Friday, 31 January 2014

Church member exemplifies religious tolerance in print

When the proposal was put forward for residents of the Meander Valley municipality to produce a monthly newspaper for the region, Deloraine Ward member Liz Walker recognised a unique opportunity.

A convert to the Church, Sister Walker has not only recognised the blessings that have come into her own life because of the restored gospel, but the Holy Ghost has enabled her to see the good in all people of faith. With that special insight, she approached the paper about writing a regular column to showcase the various faith traditions represented in the region.

Her offer was readily accepted, and she began her series by interviewing a Mennonite family in Deloraine. The article published in the January issue of the Meander Valley Gazette spoke of the religion's emphasis on industry, conservative moral values and quality family time. She reported that the family she interviewed was one of four of the faith in Canada who felt they were called by God to move to Australia as an act of faith and to spread their religion.

For the February issue, she visited and interviewed a Muslim family in the community, and was deeply impressed by their focus on healthy, moral, family-centred living.

Regarding both meetings, Sister Walker descibed feeling the spirit as those she interviewed spoke about common beliefs.

In the coming months, Sister Walker hopes to take her interviews to the airwaves by hosting a radio show on the local community radio station. She also plans to hold an inter-faith dinner towards the end of the year to bring together people of all faith traditions in an environment of tolerance and mutual respect.

At a time in the world's history when many faiths are being mocked, ridiculed and attacked, Sister Walker's small and simple efforts to share the good that comes from faithful religous observance will be a great blessing to the people of the region.

This recent video illustrates how people of faith strive to bring about good in their communities:

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

News Release: 50 years of service in Burnie

Recognised for their clean-cut missionaries and Mormon Tabernacle Choir, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have been part of the Burnie community since the 1950's.

On Saturday 1st February, they will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dedication of their chapel at 20 Medbury Crescent, Montello with an Open Day from 10am. Tours of the building will showcase some of the lesser-known aspects of this service-orientated Christian faith. Family History consultants will also be at the chapel during the Open Day to assist people with free access to tools and subscription services to research their family history.

Between 12.00pm and 2.00pm a BBQ will be provided free of charge.

During the commemoration service which commences at 6.00pm, a substantial food donation will be accepted by John West, North West Area Manager for Anglicare Tasmania Inc.

The church partners with local and international humanitarian organisations to serve the community. Other local projects have been achieved with City Mission in Burnie, Deloraine House in Deloraine and Karinya Women’s Service in Launceston.

Northern Tasmania church president Scott Prebble says that although the church is well known for its proselyting activities, the purpose of the open day is not to convert people to their beliefs.

“We just want the public to know who we are and that our people and facilities are here to serve the community in any way we can,” he said.

Members from the construction years who provided voluntary labour on the building will return to Burnie for the celebration.

For more information, contact Robyn Hatchard on 0417 034 117.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

An open door, a missionary table and a prayer of faith

On Tuesday 28 January the FamilySearch Centre in Deloraine was open for a regular shift and staff were working with several member and non-member patrons. During the course of the morning, one member left to retrieve something from his car when a rental van pulled up in the car park.

Out jumped a sprightly young Chinese boy. "Is this a church?" he asked the member enthusiastically. When his guess was confirmed, he said, "I'll go get my family!"

Before long a family of 8 people were milling around the chapel, exploring the rooms and thumbing through the family-centred items on the missionary table in the foyer.

The opportunity arose to share testimony of God's love for His children in all nations, and of the eternal nature of the family. Upon hearing that families can be together even after they die, one lady, visibly touched by the spirit, said, "That's very special."

The family left with copies of the Gospel Art Book, the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon and a web link to the Church website in Chinese. On their way out, the boy who first made first contact in the car park, clutching his beautiful new Gospel Art book, shook the volunteer's hand energetically and said, "I'm very happy!"

When the volunteer returned to the FamilySearch Centre, one member commented, "I specifically prayed this morning that people seeking the truth would be led here."

