News Story

Northland Latter-day Saints and Friends Discuss Personal Values and Standards

Members and guests of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met on Sunday evening, 28 May, in Whangarei, New Zealand to talk about the impact of values and standards on a person’s life and on the broader society.

Whangarei Latter-day Saint leader, Ronald Reti, told those in the audience that members of the Church should share their influence in the community through standing up for what is right, and by serving others.

Visiting Member of Parliament, Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First shared some thoughts on the power of a person knowing her or his values and standards, and then sticking to them.


Other Members of Parliament in attendance included Kelvin Davis and and Pita Paraone.

Representing the City of Whangarei were Councillors Sue Glen and Jayne Golightly.


Mr Peters said that churches play an important role in the community in teaching values and standards.

“Critics have no idea what kind of society it would be if we didn’t have influences like churches in our country,” Mr Peters said.

“My message for young people is this: No matter how difficult it is, it won’t help if you go off the beaten path. If you go off the wrong track, whatever your problem is, it will only get worse.”

Mr Peters recalled watching former All Black rugby player, Sid Going—who was also in attendance on Sunday evening along with his wife Colleen—play at Eden Park in Auckland. Mr Peters commended Mr Going for being true to his values as a rugby player, including his decision to honour the Sabbath day.

“It is wonderful to see Sid made it all the way to the All Blacks having respected his church’s views you shouldn’t play sport on Sunday,” Mr Peters said. “It’s not an easy thing to do. Most people have to compromise [their] values.”

Mr. Going said in an interview after the meeting that high moral standards are important for the way we live our lives. “It’s difficult for young people today,” he said, “but one has to be strong enough to remember the purpose of your life.”

“There are six other days in a week and sports now seem to take over the Sabbath day. For me, it was a decision I made as a young person taught by my parents. There is more than just this life, there’s an eternal part of our plan.”

Young Latter-day Saint, Rhaydyn Teokotai, also spoke on Sunday evening. He referred to the culture of “competing, comparing and never being enough.”

“As young people today,” Mr Teokotai said, “we see the world and think we can’t do it. We see the world and not the Saviour. It’s simple. We need to turn out attention to the Saviour, keep our study focus on Him and we can overcome everything."

He added, "Life isn’t easy. School isn’t easy. But if we live our values and show the world our values, other people will start to live them.”

During the event, President Reti presented Mr Peters with a framed copy of The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

This document, published in 1995, includes beliefs, values and standards taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding marriage and family.

Closing the evening, President Reti urged those in attendance to put themselves in positions where they can make a difference.

“We need to be in the world, to participate as members of the Church, so others can see what we’re about.”


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