Sunday, 23 February 2014

Missionary activity nights invite Burnie residents to come and see

Tonight (22nd of February 2014) Burnie Branch had their first missionary-run sports/games night at which we played basketball. We have made a goal to have these activities every second Friday. It is a great opportunity for us to bring friends along to meet not only Church members but also the missionaries, and to have fun and get to know each other better as a Branch. 
There were around 20 people who came to this activity, two of which were not members of the Church. We all had lots of fun and managed to conclude the night with minimal injuries.
I feel as if this is the perfect opportunity to bring friends along to a Church activity, so that they can feel of the spirit whilst having a good time. I know that if we all work hard to share the gospel with those around us that we will all be blessed, and we will be able to one day accomplish our stake goal of having a Temple here in Tasmania.
I would like to thank the Burnie Branch missionaries for organising this wonderful night. If you're ever in Burnie when we are having our sports/games night feel free to come along and enjoy the fun! 
By Paige Triffitt

Friday, 21 February 2014

Preparing for a call to serve

Wednesday 19 February marked the beginning of another year of the stake Missionary Preparation Class.

The class is held in Deloraine each Wednesday night at 6pm, and it was fantastic to have in attendance 10 participants in Deloraine with another 5 in Burnie participating via the Internet

The purpose of the class is to inspire every worthy young man and where appropriate, young woman and mature couple, to serve a mission. Students learn from the missionary manual, Preach My Gospel, and regularly practice teaching the missionary lessons to each other

Of the students who participated last year, 6 of those are currently serving full-time missions with another 4 to leave for their missions shortly. What a wonderful thing this is! However, this means our classroom a little empty and it would be great to have 10 new faces attending next week to be their replacements!

The Lord is hastening His work and the stake Missionary Preparation Class is a great way to increase your desire to share the gospel and develop your skills so you can more effectively do so.

By Ty Triffitt, Missionary Preparation Class instructor.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Stake's first Ward Temple Night unites families in Burnie

The first stake-run "Ward Temple Night" was held in Burnie Branch on Tuesday the 18th of February. It was a very successful night with 30 members attending, the most I’m sure we have seen come to a Family History activity. The night included a short meeting inspiring us about being active in the work of the Lord and the blessings which come from doing this amazing work.

There were five sessions which each family group could pick to participate in. These were: record what you know in the My Family booklet; discover ancestors you don’t know yet; connect through stories and memories; scan and upload photos and documents; and FamilySearch Indexing. I think we often stereotype Family History as boring and not very rewarding, but there is a lot more to Family History than just sitting at a computer and searching for names. There are so many different ways you can contribute to Family History, all you have to do is find the one that suits you the best.

For me personally I went to this activity grudgingly, thinking that I had so many more important things I needed to be doing. But as always I really enjoyed myself, as did, I’m sure, everyone else. The spirit that was brought to the chapel that night was so strong, you could feel the joy of those who had passed, excited that we were doing something so special for them. It was a truly amazing feeling!

Any doubts about the night were swept away when I remembered my love for FamilySearch Indexing. Even though the internet was extremely slow, like really really slow, which meant we didn’t get to do all that much, it was my opportunity to be inspired to start on the wonderful road of Family History. Now fully equipped with the means to do indexing, I am going to strive to decipher as many records as my schedule allows.

Tiffany Saltmarsh from the Burnie Branch gave a comment on the night: "I was looking for Mum's grandfather and there were heaps of results! It was lots of fun!”

I know that by coming to these Ward Temple Nights we will feel closer to our Heavenly Father and those who we are doing the work for. I know that by doing the work of the Lord we will be blessed.

I would encourage all those who can, to attend their Ward Temple Night, you will not be disappointed!

For more information about Ward Temple Nights, visit

Article by Paige Triffitt, Assistant Stake Historian. Photos by Shakirah McKinley.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Church member's column highlights the Plymouth Brethren

As mentioned previously, Deloraine Ward member Liz Walker is the religion columnist for the new Meander Valley Gazette. Her article in the February edition highlighted another religious community that is represented in the region: the Plymouth Brethren.

(Click to magnify.)

Monday, 10 February 2014

Stake leaders gather to catch vision of the hastening

On Sunday 9 January, nearly 100 leaders from around the stake gathered at the Devonport Stake Centre to be taught by the Area Presidency in their annual leadership training broadcast.

Elder James J. Hamula, Pacific Area President, opened the meeting by describing that although steady work over the past 5 years had produced steady results throughout the area, the time had come to follow the call of the Prophet to hasten the work by reaching out in love to extend the blessings of the gospel to all of God's children.

Elder Kevin W. Pearson, first counsellor in the Area Presidency, taught of the importance of helping members to deepen their conversion to Jesus Christ by: increasing their faith in Him, recommitting to the law of the fast, and immersing themselves in the Book of Mormon.

