News Story

Church Leaders Speak at Devotional in Hamilton New Zealand

As a part of their Pacific ministry this month, Sister Sharon Eubank and Sister Becky Craven met with Latter-day women in focus groups and spoke to about 700 women at the David O. McKay Stake and Cultural Events Centre in Temple View on Tuesday 22 October.


Elder Allistair B. Odgers, Area Seventy (regional leader) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, presided at the devotional, and also spoke to the congregation.

Sister Eubank is the president of Latter-day Saint Charities and is a member of the Church's Relief Society general presidency. Sister Craven is a member of the Church’s Young Women general presidency. Sister Craven was accompanied by her husband, Brother Ronald Craven.

Sister Craven spoke about recognizing the voice of the Saviour. She asked those in attendance: “If the Saviour is knocking on our door, and says 'It is I,' would we have enough experiences with Him, listening to His voice, that we would recognize His voice and allow Him into our hearts, and allow Him into our homes? Do we recognize His voice?”


She went on to say, “The Lord speaks to us, and it’s up to us to recognize His voice.”

Sister Craven then suggested ways in which individuals can recognize His voice and allow Him into their lives.

“We can find the voice of the Lord and we can receive personal revelation through scripture study,” she said.

“It’s not just the words that are in the scriptures, it is the spirit that we feel, and when we spend time in the scriptures, we read and feel the voice of the Lord.”

Sister Craven then encouraged those in attendance to seek revelation through earnest and sincere prayer and suggested they shut the door, to pray in secret, and thereby avoid distractions that keep them from hearing the voice of the Lord.

“While I am quiet and the door is shut, the Lord reminds me of things that I need to do, He reminds me of people I need to call, people that I need to see, and He reminds me of things that I need to do or just stop doing.”

She counseled the sisters to unclutter their lives so that the spirit can help them to focus in on what is the most important thing to know at any given time.

In talking about the importance of remembering the Saviour as part of the covenant made each week in partaking of the sacrament, Sister Craven said that daily remembrance provides us more opportunities to be in tune to hear His voice.

Speaking of the recent opportunity of listening to the Church’s semi-annual general conference, she reminded the sisters that when we listen to Church leaders, we are listening to and hearing the voice of the Lord. “It is through the witness of the Holy Ghost that we recognize His voice."


Sister Eubank shared her fascination with the life cycle of a dragonfly. She explained that after the dragonfly’s eggs are hatched, the dragonfly nymphs shed their skin up to 12 times and can spend as long as four years or more as nymphs. Once the nymph matures, it attaches itself to a stick and overnight it transforms into a colourful mature dragonfly.

Using the dragonfly’s metamorphosis as an analogy for one’s conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ, she asked, “What happens when we have this mighty change, when we become a new creature, as the scriptures say, and we stop being a nymph? We call it conversion or a mighty change of heart.”

She then asked, “What is it that creates that inside us?”

Sister Eubank then referred to the conversion of Alma the younger, from the Book of Mormon, and identified that it was through his repentance that he became a new creature and was “born of God” (Mosiah 27:25-26).

Referring to Sister Craven’s earlier talk she said, “Jesus knocks on our door and says, ‘It is I,’ and if we open that door and let Him in, that transformation is us becoming new creatures.”

Sister Eubank encouraged the sisters to focus on others rather than solely on themselves, and referred to the Saviour’s admonition to Peter, to “feed my sheep.”

Sister Eubank concluded by encouraging the sisters to fast and pray as they minister to those who need strengthening or have lost their way.

She said that "the voice of the Lord will tell us the small, simple things that we might do to minister to other people, to put our arms around them, to love them, to bring them back in whatever way works best for them.”

Again, using the analogy of the dragonfly, she said: “We have the eyes to see, we have the wings that move and we should be able to cooperate together to feed and bless our people as they come to the Saviour and go through His door.”

Prior to their visit to Hamilton, Sister Eubank and Sister Craven met with Latter-day Saint women in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and Brisbane. After their stop in Hamilton, they spoke at devotionals in Dunedin and Christchurch. They will conclude their Pacific ministry with a visit to Fiji.

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