News Release

Elder Rasband Meets with Members and Friends of the Church in Hamilton, New Zealand

“We love you, we thank you, we need you”

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with members and friends of the Church in the Hamilton, New Zealand suburb of Temple View on Saturday and Sunday 16-17 November.


Elder Rasband was accompanied by his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband, as well as Elder K. Brett Nattress and Sister Shawna Nattress, and Elder Allistair Odgers and Sister Noeline Odgers.

Elder Rasband’s message to the Latter-day Saint leaders, members and missionaries, as well as guests of the Church over the weekend was simple: “We love you, we thank you, and we need you.”


He conveyed the love of the Church’s president, Russell M. Nelson, whom he met with before coming to the South Pacific this week.

Elder Rasband told those in attendance at a special stake conference in Temple View on Sunday 17 November: “It’s a great honour to be with you today. I want you all to know that you honour the Lord Jesus Christ by being here today. We are grateful to have friends here who are not of our faith. Welcome.”

“The 200 year anniversary of the First Vision is coming,” he said. “You will hear much more about that. April 2020 general conference will be more than memorable, it will be unforgettable.”

He encouraged Latter-day Saints to study together the Restoration and the First Vision.

“Mothers can pull down the Spirit of the Lord,” he said. “We are grateful for you sisters in so many ways, and how you strengthen your families.”


He said, “I hope you are all still ‘recommended for the temple,’ even though your temple is not open at the moment. Whether we have an operating temple near or far, we should all live our lives recommended. That’s the Lord’s wish.”

“For our rising generation,” he said, “I brought a mini-message from President Nelson for you. Last week President Nelson, in our special Thursday meeting, said: ‘I want you to tell the members, missionaries and children this message. Tell them I love them.”’

“Love is the greatest characteristic of Jesus Christ,” Elder Rasband said. “If He could be here in person today, He would say ‘I love you. I love you so much I gave my life for you.’”


Continuing his message from President Nelson, Elder Rasband said: “Tell the people thank you for all you do in the walls of your own home, your ministering assignments, and in building up and establishing the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Elder Rasband expressed to all in attendance at the conference: “We need all of you. We need you to protect, bless, strengthen, help one another. To gather Israel on both sides of the veil. To do missionary work, and do your family history work. Replace patron time in the temple [while it is closed for three years for extensive renovation], to studying about your deceased ancestors.”


“I love the Lord,” Elder Rasband said. “I know that this is His Church. He is gathering the elect. We are being asked to gather Israel from both sides of the veil. We progress along the covenant path, with our families. Let us continue to strive and strengthen one another. Look outward and invite those not of our faith to come and see. Come and hear our message.”

“I know President Russell M. Nelson is God’s prophet on the earth today,” he said.

“I ask in the office of Apostle for the Lord to bless every one of you, as if my hand could be on your head, that you would have the innermost desires in your heart answered. A greater desire to feast on the words of Christ. To be effective ministering brothers and sisters. To have ears to hear and eyes to see those around you that need help. Forgive quickly, and don’t hold grievances.”

He continued: “I pray the Lord will bless you today as you care for your posterity, mums and dads, grandparents and extended ward families. I bless you if you will keep the commandments that you will prosper in the land. Prosper means a lot more than getting rich. You will prosper in your homes, in your lands, as the Lord’s promises and blessings are upon you.”


“There are some here who are afflicted. I pray that He will bless you, that you will find peace in your afflictions. Continue to build a strong stake here next to the temple, that you may be a light to others in the Pacific because of your goodness.”

Sister Rasband called attendees at the conference “a marvellous sight.”

“I have been thinking about the meetings we have been holding here,” she said. “How will we share this experience with our family? We have felt such deep feelings of love and gratitude.”

She added, “Early members of the Church felt the promptings to come to the isles of the sea. The Lord and His Father provided a prophet, and keys. God is mindful of every people wherever they may be. I know that the Lord knows each and every one of us. We are grateful for your faith, love, devotion to Jesus Christ, and your desire to share the gospel.”

Elder K. Brett Nattress, First Counselor in the Pacific Area Presidency, said to local leaders in the Saturday afternoon leadership meeting: “This is His holy work. It begins in our homes and with our families and extends to all of Heavenly Father’s children.“

During Elder and Sister Rasband’s visit to Hamilton they also met with Church communication volunteers from across Aotearoa-New Zealand, as well as local Latter-day Saint leaders and friends from other faiths and New Zealand’s Parliament.


Dr Mustafa Farouk, president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ), shared with Elder Rasband his gratitude for his Latter-day Saint friends, for opportunities to work together to strengthen individuals and communities.


Member of New Zealand Parliament, representing Hamilton West, Mr Tim Macindoe MP, said he has a long history of friendship with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In particular, he noted the kindness of President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, that he observed when President Eyring came to New Zealand to dedicate the David O. McKay Stake and Cultural Events Centre in 2017.


Additional Resources

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