Elder O. Vincent Haleck, second counsellor in the Area Presidency, described how the hastening included work for God's children on both sides of the veil. He challenged members throughout the area to become actively engaged in family history research to find and provide saving ordinances to our deceased family members. In support of this effort, a new quarterly report issued by the First Presidency will enable leaders to track the number of members actively submitting family names to the temple.

Elder Hamula concluded the meeting by reissuing the invitations extended to leaders at the 2013 Area Presidency broadcast: to hold presidency and council meetings at least twice per month, and to set aside one night a week to rescue visits and one night a week to interviews. He promised that as we are faithful in actively reaching out to rescue and minister to God's children through deepening their personal conversion to Jesus Christ and providing saving ordinances, we will see great success and growth in our stakes, wards and branches.

Following the broadcast, President Prebble, stake president, invited second counsellor President Walters to introduce the 2014 Stake Mission Plan, which although formulated several months previous, incorporated all of the challenges extended by the Area Presidency in the broadcast. He described the vision of "preparing in every way for a temple in Tasmania" as both a figurative and a literal goal as members strive to make their wards, homes and individual lives a "temple offering" to the Lord. He reminded leaders that the Church would need to experience significant growth in Tasmania before a literal fulfillment of the vision was possible, but promised that faithful attention to the vision, goals and activities set forth in the mission plan would help guide ward and branch councils in realising that growth.

President Prebble concluded by re-issuing the stake challenge to read the Book of Mormon daily, and to invite a non-member or less-active member to the general session of stake conference. He also reminded leaders that because the conference would not be webcast, ward and branch councils should work to ensure that every member is present in the stake centre for every appropriate session.

A recording and handouts from the 2014 Area Presidency broadcast are available here.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Launceston members and friends celebrate building's golden anniversary

February has been a month of reflection and celebration across the stake as the Burnie and Launceston buildings reached the venerable milestone of 50 years since their dedication.

Launceston members were busy for several months collecting photos and other memorabilia, inviting former members and building missionaries and otherwise preparing to make the anniversary celebrations a worthy reflection of the contributions of their building over 50 years.

On Friday 7 and Saturday 8, the doors to the building were opened for a two-day public open house. The foyer greeted visitors with a television display of Mormon Messages and a table introducing them to some of the basic tenets of our faith.

Each classroom was decorated with elaborate displays that conveyed the beauty and simplicity of the Church programmes that bring our members joy and provide opportunities to serve the community.

Displays in the hall took visitors on a stroll down memory lane with photographs, documents and stories that highlighted some of the special memories and significant achievements that had been realised as a result of the Launceston chapel. One particularly significant document, a branch statistical report to the district and mission presidency in 1971, recorded 41 convert baptisms for the year - an achievement we would do well to remember!

The family history centre was open throughout weekend and welcomed member and community patrons who were interested in beginning their family history research.

A lunchtime barbecue provided a welcome opportunity for members and friends to mingle and reflect on the contributions made possible by the Launceston chapel.

In the evening, a commemorative service was held, conducted by Bishop Sam Horsman of the Launceston West Ward and presided over by President Scott Prebble, Stake President. Ruth Chalk of Anglicare Tasmania, Inc., and Mayor Albert van Zetten and his wife were also in attendance. Throughout the service, the choir sang hymns that were featured in the original dedicatory service held 50 years ago.

Opening remarks were offered by Brother Philip Challis, followed by testimonies from Brother Geoff Randall, Sisters Lyn Clark, Merle Challis and June King, each of whom were among the first members of the Church in Launceston and were present at the time of the dedication. Their words painted a picture of excitement, sacrifice and blessings as members worked to establish the Church, raise money to cover the local requirement toward the cost of the building, and contribute time and labour towards its actual construction.

President Walters of the stake presidency reminded members that the celebration was about more than bricks and mortar, but about the lives built as a result of the chapel's presence in Launceston. A video message from Elder Robert J. Dudfield similarly encouraged members to look to the future while remembering the past as the Lord hastens His work of salvation throughout the world.

Bishop Horsman then made a presentation of non-perishable food items, which had been collected by members of the stake and had an estimated value of $2,000, to Ruth Chalk representing Anglicare.

Ms. Chalk offered thanks to the Church for its contribution, which would be used to assist members of the community who are in dire need. She praised members for their commitment to service to the Church and the wider community, and invited those who are able and inclined to donate time towards the Christian work done by Anglicare.

Mayor van Zetten similarly praised Church members for their community focus, and encouraged them to engage in the community by participating in civic activities through the YourVoiceYourLaunceston website. He further encouraged members to continue to reflect the light and love of Jesus Christ to the community.

"May the great God preserve you to continue to be a light to the people of Launceston as you share the love of Jesus Christ with the community," he said.