This small and simple example demonstrates how hearts are turned, softened and changed as members faithfully and fully engage in the work of salvation!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Young single adults celebrate Australia Day weekend with camp

Written by Abbey Gorniak, Devonport Ward.

Recently the "young single adults" aged from 18-30 from Devonport and Hobart, met together in Swansea at the Swansea Back Packer’s Lodge over the Australia Day long weekend, to take part in many fun and uplifting activities. We arrived Friday evening and kicked off the weekend by getting comfortable in our accommodation, playing board and card games and by catching up with old mates! That night we were also introduced to the YSA letter box. We had the opportunity over the duration of the camp to send letters (including love letters ;) to one another by posting them in our YSA letter box, where the letters would be delivered personally to the YSA each night. We all had a lot of fun writing letters to one another, as well as having the opportunity to write anonymous letters to that special someone!;) Later on in the evening to help break the ice, a Speed Dating activity took place, which allowed us to get to know one another better, as well to enable us to spot any potential ;) That night many heads hit their pillows early, to allow themselves plenty of sleep for the busy day ahead. However some wild ones stayed up till the early hours of the morning chatting away (which is expected on camp, of course.)

The following morning everyone was up bright and early, (well almost everyone) chirping away, organizing themselves for the service activity. Once a delicious breakfast was devoured, including bacon, eggs, toast, fruit, cereal (talk about a 5 star meal!) we set out to the Swansea show grounds, where the service project was planned. This service project wasn’t your typical every day service project, involving weeding or collecting rubbish…(not that there’s anything wrong with that sort of service ha ha) However this service activity involved the Ysa to run a few games and activities for the children to participate in at the Australia Day event. Some of the activities included, skipping, relay races and hula hooping. Although at first we had little luck in finding children to participate in the activities, eventually many children came along to join in on the fun, which made us all glad, as we helped put a smile on their face.

After a morning out in the sun and a yummy lunch, we all had a pretty breezy, relaxing afternoon, which was spent either outside on the beach, playing water balloon volley ball, or inside playing games and simply chilling. This laid back afternoon allowed us all the chance to get to know one another better, as well as to catch up on old friendships, or better yet, catch up on sleep, to prepare for the big night ahead! After another scrumptious dinner; tacos (delicioso!!) the clock struck 8 and our wild sides started to come out, as we all hit the dance floor for our Letter Dance. The Letter Dance meant that we were to dress up as anything starting with the first letter of our name. Many of the YSA’s costumes were very creative. Costumes included, Anne of Green Gables, Ariel, L Plates, Spice Girl, Dancer, Laundry, Roman, and even a piece of Bacon! As well as many more great costumes! We all had a great time dancing the night away, snacking on food, and chatting to one another. We also enjoyed a few slow songs here and there ;) Once midnight hit we all relocated back to our cabins to get some beauty sleep for the Sabbath day the next morning.

The next morning rolled on in, and most of us were up bright and early ready for an uplifting day ahead. After another wonderful breakfast, church was held in the main hall, where Brother Scicluna, Brother Jack and President Horseman spoke. Each spoke with the spirit, and delivered wonderful messages to the congregation. Again President Horsemen led us in teaching Sunday school, and Kim and Deidre taught combined Relief Society and Priesthood. Once church concluded, the afternoon was left free for us to relax and participate in wholesome activities. Many of us simply enjoyed the sunshine outside, napped or once again played some games. That night after another amazing dinner (you may have noted by now, that the food was definitely a highlight of the camp;) we all joined together in the main hall again back in our church dress to share with one another our testimonies. This part of the camp was definitely one of the greatest, as it gave us all the opportunity to connect with one another on a deeper level. Each person who bore their testimony had something different to offer to the congregation. Those who gave their testimony spoke with great conviction and in sincerity. It was wonderful to hear the YSA express their feelings of the gospel and to testify of its truth. Once testimony meeting concluded, we all enjoyed the rest of the night in one another’s company eating ice-cream, chatting away and in playing some fun packed games! Seeming it was the last night many of the YSA stayed up nice and late to get the most out of camp, however some, who were very tired, hit the hay early.

