious in the street, surrounded by blood. Stake president Art Hanneman said he thought she was dead. But the stake patriarch, Eddie Solia, and President Hanneman gave her a priesthood blessing.

“As soon as we said ‘amen’ she [regained consciousness],” said President Hanneman. “She started to cry and wanted to sit up.”

Branch member Krystalee Krey, who teaches Primary in the branch, said she visited the woman in the hospital two days after the accident and asked her if she believed in miracles. “She said, ‘Now I do. I never imagined something like this would happen to me. I want to come to your church and thank everyone.’ There’s no doubt in my mind that the power of the priesthood saved this young girl’s life, and I am very grateful to have witnessed a modern-day miracle.”

Branch President Ethan Lee noted that the branch initially had better attendance at the weekly home evening activity than at sacrament meetings, but with so many people moving to Sunset Beach and so many people being reactivated, the branch continues to grow.

kmcmurray@deseretnews.com

Brittany Price of the Sunset Beach YSA Branch in the Laie YSA 1st Stake contributed to this report.

kmcmurray@deseretnews.com

Brittany Price of the Sunset Beach YSA Branch in the Laie YSA 1st Stake contributed to this report.