News Story

Church Leaders Focus on Faith and Family During Papua New Guinea Visit

Expressing love, encouraging faith, and looking towards the construction of a new temple

Two members of the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Ian S. Ardern and Elder K. Brett Nattress, have been visiting Papua New Guinea over the past week.


They have been meeting with members, missionaries and friends of the Church in cities and towns across the nation, teaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and offering love and encouragement.

On Saturday and Sunday 19-20 October, Elders Ardern and Nattress were joined in their ministry by visiting Church leaders from the United States, Sister Sharon Eubank and Sister Becky Craven. Sister Craven was accompanied by her husband, Brother Ronald Craven.

In his remarks, Elder Nattress said, "We are humbled and strengthened by your faith, your testimonies and your goodness. Everyone matters. Your testimonies will touch thousands, if not millions."

He encouraged Papua New Guinean Latter-day Saints to pray and read from the Book of Mormon every day, and to "be kind and show love to one other person each day."


Sister Eubank is a member of the Church's Relief Society general presidency, and Sister Craven is a member of the Church's Young Women general presidency.

Over the weekend, the leaders met with Papua New Guinean Latter-day Saint women in focus groups and a special devotional, as well with other members during worship services.


In her remarks on Sunday, Sister Eubank recounted that when they arrived into Papua New Guinea, at the airport, she was asked a question by a security person who wanted to know the difference between a church and a temple.

She told the security person that "a temple is a place where Jesus Christ dwells. It’s holy and sacred. In that house we must be clean. We need to repent and keep His commandments. It’s a place where we can participate in sacred ceremonies that bind us in our most important relationships—our families."

She added that "it is a place where we can go, to reflect, and to receive revelation."

Sister Eubank told those attending the worship service that they would have similar opportunities in the coming years to explain their faith and the role of temples, as a temple for Papua New Guinea was announced by Church president, Russell M. Nelson, earlier this month at the faith's General Conference in Salt Lake City, United States.

"If you are asked the difference between a chapel and a temple, be ready to provide a response," she encouraged.

"Your best response will be the light of the gospel in your lives."

Sister Becky Craven told women in attendance: "I love calling you my sisters."


"We love you. We have only just met you but we love you. We have been looking forward to being here with you, equally yoked in the great cause of gathering of Israel."

Speaking of changes in the Church over the last several months, Sister Craven said they are "to help strengthen our families, giving us time to study the gospel in our homes."

"This is all about strengthening families, the new curriculum supports this. This is a wonderful time to be a member of the Church. The restoration of the gospel continues to unfold."

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.