Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Elder O. Vincent Haleck, General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s Pacific Area, each spoke to separate gatherings of members and friends of the Church in Auckland on Sunday, March 11.
Elder Andersen and Elder Clayton visited the South Pacific from Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. Elder Haleck is the most senior leader of the Church in the Pacific Area.
Speaking to people from the Otara area, Elder Andersen acknowledged that they are a people of great faith and told them that “three virtues: faith, diligence and patience, can take you a long way.” He added that life is all about our choices, “between right and wrong, good and evil.”
“Life is our chance to show our faith, to learn the lessons we are to learn, to love our family…to be faithful to the promises we make to God.”
He continued: “We are far from our heavenly home in mortality. Here, we are being tested to see if we will put our faith in Christ, live the kind of life we are supposed to live and do the kinds of things we are supposed to do, so that we can return and be with Him. Life is not only believing; it is also doing.”
Elder Andersen was accompanied by his wife, Kathy Williams Andersen; Elder Paul R. Coward, an Area Seventy, and his wife, Julie Coward.
Hon Aupito William Sio, a Member of Parliament and Minister for Pacific Peoples, and Associate Minister of Courts and Justice, was among the members of the congregation.Comment on this story
A few days later, Elder Andersen met with Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand in Auckland on Wednesday, March 14.
Accompanying Elder Andersen were his wife, Kathy Andersen; Elder Clayton and his wife, Kathy Clayton; and Elder Ian S. Ardern of the Seventy, and his wife, Paula Ardern.
The leaders discussed matters of common concern including reducing child poverty and improving opportunities for children, youth and adults.
Elder Andersen thanked the Prime Minister for her service to the nation, including the 113,000 Latter-day Saints who call New Zealand home.