President Scott Prebble concluded the meeting with an expression of gratitude for having civic and community leaders who share a common faith in Jesus Christ. He reflected on the importance of protecting faith, family and religious freedom through common projects with other people of faith, and encouraged members to become actively involved in sharing their faith with people in the community.

As members and friends left the building, they did so with an increased desire to serve the Lord who had blessed them with the Launceston chapel as an expression of His love and as an instrument to shine His light to those in the community who desperately need to feel His love.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

News Release: Celebrating 50 years through community service (Launceston)

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 Launceston community since the early 1900's.

On Saturday 8th February, they will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dedication of their chapel at 189 Penquite Road, Norwood 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 without charge to assist people with access to free 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 $2000 donation of non-perishable food items to prepare breakfast packs for the needy will be accepted by Ruth Chalk, Northern Area Manager for Children, Families and Community Service, Anglicare Tasmania Inc.

The church partners with local and international humanitarian organisations to serve the community. Other local projects have been achieved with Anglicare and 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 Launceston for the celebration.

For more information, contact Jason Barnett on 0408 354 195.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Burnie chapel's 50th anniversary concludes with a Sunday of reflection

Written by our new assistant stake historian for Burnie Branch, Paige Triffitt.

As many of you already know, the Burnie chapel celebrated its 50th anniversary this weekend (the 1st and 2nd of February 2014). I unfortunately was not able to attend the open house and fireside on the Saturday, but was fortunate enough to be there for the special Sacrament meeting on the Sunday.

The meeting opened with a few testimonies that really brought the Spirit to this special occasion.Two of the original members of Burnie Branch, Malcolm Isherwood and on the Neuenhausen girls, gave talks on the experiences and memories associated with the building. I learned a lot from these talks as I’m sure many others did; they shed light on things that I’d never really thought about before.

They told of how Elder Bruce R. McConkie came to Burnie looking for the land that the long-awaited chapel would be built on, and how he walked the streets trying to find the perfect lot. Never did they think that it would be built where it is now, and to be honest I never could understand why it was built there as well. I always thought that it was a silly place to put a chapel as it is extremely hard to find if you don’t know where you're going. I remember when my family and I first moved into the Burnie Branch and how we always got lost trying to get to the chapel every Sunday! But listening to the talks and finding out that someone who had been called of God chose that lot helped me realise that it is the perfect place to put a chapel.

No other church in Burnie is placed on a hill like ours, and like the scripture found in Matthew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” Our chapel cannot be hid, it is on that hill for everyone to see, it is the light of Burnie. A place for people to come and gather together and learn about our Heavenly Father and Savior.

We too must stand tall so that we can be the light to those around us, and to show them the Savior's love. A lot of time and effort was put into building this chapel, the members around the Burnie area had to raise money to be able to afford the build, something that I’d never thought about before. I’m so grateful for those members who took the time to be able to do this, because without them the Burnie Chapel would not be here today.

Brother Malcolm talked about how as a young boy he climbed the wall that sticks out at the front of the chapel. This brought back fond memories for me, as I’m sure it did for many others, as I remember doing the same thing when I was in primary. (I’m pretty sure every primary kid who has been to the Burnie Chapel has climbed that wall before.) There are so many memories associated with this building, and it was so nice to be able to hear some of those memories and to celebrate the beautiful building that we have.

Even though I was unable to be at the open house, I was blessed to have the opportunity to see the wonderful displays that were still set up. These displays shed a little light on what the people of our Church do and believe in. And although there were few non-members at the open house to see these displays, it was a good reminder to the members of why we are here and what we are aiming to accomplish.

The celebration of the Burnie chapel’s 50th anniversary ended with a branch photo after sacrament meeting, and a lunch after all our Sunday meetings; which included a cake made by Melanie Corona to celebrate this special day. It was so nice to be able to sit around talking to each other enjoying the sun and everyone's company; and of course, eating the food!

On behalf of the members in Burnie, I would like to thank all those who helped with the organisation of the anniversary and for everyone who came to celebrate it with us. It was a wonderful weekend and wouldn’t have been the same without everyone's help. Thank you to all those who spoke throughout the weekend, your words made the day even more special.

"Calling all angels" - Launceston East Ward remembers Maria Isabelle Badana

Norbert and Marnie Badana from Launceston East Ward experienced one of life’s biggest joys, with the birth of their beautiful daughter Maria Isabelle. When Isabelle was just three months old, they experienced one of life’s greatest trials and heartbreak, when their beautiful baby girl passed away in hospital, as they held her in their arms on the 24th January, 2014.

