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Elder Dale G. Renlund speaks at Liahona High School in Tonga

General authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited Tonga, New Zealand and French Polynesia last week, addressing needs of the saints, including self-reliance, family history, education, prayer and faith, according to articles from Mormon Newsroom New Zealand.

Elder Dale G. Renlund, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, his wife, Sister Ruth Renlund, and other leaders spoke to over 2,500 women in Tonga about the power of faith.

According to an article about their visit, “Women filled the overflow area outside the chapel and some even set up chairs outside of the chapel’s other exits to hear the leaders’ messages.”

The article recorded that Sister Renlund said to the women, “We need to be women of enduring faith, women with staying power, women who are resilient and fierce in their testimonies of Jesus Christ, women who can make important things happen because of our faith.”

Elder Renlund also visited Tonga’s Liahona High School, a school owned by the LDS Church, accompanied by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom. Elder Hallstrom spoke to the students about the spiritual opportunities that the school provides.

“Our expectation of this glorious opportunity of being students at the Liahona High School is that we not only gain an understanding of the world and of disciplines in the world, but more importantly that we become converted unto the Lord,” he said, as recorded in an article.

Another article on Mormon Newsroom reported that youth in Hamilton, New Zealand, also met Elder Renlund, and had the opportunity to ask him and other leaders questions in a devotional. The questions covered a broad range of topics, including sharing the gospel, sin, worthiness, prayer and families. The press release said Elder Renlund told them, “God does not care who you were; He cares who you are and who you are becoming.”

Presiding Bishop Gèrald Caussè led a self-reliance conference at the Fariipiti Self-Reliance Center in French Polynesia, according to another article. He also met with the staff of the family history center, and spoke at a devotional that night.

His visit marked the first time that a presiding bishop has visited French Polynesia. “Following the meeting, Church members celebrated the historic visit with a colourful display of traditional dance and song performed by the young men and women from several local stakes,” Mormon Newsroom reported.

Bishop Caussè, a native of France, also spoke with the president of French Polynesia. Another article reported that Bishop Caussè thanked President Fritch for his support of the church, and the president in turn thanked Bishop Caussè for the humanitarian efforts of the church surrounding floods in Tahiti.

Elder O. Vincent Haleck, president of the Pacific Area of the church, urged members to listen to the spirit in a stake conference in Tonga. “Among guests at the conference were Tonga’s Minister of Education, Penisimani Fifita; Minister for Police, Prisons and Fire Services, Dr. Pohiva Tui'onetoa; and Lapaha Town Officer Saimone Kiu,” reported an article. It continued, “After the conference Dr. Tu’ionetoa expressed gratitude for being invited. He told Elder Haleck, ‘We always talk about the great things your church has done, especially for the youth.’”

bfacer@deseretdigital.com