News Release

Fiji Latter-day Saint Leaders of Congregations Meet with Apostle, Other Visitors

Focus on loving, serving, leading and inviting in Christ-like ways

Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from across Fiji met today in Suva with Elder Gary E. Stevenson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.


Elder Stevenson is visiting Fiji with his wife, Lesa Stevenson, and is also being accompanied by Elder Carl B. Cook of the Presidency of the Seventy, Bishop W. Christopher Waddell of the Presiding Bishopric, and Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita of the Pacific Area Presidency.

Area Seventy, Elder Adolf Johansson, who lives in Fiji, conducted the meeting which took place at the faith’s Raiwaqa meetinghouse in Suva.

Sisters Lynette Cook, Carol Waddell, Tazuko Yamashita and Martha Johansson accompanied their husbands.

Hundreds of local women and men serve as volunteers in a variety of leadership and service assignments in Latter-day Saint congregations across Fiji.


Some lead organisations such as Relief Society (Latter-day Saint organisation for women), as well as youth and children leadership assignments. And others lead congregations and groups of congregations in a region.

Local Latter-day Saint leaders give service without pay, in addition to their employment, family and other responsibilities.

They strive to follow the example and teachings of Jesus Christ in the ways they love, serve and minister to individuals and families in their congregation, as well as in the wider community.


Speaking of the president of the Church, Russell M. Nelson, Elder Stevenson said: “He has a deep love for the people of the Church and the people of the world.”

“President Nelson is urgently engaged in the work of the Lord, by gathering scattered Israel on both sides of the veil.”

“We gather Israel on the other side of the veil through temple and family history work,” he said. “We gather Israel on this side of the veil by inviting our family and friends to come unto Christ.”


Elder Stevenson emphasised the priority of helping parents understand and work towards having a “Home-centred and Church-supported” focus in their family.

Elder Carl B. Cook said, “President Nelson is not only inviting us to gather Israel, but he is also doing it himself.”

He shared an example of when President Nelson recently met with a national head of state, inviting him to read the Book of Mormon. An invitation which was accepted.

Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita spoke about ways to assist Latter-day Saints as they reach out in love and service to fellow members of their congregation.

Bishop W. Christopher Waddell quoted from The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ (2 Nephi 29:7):


“Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?”

He encouraged all in attendance to exercise faith in Jesus Christ, to make repentance a regular process, and to invite others to do the same. He promised that as individuals did so they would receive forgiveness and joy through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Elder Adolf Johansson taught about the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy.


One local leader in attendance, Nanise Vavaloa, from Nausori, said after the conference: "I learnt to serve others with love and that I need to ask Heavenly Father to help me serve with love."

Voi Solomoni, from Tamavua, said he was grateful to learn ways to improve the way he ministered to others.

Seta Rabuka, from a Latter-day Saint congregation in Toga, said, "I was impressed with the subject of repentance, as it can give hope."

On Sunday 15 September members and friends of the Church will gather for four special stake conferences in three locations in Suva, and another in Nadi.

The visiting leaders, as well as other members of the Pacific Area Presidency—Elder Ian S. Ardern and Elder K. Brett Nattress—will attend and speak at these conferences.

Watch an address by Elder Stevenson at the Church's October 2018 General Conference:


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