News Release

Family, Friends and Faith Leaders Remember Jonah Lomu

Over 900 family members, friends and fellow members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints honoured Jonah Lomu today at a funeral service held at the Church’s Robertson Road, Mangere meetinghouse.

Jonah Lomu, who played rugby for the New Zealand All Blacks, passed away on 18 November.

His wife, Nadene, and two sons, Brayley, 6 and Dhyreille, 5, were joined by family members at the service.  

Speakers included Jonah’s brother, John; his father-in-law, Merv Quirk; and his long-time physician, Dr John Mayhew. Latter-day Saint leaders, Elder Kevin W. Pearson and Anthony Wilson, also spoke.

Music was provided by an Auckland regional Latter-day Saint choir; and T.J. Taotua and friends.

Jonah and Nadene’s sons sang two songs in the service: “I am a child of God,” and “Families can be together forever.”    

Speaking directly to Nadene Lomu, Elder Kevin W. Pearson, Pacific Area President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said, “While it seems unfair and difficult to understand that Heavenly Father would take Jonah when there were so many promises, so many dreams, so many plans yet to accomplish in your life, I witness to you that all things are done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things and loves each and every one of us.

“I know that God the eternal Father lives,” he continued. “I know that He is a loving, merciful, compassionate Father, who weeps when we weep, and rejoices when we rejoice. He wants our happiness, and has a plan of happiness and fulfillment for each and every one of us, His children.  

“I bear you my testimony that Jesus is the Christ. He is the Saviour and Redeemer of all mankind. I bear witness of the principles of His gospel, of the reality of His eternal and infinite atonement. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the principles and ordinances that He taught.

"I bear witness that Jesus has been resurrected and that He lives. He is still the light and the life of the world. He loves us, and His example is the example for each and every one of us to follow,” he said.

“I bear you my testimony that Jonah’s eternal spirit lives on. His eternal progression is still underway. He has simply taken the next necessary step that all of us must take some day.”

Elder Pearson concluded by inviting all in attendance to “rededicate our lives to following the Saviour of the world.”

“May we reach out with greater love to our loved ones. May we hug our husband or wife a little more closely. May each of us draw our own children to us a little more closely. May we find a kinder word, a more forgiving heart, a more willing heart and mind to follow our Heavenly Father. In doing so, we ourselves will take another step forward in our Heavenly Father’s plan.”

Other Latter-day Saint leaders in attendance at today’s services included Elder Paul R. Coward, President Sid Going and President Sione Tuione.

Among the dignitaries who paid their respects today were His Royal Highness Prince Ata, representing Their Majesties, King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau'u of the Kingdom of Tonga; current and former All Blacks; and local government officials.

The Lomu family are members of the Epsom Ward (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jonah was baptised a member of the Church in 2012.

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