Unfortunately, Monday morning meant the camp had nearly come to an end, so once we were packed and had cleaned up, we soon left the Backpacker’s Lodge after thanking the wonderful owners, who helped make our stay such a delight!. (As well who would so kindly unlock our doors whenever we’d lock our keys in our cabins!) Fortunately, before we left beautiful Swansea, we were able to enjoy its beautiful beaches and scenery once more by joining together at Dolphin Beach. The beach was beautiful, and the weather was amazing. (Of course the weather is always great on the last day!) Many swam in the fresh waters, snorkeled, played sport or jammed on the sand with the uku. Once we were all beached out, it was time to go our separate ways back home!

Overall, it was a great, laid back weekend, which was clearly well organized and run by our amazing leaders of the State. We were very lucky to be able to have stayed at such a beautiful place, located in such a beautiful, free country. Over the duration of the camp, new friendships were made, and old ones were strengthened, memories were created, and fun times were many. On behalf of all the Ysa, I would like to thank all the leaders who helped out with the camp and who put up with all of us crazy YSA over the weekend. We look forward to all meeting up again and having more fun times, early March at our Overnighter and Dance.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Community members find their families at Australia Day expo

On Australia Day evening, representatives from the Deloraine FamilySearch Centre hosted a FamilySearch stall at the Meander Valley Australia Day community services expo held in Prospect. FamilySearch was one of several community groups that participated in the expo, which followed the Australia Day citizenship and awards ceremony.

The display included family history leaflets (including the new My Family booklet), copies of the Family proclamation, a television playing family history videos from the Church, and a laptop with Internet access.

Approximately 150 members of the public attended the expo, with several taking leaflets and a few sitting down to research their ancestors. Deloraine Ward family history consultant, Suzanne Walters, said that each those people had great success.

"Sometimes we work with people and they have a really hard time finding anyone. But tonight, every one of the people who sat down to find someone ended up discovering records of that person and other family members!"

Those who researched family names were introduced to the Family Tree on, and used the new My Family booklet to record their discoveries.

The Deloraine FamilySearch Centre will also host a beginner family history course throughout the year for the Meander Valley chapter of the University of the Third Age (also represented at Australia Day expo). These small and simple initiatives are helping to spread the spirit of Elijah to members and non-members throughout the stake.

Young women camp through the eyes of the young women

From Paige Triffitt, Burnie Branch:

The 2014 Devonport Stake young women’s camp was held on the 20th to the 23rd of January. The camp theme was "Come," and our camp song was "I’m Changed" by Kaitlin Lunt. This year'ss camp was different to any of the previous camps I’ve ever been to before. For starters I’m pretty sure the leaders said it was the biggest group of young women to come to camp. It was so nice to meet all the beehives and other girls that I haven’t had the chance to meet before. I always enjoy being able to form new friendships on camp, it is one of my favourite parts of the camp. All the young women in our Stake are absolutely amazing and always bring a smile to my face when I have the opportunity to see them again and get to know them a little better. There is really something different about being with other youth then being with friends who are not of our faith. just being with each other always makes you feel wanted and loved; we have instant friendships wherever we go simply because we believe in the same things, and that’s really something special!

Something that was really different this year was how we went about our Camp Crafter. Usually we go off into our year groups and someone teaches us about how to light a fire, or how to treat a burn or a bite and anything that is in our years requirements in the camp crafter manual. We also have a scripture study where we read and discuss a few scriptures that are in our camp requirements. This year the laurels (including me) taught each year group about our assigned topic. I had to teach everyone about how to treat burns and blisters. I really enjoyed how we went about it this year, as all the girls got to learn about the same stuff. It really made a difference, as we got to use our knowledge (in pretend scenarios of course) and I think it helped it stick a little better! Our new approach to camp crafter also meant that we all got to participate in a fun activity and quiz because we all learnt the same information.

