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New Zealand Local Pages
Hearken to the Voice of the Lord                                         themselves in the lone and dreary world, they not
                                                                         only offered prayer unto the Lord, but they “heard
By Elder James J. Hamula                                                 the voice of the Lord” and obeyed His instructions.10
First Counsellor in the Area Presidency

                                                                            Hearkening to the voice of the Lord brings rich
        he first word of the Lord’s preface to                                   blessings. If we hearken to the voice of
        His latter-day revelations to man is                                     the Lord, He will be quick to answer our
        hearken.1 Hearken means to listen                                        prayers.11 We will be protected and magni-
carefully, to give due attention, to give                                        fied temporally.12 We will have the mercy
strict heed. Indeed, the Lord makes this                                         and compassion of the Lord.13 And we will
clear by enjoining all men—the “people                                           be delivered from death and have our place
of [His] church,” “people from afar,” and                                        in mortality and immortality made secure.14
people “upon the islands of the sea”—to                                          Not hearkening to the voice of the Lord can
“listen together.”2                                                              only bring the opposite of such blessings.15
    To what should we hearken? As the                                                Where may we find the voice of the
Apostle Paul observed, “There are . . . so                                       Lord so that we may follow His voice and
many kinds of voices in the world, and                                           be blessed? The Lord’s voice can be found
none of them is without signification.”3 This                                    in the voice of his servants. The Lord told
reality of life weighed upon Joseph Smith. Referring    Elder James J.   Joseph Smith: “This generation shall have my word
to the many often conflicting voices of his day on      Hamula           through you.”16 Whether it is His voice, or the voice
the question of religion, Joseph observed: “In the                       of His servants, “it is the same.”17 The Lord’s voice
midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I                     may also be found in the scriptures. Referring to His
often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all                     revelations, the Lord has said:
these parties are right; or, are they all wrong to-                         “These words are not of men nor of man, but
gether? If any one of them be right, which is it, and                    of me . . .
how shall I know it?”4 Whether or not the question                          “For it is my voice which speaketh them unto
is one of religion, Joseph’s questions apply to us                       you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and
all. To what, or to whom, should we give our ear                         by my power you can read them one to another . . .
and follow?                                                                 “Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard
    This question was answered when God our                              my voice, and know my words.”18
Father appeared to Joseph Smith. Pointing to His                            The Lord’s voice can also be found in the spir-
Son, our Father told Joseph—and through him all                          itual impressions that come to our hearts and mind.
of us—“This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him!”5 Out                           Said He: “I speak unto you with my voice, even the
of all of the many voices in this world, the voice of                    voice of my Spirit,19 which is a still, small, whisper-
the Lord Jesus Christ is the one to which we must                        like voice.”20
hearken. After the injunction to pray, there is prob-                       I pray that all of us will earnestly strive to find
ably no more frequent injunction in scripture than                       more often, and follow more regularly, the voice
the injunction to hearken,6 listen,7 hear,8 or heed9                     of the Lord in our lives. Daily prayer, daily scrip-
the voice of the Lord. Our first parents, Adam and                       ture study, and regular study of the words of the
Eve, set the pattern for all of us. After they found                     prophets and apostles will help us to hear His

