Our journey through the Pacific has come to a close; we have referred to the Pacific as: “Paradise, “The Garden of Eden” and “The Other Side of Heaven”. Memories will carry the love for people with whom we share a special kinship. A contemplative review of the time we have served in the Isles of the Sea, has given much reflection to the sights and sounds of the beautiful vistas that open each and every day. These will be the June roses remembered in the December of our lives.
Meeting with the Saints in Stake and District Conferences as well as Missionaries on Mission Tours were both important and rewarding as we had the opportunity to interact in the personal lives of Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders and felt the love and testimony from members. Such close associations with dear friends will remain as memories in our hearts that will provide solace to the soul then and now.
Travelling from one Island to another and throughout New Zealand and Australia, we observed the faith of the Saints to always be uplifting. We watched as they attended scheduled meetings, many times at great sacrifice, walking with weather related challenges to worship and renew their covenants. We observed the remarkable singing talent of the Saints throughout the Pacific Area.
Public Affairs provided insight, blessing both members and non-members who responded to the invitation, to come and see what makes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints such an important religious organization.
A documentary on the history of the Church in Samoa continues today to identify and strengthen the Saints whose heritage comes from this beautiful Isle of the Sea.
We wish to give special thanks to the many serving in the Area Office, Service Centres, and throughout the Pacific. We have observed the “Golden Thread” interwoven with these sweet spirits who are giving daily service, and have been magnified in so many ways. They are a valued strength to the Area Presidency.
In addition to the Area Office, senior missionary couples are also called to various assignments becoming as it were, an extended arm of the Mission President to missionaries serving in distant places. For all the hours and love so freely given, they are destined to receive the reward of, “well done thou good and faithful servant.”
Elder Robert D. Hales, of The Quorum of The Twelve Apostles summarized our beliefs in Jesus the Christ and sets forth the teachings of which we espouse in the Doctrine of Christ:
He Is The Light
He is the Light of Bethlehem, born of Mary, His mortal mother, and His father, Almighty God.
He is the Light who was baptized by immersion, by John the Baptist, and upon whom the Holy Ghost was manifest in the Spirit.
He is the Light in whom His Father was well pleased.
He is the Light at the head of the ancient church, organized with Twelve Apostles, Prophets, and Seventies.
He is the Light of the Atonement fulfilled in the Garden of Gethsemane and on Golgotha, who took upon Himself the sins of the world, that all mankind may obtain Eternal Salvation.
He is the Light of the empty tomb, the resurrected Lord, with a glorified body of flesh and bone, who broke the bands of death and gained an everlasting victory over the grave.
He is the Light that ascended into the Heaven before the eyes of His disciples with a promised that in like manner He would come again.
He is the Light that appeared with His Father and restored, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the same Church He established during His ministry here on earth.
He is the Light that leads and guides this Church today through revelation to a Prophet, his Counselors, and the Twelve Apostles.
He is my Light, My Redeemer, my Savior and yours.
President Thomas S. Monson, like those who preceded him, has declared his heartfelt testimony in these words:
“With all my heart and the fervency of my soul, I lift up my voice in testimony as a special witness and declare that God does live. Jesus is His Son, the Only Begotten of The Father in the flesh. He is our Redeemer; He is our Mediator with The Father. He it was who died on the cross to atone for our sins. He became the first fruits of the Resurrection. Because He died, all shall live again. Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: “I know that my Redeemer lives!” May the whole world know it and live by that knowledge.”
Now to the testimonies of the Prophets, Seers and Revelators, I wish to add my own witness of these divine truths.
Over the span of many years in personal study and of time to ponder and pray, the promises of our Lord and Savior have been realized through personal and spiritual confirmations.
The Prophets of the Old and New Testaments had strong enough testimonies to leave a legacy to follow, build upon and encourage others to see. The Church of Jesus Christ was restored in these latter-days to become the organized source of light and truth, even the fullness of the gospel provided through Another Testament of Jesus Christ, The Book of Mormon. The Priesthood of God was received and became the authority to act in His Holy Name.
The timeless events and experiences with our Latter-day Prophets of God whom we sustain only serve to cement our convictions. This is further bound by the eternal support and companionship of a beloved wife, the devotion of a loving family and the faith and prayers of wonderful people all over this vast world who have touched our lives deeply. As one of His especial witness, I add my testimony of these eternal truths.
With love to our Eternal Friends:
“We will see you again”
“Tatou toe feiloa’l”
“Ka tau toki fe’iloaki”
“Farerei faahou tatou”
“Nous nous reverrons encore”
“Eda na qai sota tale”
“Ti na manga kaitibo rimwi”
“Jenaaj bar loe eok”
“Bai mipela lukim u ken”