I especially liked the group scripture study because we discussed two AMAZING talks with our year groups; "Awake, Arise and Come Unto Christ" by Sister Sheri Dew, and "Come Unto Christ" by Elder Eyring.

This year on the hike we had a list of things we could find and do; it was something that we’ve never done before but it was really enjoyable. There were things like "find a bird and name it" and "talk to someone you don’t know for five minutes". It really helped all the girls to make an effort to get to know everyone and go outside of their comfort zone. Something else we did that took a lot of girls out of their comfort zones was abseiling. I was so impressed with all the girls who gave it a go, it was amazing to see their courage.

Our impromptu games after dinner were the best! I’ll always remember how much everyone laughed, they were so much fun! And the massive spiders on the portaloo. They would only be there at night time, which made it ten times more scary!

And the testimony meeting. I always love the testimony meetings! I went into it with a lot of questions, things I’ve been praying about, and everything was answered. It’s always amazing how the Lord answers your prayers. I think my favourite part of camp or youth convention is always the testimony meetings; the Spirit is always so strong! I love singing our camp song at the start of the fireside/testimony meeting, and this year's was such a beautiful and inspiring song. One of the verses reads:

I see a difference, I’m not the same 
I see the world in a different way
And life is better than it’s ever been 
‘Cause I’m trying to be more like Him.

Being able to sit and watch the stars, or see the beautiful land we live in really is an amazing experience, and camp gives me that opportunity. Life really is so beautiful! And I know that when we are trying to be more like our Heavenly Father and our Savior, it really does make our lives so much better. We can find peace and happiness in Their presence, and in trying our best to be who He wants us to be.

I have to be honest I always complain about having to pack and to go to camp, but when I’m there I'm always reminded why I make myself go. It really is such an amazing experience.

From Georgia Christie, Deloraine Ward:

On the 20-23rd of January the young women gathered together at the Porters' Paradise just outside of Exton. We spent the days laughing and getting to know one another as we spent time learning first-aid, camp craft and doing scripture study.  Highlights included the walk, spiders in the port-a-loo and the fireside and testimony meeting. Big thanks to Sister Stephannie, Sister Filpa and Sister Suzanne and everyone who helped make it a success and such an amazing time, as well as the Porters for lending us their land. 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Temple morning introduces full-time missionaries to the spirit of Elijah

On Tuesday 21 January, missionaries from the Devonport district in Tasmania and their zone leaders set aside the regular business of their district meeting to receive training from Elder and Sister Rust, a missionary couple serving a FamilySearch mission in Hobart, on the fundamentals of family history work.

The training covered an introduction to the Church's family history website,, including recording research in the new Family Tree tool, basics of research, and indexing.

Sister Rust, who is the only member of the Church in her immediate family, said that family history helps her to feel like she's not alone in the gospel. Early in her personal research she discovered that some of her ancestors were members of the Church, and now because of her many years of research and temple work, many more have received the saving ordinances of the gospel.

After the training, missionaries spent nearly two hours in the Deloraine FamilySearch Centre, using computers and tablets to practice the principles they had been taught. For many, this was their first hands-on experience with any kind of family history activity, and working together with members of their district family helped to make the experience even more meaningful.

The stake presidency, in line with direction from the Area Presidency, have identified family history and temple work as a central focus of the work of the stake in 2014. Our testimony is that as members (especially youth and new converts) and missionaries work together in this important aspect of the work of salvation, hearts will be turned to fathers, and people who are introduced to the Church through family history work will desire to learn more about the eternal potential of their own families.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Launceston East Ward welcomes Alison Boon

A miracle quietly took place on the weekend of Saturday 18th January as Alison Boon received the sacred ordinances of baptism and confirmation, and became a member of the Launceston East Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Alison had been a previous investigator some years ago, but for different reasons decided at that time to stop investigating the Church. However, as is so often the case, the seeds of faith had been planted and had quietly started to grow within her heart. When Sisters Hadfield and Vermeulen contacted her in late 2013, she felt it was her time to learn more.

