News Story

Church Leaders Meet with Christchurch Latter-day Saints

Elder L. Whitney Clayton: “This is a thrilling time to be a member of the Church”

Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Elder Craig A. Cardon of the Seventy, and a member of the Pacific Area Presidency, spoke to around 600 people at a special devotional in Christchurch, New Zealand on Sunday 11 March.


Some attendees travelled for over two hours to take part in the meeting.

Elder Clayton is visiting New Zealand and Australia this month with his wife, Sister Kathy Clayton.

The couple are travelling with Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Kathy Andersen.

As the two couples travel to various cities in Australia and New Zealand, they are being accompanied by members of the Pacific Area Presidency and their wives.

Elder Craig A. Cardon, of the Seventy and a member of the Pacific Area Presidency, and his wife, Sister Deborah Cardon, are accompanying the Claytons as they visit Christchurch.

"This is a thrilling time to be a member of the Church,” Elder Clayton told those in attendance. “We have a marvellous experience ahead of us."

Elder Clayton reminded those at the devotional that on 1 April at the Church’s annual general conference, President Russell M. Nelson will be sustained as a prophet, seer, revelator and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Elder Clayton urged Latter-day Saints to remember “when we raise our hands to sustain our prophet, we promise to uphold him by our faith, our confidence and our prayers.”

Elder Clayton invited those present at last night’s devotional to ask questions that were pertinent to their spiritual needs. Topics discussed included: how to raise teenagers in a media-influenced world; how to resist comparison with others; and how to support individuals with mental illnesses.


Ben Matthews, a Latter-day Saint from Christchurch, asked about recognizing and receiving revelation with respect to his family and also his work.

When asked why he felt impressed to ask this question, Matthews said, “I’m looking for employment, so I just wanted to hear what the general authorities had to say about revelation and their own personal experiences with revelation.”

The responses given by Elder and Sister Clayton touched on prayer, as well as moral agency.

“We are free agents,” Elder Clayton said. “God expects us to make wise decisions.”

“Revelation sometimes comes immediately, but other times comes in bits and pieces.”

Sister Clayton shared that “the Holy Ghost is not going to tell us every single step to take, but we should study it out and think about it in our minds, then move forward in faith."

Matthews shared that is was an emotional experience for him to hear their responses because they confirmed what he and his wife were already feeling.

He said that as a couple they were grateful for the “gentle reminder.”


Elder and Sister Cardon shared their witness of having “seen President Nelson receive and act on revelation.”

Elder Cardon powerfully declared that President Nelson “truly is a prophet of God.”

Watch a video featuring Elder Clayton speaking to a worldwide audience during one of the Church's general conferences.


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