                                                                                                           January 2011            N1
   voice. Quiet pondering and reflecting will also           4. Joseph Smith—History 1:10.
                                                             5. Joseph Smith—History 1:17.
   help us hear His voice. Following His voice will          6. Examples include Deuteronomy 28:1–2, 15;
   lead us through the trials and tribulations of life          Doctrine and Covenants 1:1; 39:1, 10; 45:2; 133:16.
                                                             7. Examples include Doctrine and Covenants 27:1; 29:1;
   and into the peace and rest of eternal life.                 35:1; 39:1; 45:6; 72:1.
                                                             8. Examples include Deuteronomy 4:33, 36; Isaiah 28:23;
      As one who has sought and found the voice of              Matthew 17:5; Mosiah 26:21, 28; Doctrine and Covenants
   the Lord amidst the din of the many other voices             1:11; 38:6, 22; 43:23.
                                                             9. Examples include Alma 12:9; 37:44; 3 Nephi 23:4;
   of this world, I know that there is no other voice as        Doctrine and Covenants 6:2; 11:2; 12:2, 9; 14:2; 32:5; 84:43.
                                                            10. Moses 5:4; see also verses 5–6.
   peaceful, and loving, and reassuring as His. I testify   11. See Doctrine and Covenants 101:7; Moses 6:52.
   that the Lord’s voice can be heard again and, when       12. See Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 30:9–10.
                                                            13. See Deuteronomy 13:17–18.
   followed, will bring no greater blessing in this life    14. See Doctrine and Covenants 45:2; 124:45.
                                                            15. See Deuteronomy 28:15–68; Doctrine and Covenants 124:45–48.
   or in the life to come. ◼                                16. Doctrine and Covenants 5:10.
   NotEs                                                    17. Doctrine and Covenants 1:38; see also 68:3–4.
     1. Doctrine and Covenants 1:1.                         18. Doctrine and Covenants 18:34–36.
     2. Doctrine and Covenants 1:1.                         19. Doctrine and Covenants 97:1; see also 88:66.
     3. 1 Corinthians 14:10.                                20. See Helaman 5:30.

                                                        LoCAL News

   Julie Beck and Mary Cook                                                      youth. “We, as their leaders, must
                                                                                 stress that obedience brings
   Visit Pacific Area                                                            blessings,” said Sister Cook.
                                                                                     Sister Beck noted that “the
   By Christine Roberts

                                                                                 Lord’s mission statement, to bring
            n 15 October 2010, to an     instructed those present to             to pass the immortality and eter-
            overflowing chapel of        lead the youth by example and           nal life of man, is a big work and
            eager sisters and priest-    emphasised the importance of            . . . the Lord is dependent on us
   hood leaders from Auckland,           righteous role models to the            to participate in that work.” She
   Tauranga, and Hamilton, Julie B.
   Beck, Relief Society general
   president of the Church, and
   Mary N. Cook, first counsellor in
   the Young Women general pres-                                                                                                Julie B. Beck,
   idency, gave inspired counsel                                                                                                Relief Society
   regarding the sisters and young                                                                                              general presi-
   women of the Church.                                                                                                         dent, and
      “Zion shall increase in beauty                                                                                            Mary N. Cook,
   and holiness and must arise and                                                                                              first counsellor
   put on her beautiful garments,”                                                                                              in the Young
   said Sister Cook as she stressed                                                                                             Women general
   the importance of helping young                                                                                              presidency,
   women to be worthy to make                                                                                                   visited New
   and keep sacred covenants in                                                                                                 Zealand in
   the temples of the Lord. She                                                                                                 October 2010.

N2 E n s i g n
                                                                         o u r h e r I TAg e

encouraged the strong to take
one who is weak to sacrament          Family History: Fascinating, Fulfilling,
meetings and towards the temple
and emphasised, “It is within all
                                      Fun . . . and Frustrating
                                      By Gwenyth Marsden, Claudelands Ward, Hamilton Glenview stake

of us to do.”
    Elder Callister reiterated the          amily history has been an

