Elder Cook Expresses Love to Members in Australia, New Zealand
Contributed By By Heather Whittle Wrigley, Church News and Events
While traveling throughout New Zealand and Australia during January 2012, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles met with missionaries, members, and local officials to express his love and concern for the people.
Elder Cook is being accompanied on his Pacific visit by his wife, Mary, and other Church leaders and their wives: Elder Tad R. Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy; Bishop Keith B. McMullin of the Presiding Bishopric; and Elder James J. Hamula and Elder Kevin W. Pearson of the Seventy, members of the Pacific Area Presidency.
On Friday, January 13, 2012, Elder Cook told the more than 200 missionaries of the Sydney Australia Mission, “See yourselves not as the marketing arm of the Church, but as having been sent to ‘establish’ the Church. … Regardless of your success, this is the single most important thing you can do.”
Two days later, members of the Liverpool Australia Stake filled their stake center to overflowing to hear Elder Cook speak.
Following remarks by Elder Terence M. Vinson, Area Seventy, and Sister Cook, Elder Cook spoke on the role of prophets in keeping individuals focused.
“[Prophets] are not just talking about what is happening today, but what is going to happen in the future,” he said.
He cited the example of President Heber J. Grant (1856–1945) teaching the Word of Wisdom prior to the 1960s drug culture and the warning from President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) in 1998 to prepare the home financially.
Today, Elder Cook said, President Thomas S. Monson is teaching us to follow the example of the Savior, reach out and rescue, and strengthen our families.
“As you emphasize your faith and not your doubts, your faith will grow,” Elder Cook said. “As you seek inspiration, you will receive spiritual guidance through prayer that will allow you to be become who your Father in Heaven wants you to be.”
Prior to the stake conference, Elder Cook met with the Hon. David Clarke, liberal member of the legislative council and parliamentary secretary for justice, and Bryan Doyle, state member for Campbelltown. He thanked them for running for office and for their efforts to strengthen and protect the family. Elder Cook presented Mr. Clarke with an embossed King James Bible in honor of the 400th anniversary of its publication.
Later that evening the visiting Church leaders attended a devotional for prospective missionaries.
Elder Callister emphasized that future missionaries need to learn the doctrine. “It is not enough to just bear your testimony,” he said. “A testimony is a sealing on the doctrine you will teach.”
Following his visit to Sydney, Elder Cook traveled to Christchurch, New Zealand, where a 6.3-magnitude earthquake toppled buildings and buried people for days early in 2011.
More than 500 individuals, including local leaders, listened as Elder Cook offered hope and reassurance and predicted that Christchurch will recover and will be “magnificent.”
He encouraged people to focus on rebuilding the city, but also to strengthen and look after their families as parents and couples.
Elder Cook will also visit Auckland and Melbourne before returning to the United States.