Members of Western Australia Parliament Attend Stake Conference
Mr Peter Abetz (LIB member for Southern River), Dr Antonio Buti (ALP member for Armadale), and Mr Bill Johnston (ALP member for Cannington) joined 700 Mormons at the Southern River Stake Conference in Perth, Western Australia, this month. They were invited guests of Stake President Mark Pemberton, who hosted them at breakfast before the Sunday meeting.
Elder James Hamula, Pacific Area President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also attended the breakfast, at which various social issues and challenges facing Australian families were discussed. Elder Hamula shared gospel principles surrounding family home evening and the welfare program. He also expressed gratitude to the politicians for their service and their sacrifices for the country.
Mr. Johnston appreciated the warm welcome he received.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience,” said Dr Buti afterwards. “It was most educational, and I look forward to working together in the future.”
Mr Abetz said, “It was a pleasure to witness the strength of your community and to hear of its commitment to strengthening families.”
In the Sunday session, Elder Hamula spoke about the divinity of Jesus Christ and explained his particular calling to be a witness for the Saviour. After relating the true story of a young man who took a stand at the risk of his own life, the visiting authority encouraged listeners to take a stand when gospel principles and religious rights are attacked or threatened.
President Pemberton also addressed the Saints. Among the other speakers were ten-year old Darcey Pilkington and fourteen-year old Lyndon Yip who spoke about the Saviour's love and about preparing to serve a mission, respectively.
“Both these young people impressed the audience with their maturity and confidence,” said conference goer, Linda Hawk, “especially considering they were speaking in front of Elder Hamula, three politicians and 700 people.”
Stake conference is a biannual event for every stake (comparable to a Catholic Diocese) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of the included wards (parishes) come together to receive inspiration, training and direction.
Some of the Southern River Stake members drove as many as five hours to the two-day event, which included a Priesthood leadership session and a Saturday evening meeting for all adults.
Political leaders are typically invited worldwide. By meeting Church leaders and members and observing a conference, they better understand the beliefs and practices of their Mormon constituents.
Visitors are always welcome without invitation at Stake Conference and at regular Sunday worship services. Times and locations along with a brief overview of the meetings can be found here .