                                                                                                                                       PhotograPh courtesy of gwenyth Marsden
Area goals to “Rescue the One.”             exciting part of my life for
“It is hard to rescue from behind           over 40 years now. When
the pulpit or in the front of the     I think of family history, many
classroom,” he said, and he en-       words starting with the letter “f”
couraged all to leave the pulpit      come to mind.
and the classroom and rescue              The first of course is family. My
the one as the prophet would          love for my extended family and
have us do.                           my ancestors has grown along
    The group then divided for        with my testimony that families
more specific instruction in the      are forever.
Relief Society and Young Women            Family history is fascinating.      want to find an ancestor, I feel      Gwynneth
programmes. Spiritual prepared-       The most exciting, sometimes            quite frustrated at my inability to   Marsden of the
ness, councils of the Church,         tragic and definitely inspiring         find him or her. I have learned       Claudelands
                                                                                                                    Ward, Hamilton
ministering to the one and teach-     stories have emerged as I have          that family history is most defi-
ing the gospel effectively all were   learned more about my ancestors.        nitely a spiritual experience, and
                                                                                                                    Stake, finds
topics of discussion.                     Family history is fulfilling. It    when one door closes another
                                                                                                                    doing family
    In spite of only arriving in      is wonderfully fulfilling to take       always opens. So to me, it is like    history is fun,
the country in the early hours        my own family names to the              putting my hand in that of the        frustrating and
of the morning, Sister Beck           temple and be proxy for my              Lord and going wherever the           fulfilling.
and Sister Cook gave energetic        own loved ones and to know              Spirit next leads me.
and loving presentations that         that I am leaving a legacy for my          One research experience was
inspired all who listened. One        posterity. It is a way of saying        particularly exciting for me. My
sister said after the meeting, “I     “thank you” to them for all they        paternal second great-grandfather
am so inspired and motivated!         have endured so that I might be.        was, reportedly, a happy, debo-
I just want to wrap them [Sister          Family history is fun.              nair Frenchman who report-
Beck and Sister Cook] up and          Sometimes we think of family            edly “jumped ship” from the La
take them back to our ward!”          history as a duty that must be          Seine to seek his fortune in the
    It is hoped that all those who    done, but once started it brings        goldfields of New South Wales.
were present will take the mes-       great enjoyment and satisfaction        NSW records showed him as
sages back to their areas and im-     to those who engage in this vital       Stephen Fabare, Jean Faubar,
plement the principles that were      work. It is the thrill of the hunt,     John Fabar and John Fabard.
so eloquently taught that night.      it expands the mind and thought         My grandmother would tell me
    Sister Beck and Sister            processes, and increases research       about him teaching her French
Cook then departed from               skills and even computer skills.        songs and how to make the most
New Zealand to visit Australia            Family history can be frustrat-     delicious pies, but my search for
and the Islands. ◼                    ing. Sometimes, when I badly            further details and that of other
                                                                                                              January 2011            N3
   descendants proved fruitless.             Family history is fabulously    call fervently upon the Lord for
       Then I received a most excit-      rewarding. I get just as much      help in translating documents in
   ing email telling me of a list of      joy and excitement from helping    other languages; and my love for
   crew members from the French           others find their ancestors as I   Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
   Naval corvette La Seine, which         do in finding my own. My testi-    has increased because of the
   was wrecked off the coast of           mony of the temple has grown;      Atonement and the great plan of
   New Caledonia. Listed among the        my testimony of spiritual gifts    salvation. We are most definitely
   crew was one Etienne Fabard. I         has grown, as I have needed to     engaged in a good cause. ◼
   then received a 17-page record
   of the journey of the La Saine
                                                                         how I KNow
   from the time it left France up to
   the time of the shipwreck, along
   with drawings of the vessel—           She Searched for Answers

   all written in French. With my         By Christine Roberts
   limited memory of high school                      hen Amanda Ratcliffe   love the way that every question
   French, an excellent dictionary,                   was in her teens she   I have about God, the world and
   and lots of prayer and in consul-                  had questions that     the universe is readily answered
   tation with a good friend, I was       she often pondered. Where did      within the gospel.”
   able to translate this record and      I come from? Why am I here?           Amanda was baptised in 2007
   reveal a most interesting history.     And are there others out in        and is now busy attending YSA,
       I next wrote to the Marine         the great universe? These were     institute and the temple prep
   Archives Department of the             some of her questions. She went    and mission prep classes so that
   Ministry of Defence in Rochefort,      to various churches but was dis-   she can serve a mission. In her
   France (Google searched this           appointed in their responses to    21st year, Amanda is the only
   info) and received his birth date,     such questions. “Some even got     member of her family in the
   birthplace, parents’ names and a       angry with me for asking such      Church, and she recognises the        Amanda
   brief naval history for him. After     questions” she said.               great responsibility this means in    Ratcliffe
   many years my second great-                One day in talking with her    her life. Amanda tells of the chal-   and Bishop
   grandfather had been found! I          friend, Simi, she told him of      lenges she faced when she was         Fitisemanu
   then used the Internet to research     the questions she had in her
   his birthplace in Gensac, France,      mind. He responded that his
   emailed the council offices, and       Church knew the answers to
   two months later received a copy       such ponderings and asked if
   of his birth record, my third great-   she would like to meet some-
                                                                                                                                PhotograPh courtesy of christine roberts

   grandfather’s death record and         one who had these answers. Of
   details of other children born to      course Amanda said “yes,” and
   my third great-grandparents. This      her friend took her to Bishop
   wonderful information has led          Fitisemanu, of the Lincoln Ward,
   to another four generations with       Henderson Stake, and that led
   children and spouses, going back       to an introduction to the mis-
   to the middle 1600s, receiving the     sionaries. “This church has all
   blessings of temple ordinances.        the answers,” said Amanda. “I

