News Story

Jonah and Nadene Lomu Talk About Trials and Faith

Jonah Lomu is a household name for rugby fans throughout New Zealand and the world. 

Among his many achievements he is regarded as the first true global superstar of rugby union, he has been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame, the IRB Hall of Fame, and he is the Rugby World Cup all-time top try scorer.

Jonah Lomu is also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

On 23 February the Massey Ward (congregation) in the Henderson Stake (similar to a diocese) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enjoyed an evening with Jonah and Nadene Lomu as they each spoke of their personal trials, challenges, fame, and family.

The messages from both Jonah and Nadene were of faith and assurance, knowing that God will not give us trials that are beyond our ability to endure, no matter how difficult they may seem at the time.

In 1995 Jonah was diagnosed with a serious kidney disorder and in 2004 he experienced kidney failure and underwent a successful kidney transplant. 

In 2012 it was apparent that another transplant would be necessary and today he is dependent on dialysis treatments three times a week.

“In 2012 I told the bishop that I wanted to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Jonah said.

That night Jonah became very ill and was rushed to the hospital and put into the ICU unit.  His body had shut down.

As days passed, no answers seemed to come from the doctors who felt he may not recover as his health continued to deteriorate.

Jonah admits that there were moments when he wondered, “Why Me?  Why this?”  But the overpowering feeling was peace and assurance and that he was not alone in this struggle.

“I kept saying my prayers, but I just got worse,” he recalled.  He called his wife to bring their two sons to the hospital to see him.

“I didn’t feel afraid, I knew that Heavenly Father would not give me trials that were too hard for me or my wife Nadene.” 

With time, Jonah was able to leave the hospital and go home. Soon after he was baptized.

Nadene said, “Faith is tested daily, in all we do and experience. We are never alone, that assurance is truly powerful and comforting.” 

Jonah and Nadene are the parents of two lively and happy sons, Brayley and Dhyreille. 

The love and attention that Jonah has for these two little boys was apparent as he greeted people on his way out of the chapel, tenderly guiding his sons through the crowded chapel at the end of the devotional.

He says he understands the blessings of life in a more complete and personal way because of the trials and challenges he has experienced.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.