News Release

Apostle Counsels New Zealand Young Adults

"God loves you. He knows your name. He knows your anxieties, troubles and worries."

Elder Ronald A. Rasband, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to over a thousand young adults in South Auckland on Sunday evening, 17 November.


Elder Rasband was accompanied by his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband, Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita and Sister Tazuko Yamashita, and other local leaders.

Among the guests at the devotional were Dr Janet Tupou, Youth, Praise and Worship leader in the Tongan Wesleyan Church of New Zealand, and Edmond Fehoko from the New Zealand Methodist Church.

Elder Rasband conveyed to those in attendance the love of President Russell M. Nelson, worldwide leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


"President Nelson is full of love," Elder Rasband said. "This is a Prophet who knows the heart."

Elder Rasband thanked the young people "for all you do to take care of yourselves, nurture others and minister."


"There is a destiny for each one of you—a divine destiny," he said.

Elder Rasband referred to prophets who spoke about the perils and calamities of our day.

"These are our days," he said. "Fortunately, we have been given guides on how to deal with them."

He quoted from Doctrine and Covenants 85, where the Lord commands us to "stand in holy places."

Elder Rasband then talked about three holy places.

"Church buildings," he said, "have been dedicated. Baptisms, the sacrament and other ordinances take place. We are taught and nourished here."


Referring to another holy place, the temple, he asked, "What should you do while you are waiting for temples here to be built and rededicated?"

"Don't let your temple recommend go inactive."

He shared a story of his father-in-law who was in hospice care. One evening when they visited him he was very happy. He had just had his temple recommend renewed.

"Now I feel recommended to the Lord," Elder Rasband quoted his father-in-law as saying.

Elder Rasband also encouraged the young adults to "engage in family history, not just direct line, but cousins too."


He added: "I've really felt this prompting that this must still be a recommended people to the Lord."

The third holy place Elder Rasband spoke about was the home.

"The home is a place where you pray, a place where you read the scriptures," he said.

He invited the young people to have pictures of the Saviour, their family and a temple in their home.

Elder Rasband urged those in attendance to participate in the sacrament ordinance every week.


"I promise you in the name of the Lord that you will be blessed, protected, your spirit will be nourished."

He continued: "I know that God loves you. He knows your name. He knows your anxieties, troubles and worries."

"I am grateful for this season we are coming into when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. I am equally excited for Easter when we celebrate His resurrection."

"I pray that Heavenly Father will bless you every day," he said.

In her remarks, Sister Rasband said, "We have five children and 27 grandchildren. It doesn't seem that long ago that we were young like you."


She shared their courtship story with the young people. "I knelt in prayer to find out if this is the man I should consider to marry."

The Spirit kept reminding her, she recalled, of special moments with him and kind things he had done, and she realized that was her answer. "I'm grateful that the Lord directed my path to find my eternal companion."

Sister Rasband encouraged everyone to "let our light so shine that the Lord can shine through us. He has a plan for us. Trust in Him."

Elder and Sister Yamashita, and Sister Burgess also spoke at the devotional.

"Our Heavenly Father knows each of us, our weaknesses and challenges," Elder Yamashita said.

"Be happy, have a positive attitude and seek out good things, and the Spirit will guide you and be with you."


Sister Yamashita said, "Heavenly Father really loves you. He knows your needs. As we follow the gospel and the promptings of the Spirit, there will be no need to worry about the future."

After the meeting, one attendee, Laki Tiatia, said: "As a returned missionary, I needed to hear, 'Stand on holy ground.'"

Tahir Nin said, "I really loved how he talked about standing in three holy places."

Another young adult, Hince Tumaua, said, "I felt the love from our prophet with his messages. We are blessed to have a prophet to lead us and to help us be strong in the Church."

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