N4 E n s i g n
baptised: “It wasn’t easy making     serve a mission. At the time she     of the Lord in obtaining a better
the big change,” she said, “but      was mired in debt and felt like it   job in helping her to pay off her
it has definitely been worth it. I   would take a miracle to pay the      debts. She felt so blessed.
have learnt a lot from my chal-      debts off. She prayed for guid-         Amanda loves working in the
lenges; they have strengthened       ance from Heavenly Father.           Young Women programme. “I
me, and the blessings have been         Around this time she went to      was baptised in my late teens, so
incredible.”                         a job interview with Simi as his     I am grateful to learn the things
    One of the greatest blessings    support person when he was           that I missed out on as a youth,”
Amanda has felt is that she is       applying for a job. “I walked out    she said. “I am grateful for the
confident in her future and she      of that interview with a second      standards which I have learnt. I
recognises there is a purpose for    job,” she said. “Simi got his job    am on the right path, and I feel
her life on earth. Amanda tells of   as well.” A couple of months         so happy. I can’t wait to go on a
the time when she was praying        later another job opened up and      mission and teach everyone the
as to whether or not she should      Amanda recognised the hand           truths that I have found.” ◼

                                               ArouNd The AreA

Tamaki Stake Young Adults Enjoy Mini-Conference

   n effort to strengthen their young adults and        this is a bit too much to ask. I
   build unity within their stake, the Tamaki Stake     tried to get them to come in out
   leaders chose the theme of Helping Hands Saving      of the rain, but these young men
Hands for an action-packed weekend for the stake        and women just kept going. Their
young single adults. On the Friday evening a variety    cheerful generosity of spirit to get
show proved great fun, and it was evident that the      into some hard labour as an act
talent was enjoyed, but comments of enjoying the        of service for the community was
company of good friends and making new friends          simply outstanding. There is an
were the obvious highlights of the evening.             expression I have heard: ‘Preach
    Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate provided the          the gospel every day and if nec-
venue for a service project on the Saturday morn-       essary use words.’ On Saturday this team spoke          Kamil Katoa,

                                                                                                                                   PhotograPh courtesy of sione Pulu
ing. In spite of the cold, wet weather, the happy       loudly but they didn’t say a word.”                     Edward and
helpers arrived to water blast, paint, plant gardens,       Saturday evening the youth were fed with a          Charity chip-
                                                                                                                ping bricks
chip bricks and clean classrooms. Of the young          BBQ before tackling gym games and basketball.
                                                                                                                for the service
adults who provided service, the Principal of Sir           The event was closed with a musical fireside on
Edmund Hillary Collegiate, John Shearer, wrote in       the Sunday evening, with the young single adult
his thank you letter:                                   choir providing exceptional music as they bore their
    “Thanks to the team from the Tamaki Stake who       testimonies in song. Of the event, Edward Tauti, the
volunteered to give up their Saturday. They blitzed     young single adult representative, said, “I know the
the work and completed a huge amount in a single        talks and testimonies, activities and service project
day, and in difficult conditions too. I must say that   touched many of our young adults. We were happy
as I sat in the dust and mud chipping mortar off        to see a few youth attend also.
bricks while rain trickled down my neck I thought,          “We hope and pray there will be many more

                                                                                                           January 2011           N5
                                                                               such mini-conferences to
                                                                               come in the future.”