Norbert and Marnie have many friends in and outside of the church, but knew that having their family here would be the biggest blessing at such a hard time in their lives. Getting a visa to come to Australia from the Philippines can take months, but a tender mercy took place which allowed Norbert’s two brothers Maynard and Eric, and Eric’s wife Rochelle to get their visas within a couple of days, and to arrive the day before the funeral.

Maria Isabelle’s funeral was held on Monday the 3rd February at the Launceston chapel, and Norbert and Marnie were surrounded by family and friends as they remembered their beautiful girl. There were many tears, but the spirit was strong as we listened to the Primary choir sing A Child’s Prayer and I Lived in Heaven. The congregation was asked to wear white tops and it looked beautiful as we all sat together in our white, as we showed our love and support to Marnie and Norbert.

Sister Tania Honey spoke and shared her thoughts about Maria Isabelle, and how she had held her just weeks before she passed away and she felt that she was "perfect". Sister Lisa King spoke and shared her experiences and said that she knew how much their hearts were breaking and said they will forever miss their beautiful daughter until they are with her again, but their hearts can also be comforted and miracles can happen in their lives because of the atonement of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Norbert spoke and shared his love for his daughter and also his beautiful wife Marnie. He said that "the best thing I can do for my baby girl, is to love her mother until...forever." Marnie sang a beautiful song for her little girl and tears flowed as we felt of the love that both Norbert and Marnie have for each other, and their daughter.

Bishop Corey Bailey and President Lionel Walters concluded the funeral and shared some tender mercies that Norbert and Marnie had been blessed with, and how they had been prepared in small ways. For example, Norbert had been assigned to speak in Sacrament meeting a week before their little one passed away on the topic of "finding joy in life." During the week, he and Marnie had studied a talk by Elder Richard G. Scott which describes how "sadness, disappointment and severe challenge are events in life, not life itself." They counted this speaking assignment and the opportunity to study this talk as a tender mercy from a loving Heavenly Father.

At the graveside beautiful white balloons with messages on butterflies attached to them were released as we said a final farewell to "baby Isabelle".

We know that Norbert and Marnie will be with their beautiful daughter again, but we also know how hard it will be for them to live without their daughter Isabelle. We hope that our love and prayers will give them both the strength they need over the coming weeks, months and years ahead as they grieve for the loss of their daughter.

We hope and pray that they feel the comfort of the Holy Ghost and the miracle of our Saviour’s atonement in their lives, and that they may witness many miracles and tender mercies in their lives, until they are together again.

Written by Lisa King, Launceston East Ward.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Burnie Branch celebrates building's 50th birthday

Months of careful planning and preparation finally came to fruition as the doors opened for the Burnie Chapel 50th Anniversary celebration on Saturday 1 February.

The day's activities consisted of an open house, barbecue lunch and a commemoration service in the evening. The chapel was dressed up to the nines ready to greet members and friends of the Church, with displays in every room highlighting the many and varied programmes of the Church.

Members and missionaries were on hand to greet people and guide them around the building. The Family History Centre was also open for the full day, allowing visitors to begin researching their families and discover the wonderful resources the Church makes available to the public for free.

Brother Jason Barnett and Sister Robyn Hatchard were the key organisers of the event, and were grateful for the willing and enthusiastic support of branch and stake members. Many members helped to publicise the open house in the community, while others helped to set up the building, and yet others assisted with the barbecue and other activities on the day. Most branch members came for some or all of the day's activities.

The day of celebration culminated in a special service held in the chapel at 6pm. The service began with a recorded message of encouragement from Elder Robert J. Dudfield of the Seventy, and included talks about the blessings experienced whilst participating in the building of the chapel, the fundamental reasons why members of the Church do what they do, and the joy found in serving each other and the community.

Leading up to the anniversary celebration, members of the stake were invited to contribute non-perishable food items to a collection that would be donated to Anglicare on the night. It is estimated that the collection presented by Burnie Branch represented nearly $2,000 in value.

In accepting the donation, Mr. John West of Anglicare thanked Church members for their generosity, described the good that would be achieved by the Church's contribution, and invited members to volunteer to assist Anglicare in their Christian work of helping the poor and needy.

Concluding remarks were offered by stake president, President Scott Prebble, and were based around an experience he had on his mission. On a sweltering Sydney day, he and his companion came across a man who had passed out on the ground in front of a train station. Pushing aside the temptation to judge him as an irresponsible drunk and walk away, they returned to help the stranger who, they learned, had been shopping for his weekly groceries and simply fainted in the heat. Had the missionaries not stopped to help, this man would have lost his meager groceries and been unable to return home. Instead he was touched by the Master's hand through two of His servants who were willing to love and serve.

As the sun set on the day of celebration, hearts were filled with the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ and motivated with a desire to further this great latter-day work in which we are engaged.

The Launceston Wards will host a similar celebration next weekend with an open house beginning on Friday and culminating in a fireside service on the Saturday evening.