On the day of her baptism, Alison was joined by her mother - whose grandmother had been a Latter-day Saint - and many members of her new ward family. President Walters of the stake presidency presided and Bishop Bailey conducted the service. The baptism was performed by Brother Bob Wotherspoon, ward mission leader.

The Spirit was felt in abundance as members witnessed the baptism and expressed their love and encouragement to Alison. She will be a wonderful addition to the Launceston East Ward family.

Seventy visits Deloraine Ward

Elder Robert J. Dudfield of the Seventy visited Deloraine Ward on Sunday 19 January to provide training to ward leaders, give encouragement in sacrament meeting and conduct personal interviews with members.

In his training, Elder Dudfield reminded ward leaders that our work in the Church is about saving families through the ordinances of the gospel. He encouraged ward leaders to pursue "real growth" by helping members to deepen their faith in Jesus Christ, immerse themselves in the Book of Mormon, and to re-commit to observing the law of the fast.

He challenged the full-time missionaries to be full-purpose missionaries, assisting the ward in every aspect of the work of salvation. He emphasised that inviting all to come unto Christ is not limited to missionary work, but includes ministering to less active families as well as temple and family history work.

In his Sacrament meeting remarks, Elder Dudfield taught about the importance of following the guidance of the Spirit in carrying out the work of salvation. He shared experiences of where the Spirit had directed him to deliver messages or extend challenges that resulted in hearts being softened to the gospel. He promised that any worthy member of the Church could experience the same things in their own efforts to share the gospel.

The remainder of the day was spent in classes and interviews, giving encouragement to active and less active members, bearing his witness of Jesus Christ and inviting them to come unto Him.

Elder Dudfield will return to Tasmania with Pacific Area President, Elder James J. Hamula of the Seventy, in March for the Devonport Stake Conference.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Young men learn to reach out and rescue at annual camp

The Devonport Stake Young Men camp was held at the Porter family farm from January 16 to 18 2014. 20 Young Men representing each unit of the Stake attended the Camp with the theme of "Reach out to Rescue", which is a saying popular by a prophet Thomas S. Monson.

The Young Men participated in a 5km hike & 2km swim where they were assigned a companion whom they were challenged to get to know better. The camp focused on both spiritual and physical rescue as Bro James Sayers of the Stake Young Men Presidency taught Young Men various knot tying techniques which were later used in rescue scenarios, which took place at the Deloraine Primary School swimming pool.

A fireside & testimony meeting was held where leaders and Young Men discussed how we can be of service in the spiritual rescue of others, highlighting the fact that a smile and friendly hello to someone really does make a big difference in a persons life.  At the conclusion of the camp many of the Young Men expressed their appreciation to both Young Men leaders and their fellow Young Men about how enjoyable and uplifting the camp had been.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Sister Alice Doreen "Dawn" Lucas of Burnie Branch remembered

The funeral service for Sister Alice Doreen "Dawn" Lucas of Burnie Branch was held on Wednesday 15 January at 2pm at the Burnie Chapel. Members of her immediate family and church family were in attendance. The service was conducted by branch president, President Dean Corona, and included music and messages of reflection and inspiration. Those attending were reminded of Sister Lucas' love for her children, animals, gardens and the Lord. At the graveside, her former branch president, Dion Triffitt, dedicated the grave. Branch members will miss Sister Lucas' sweet nature and giving heart.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Church in Deloraine featured in Meander Valley Gazette

The following articles were printed in the first edition of the Meander Valley Gazette in January 2014, and have contributed to a record number of non-member visitors regularly coming to the chapel.

Family History Centre

Movie Nights

Church members Liz Walker, Cameron Scott, Lillie-Mae Walker and Maurice Martin were also mentioned in different articles, with Liz Walker taking on the role of the paper's religion reporter. Her first article featured the Mennonites in Deloraine.