                                                                                                                                                                        PhotograPhs courtesy of aPril harward
                                                                                 President Pulu of the
                                                                               Tamaki Stake presidency
                                                                               commented how happy
                                                                               he was to see so many
                                       Shanice, Lorna and Lisa working hard at young adults attend the
PhotograPh courtesy of sione Pulu

                                       Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate during a  weekend’s activities and
                                       young single adult service activity.    how grateful he was for the
                                                                               many “angels” in his stake
                                                         who worked so hard to make the weekend such
                                                         a success. ◼

                                                        Faiths Come Together
                                                        for Planting Project

                                                        By April Harward and Eileen Mueller
                                                                   recent planting project organised by
                                                                   representatives of The Church of Jesus
                                                                   Christ of Latter-day Saints on behalf of
                                                        the Wellington Interfaith Council saw 35 partici-
                                                        pants wielding shovels join a local planting group
                                                        to restore native bush in a new reserve.
                                                            Representatives of many faiths came together on
                                                        Saturday, 24 July 2010, as a part of the Wellington
                                                        Interfaith Group to participate in the Oku Reserve
                                                        Planting Project.
                                                            The undertaking was sponsored by Project
                                                        Crimson, Honda’s Treefund, Wellington City Council
                                                        and the Greater Wellington Regional Council to
                                                        restore and maintain the Oku Reserve in Island Bay.
                                                            Ted Lines coordinated the project on behalf of the     Interfaith members plant native bush at the Oku
                                                        Island Bay community and planted with community            Reserve in Island Bay.
                                                        members for most of Saturday. The Interfaith group
                                                        joined them in the afternoon, adding 35 more volun-         Khalid Sandhu, a Moslem representative, says that
                                                        teers to their group. Ted said, “We’ve been working      he was pleased by the response from the Interfaith
                                                        for eight years in this area. It’s nice to have such a   community. “We know that we can do things like
                                                        group of dedicated people to get the work done. We       this now. We’ve had a wonderful turnout.”
                                                        couldn’t have finished so quickly without this help.”       Or David Zwartz, a Jewish representative who
                                                            The Wellington Interfaith Group was enthusias-       has been active in Interfaith for many years, said,
                                                        tic about the opportunity to lend a helping hand.        “There is a tradition in Judaism called tikkun

                                    N6 E n s i g n
olam, which means to heal the land. That’s what           about peer pressure and dress and grooming stand-
planting these trees today has done.                      ards: “If it’s tight, then it’s not right, and if it’s slack,
   “This area was going to be a subdivision. But          then it’s cool.” He said these principles help him
when that fell through the residents here got this        strive to do better. Katalaine Koi, of the Suva Stake
project started along with the dune restoration           said: “I learned that the youth of the Church of Jesus
project (by Island Bay). It was forecast for rain today   Christ of Latter-day Saints are special because they
but I suppose when you have the Interfaith Group          set a standard for the nations, and that peer pres-
come you get extra help with the weather.” ◼              sure can also be positive.” The messages of the day
                                                          burned as brightly as the evening bonfires on the

Fiji Youth Meet
                                                          hearts and minds of the youth.
                                                              The counsel from Area Seventy Elder Taniela B.

for Conference                                            Wakolo during the devotional was deeply inspiring.
                                                          He reminded the youth to remember who they are
By thelma Racule
                                                          and to value education, seminary and institute, and
Day one: Wednesday                                        he encouraged young men to serve a mission.
    Nearly 800 youth from four stakes and two dis-        Part of his great counsel declared that the youth
tricts gathered from 25–28 August 2010 in the school      should never be ashamed, after having tasted of
gymnasium at the Fiji LDS Church College in Suva to       the fruit (of the gospel), or after becoming mem-
be oriented by their leaders at the opening of the Fiji   bers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Regional Youth Conference, which had the theme:           Saints (see 1 Nephi 8).
“Be Strong and Courageous”. An ice-breaker activ-
ity encouraged all to get acquainted, and Kauilani        Day three: Friday
Tokilagi of the Suva Fiji Stake discovered that as she       After another dawn awakening it was straight
met and spoke to a number of strangers her fear of        into aerobics, breakfast, devotionals and then a
meeting new people faded. By the end of the day           time to “serve our fellow men”. Buses loaded with
bonds were already forming and team spirit was            excited youth headed for the Suva Fiji Temple,
gathering momentum.                                       The Samabula Old People’s Home, The Home of
                                                          Compassion and the city centre. Yellow “Helping
Day two: thursday                                         Hands” vests decked the LDS youth as they arrived
   The day began early with a delicious breakfast.        at their assigned destinations and set to work.
Teams then rotated around various workshops               Baptisms for the dead at the temple were assigned
which included goal setting, missionary skills,           to the Taveuni, Labasa, Savusavu and Kadavu youth,
gardening, substance abuse, self defense, educa-          who live on other islands and can only make it to
tion, seminary and first aid. After lunch each team       the temple once or twice a year. They seized this
presented an item for the talent show. The For The        opportunity to do work for their kindred dead. A
Strength of Youth pamphlet was discussed in detail        few families from outer islands used this conference
around an evening bonfire.                                as a time to have their families sealed in the temple.
   Merewalesi Toniyasau of the Suva North Stake           One branch brought 1,000 names of their kindred
said after the discussions: “I learned to be prepared     dead to be baptized.
at all times, to remember who we are, to live worthy         Leroy Simpson of the Suva Fiji Stake said that the
lives so we can enter the temple, and never give up       most inspiring thing for him was the service project
on my dreams.” Ame Racule said he learned more            and clean up in the city. “We all gathered at Albert

                                                                                                                     January 2011   N7
                                                                                                             Fiji Regional Youth

                                                                                                             come to this conference.” Grace Taito, of the Suva
                                                                                                             Stake said, “One thing that caught my attention
                                                                                                             were the assignments he (Elder Wakolo) gave us
                                                                                                             to do after the camp, which were to say a prayer of
                                                                                                             gratitude for the conference, hug my parents and
                                                                                                             thank them for my upbringing and for allowing
                                                                                                             me to join the camp, make a journal entry of the
                                                                                                             camp and to update the Duty to God and Personal
                                                                                                             Progress. When I got home, that is precisely what
                                                                                                             I did. My love for my parents and the Lord over-
                                                                                                             flowed because I realized how much they have
                                                                                                             given me.” All the youth who were asked about
                                                                                                             their conference experience were unanimous—
                                                                                                             they were reluctant to leave. The youth were chal-
                                                                                                             lenged by Elder Wakolo to unite with commitment
                                                                                                             when they personalized the theme: “Youth from
                                                                                                             Fiji, we will be strong and of a good courage be-
                                                      Park and sang hymns in front of the people there       cause God is with us.” They had learned so much
Pictures courtesy of elder taniela
wakolo and used with PerMission

                                                      during our cleanup project. We were not ashamed,”      about what the Lord has in store for them, they
                                                      he said.                                               had made new friendships and strengthened old
                                                         After lunch the youth were back at the school       ones; some felt they had to make changes in how
                                                      campus. They exploded onto the field to compete        they think and relate to others, and all renewed
                                                      in various sports activities. Cheers sounded all       and strengthened their testimonies of the Saviour
                                                      afternoon as teams vied for honours in the fun tug-    Jesus Christ. Joseph Sharma said what most partici-
                                                      of-war, tunnel ball, obstacle and sack races. A dig-   pants felt: “It was a life-changing experience.” ◼
                                                      nified dance completed the day; young women in
                                                      bright colours and young men in white shirts and
                                                      ties socialised until the last music number played.      Submissions
                                                      Kauilani Tokailagi said, “I love meeting people who
                                                      share the same standards as me.”                        P    lease send submissions for New Zealand
                                                                                                                   to Area News Coordinator:
                                                                                                                  Victoria Taupau
                                                      Day four: saturday                                
                                                         It was time to rise, shine, clean up and pack            09 488 2350
                                                      up. Aralai Keavali of the Lami First Ward, said, “My        Include your name and contact telephone
                                                      favourite part of the conference was at the end          number as well as ward or branch and stake
                                                      when Elder Wakolo spoke and bore his testimony.          or district. Please also attach to the email high-
                                                      He said, ‘No matter how bad the obstacles of life        resolution photographs relevant to your submis-
                                                      may be, live the faith.’ The spirit was strong when      sion, and please obtain permission from each
                                                      he said those words, and I was moved to tears. I         person in each photograph and the photographer
                                                      was so grateful and happy that I had chosen to           to have this published in the Ensign Insert. ◼

                                     N8 E n s i g n

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