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Visiting Church Leader Answers Young Adults’ Big Questions

Visiting Church Leader Answers Young Adults’ Big Questions

19 January 2011

MANUKAU, New Zealand — Elder David A. Bednar, an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, met with around 400 young members of the Church from South Auckland last night He fielded their questions and offered them suggestions regarding how to live happily.

Some of the questions he was asked were: “How can I have God’s spirit always with me?” “When do we know we have been forgiven after repenting from a sin?” “When is it okay to postpone marriage?” and “How do I surrender my wants and put what God wants first?”

In addition to Elder Bednar responding to questions from the young adults, his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, also provided wise advice to the group.

Also visiting from the Church’s Headquarters in the United States was Bishop Richard C. Edgley and his wife, Sister Pauline Edgley. Local leaders Elder Tad R. Callister and Elder Brent H. Nielsen, members of the Church’s Pacific Area Presidency, also attended the event accompanied by their wives Sister Kathryn Callister and Sister Marcia Nielson. They also assisted in providing responses to some of the young adults’ questions.

45 minutes before the meeting began, Eveoone Tiokia explained why she was in her seat so early. “We want a good seat to see Elder Bednar. We want to hear the words of an apostle and to hear answers to our prayers.”

After the meeting, Max Matisse said “I learned new things, from a different angle.”

Steven Rea said he came to find answers to questions he had about his life’s purpose and direction. “I felt the spirit and found my answers,” he said.

Enuer Teina added: “I felt it, it touched my heart.”

Another attendee, Charity Lavea, said she “learned that missionary work is not what we do but who we are.”

Afano Faalogo said he felt overwhelmed with the doctrine he heard, and what it means for him personally. “I love how we can get clean from our sins but our memories remain, and that we can slowly forget them if we fully repent.”

Elder Bednar was ordained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on October 7, 2004. Prior to his call to the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Bednar served as an Area Seventy, Area Authority Seventy, Regional Representative, twice as a stake president, and as a bishop.

Elder Bednar was born on June 15, 1952, in Oakland, California. He served as a full-time missionary in Southern Germany and then attended Brigham Young University, where he received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. He also received a doctoral degree in organizational behaviour from Purdue University.

After completing his education, Elder Bednar was a professor of business management at Texas Tech University and at the University of Arkansas. He then served as the president of Brigham Young University–Idaho (formerly Ricks College) from 1997-2004.

Elder Bednar married Susan Kae Robinson in the Salt Lake Temple on March 20, 1975, and they are the parents of three sons.

At a similar meeting in Mairangi Bay also last night, one of Elder Bednar’s fellow apostles, Elder Neil L. Andersen, spoke to around 400 young Latter-day Saints from the northern suburbs of Auckland.

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is the second-highest presiding body in the government of the Church. Its members serve under the direction of the First Presidency, a governing unit of three men — the president and two counselors.

In addition to their primary responsibility to be special witnesses of the name of Christ throughout the world, the apostles have heavy administrative responsibilities as they oversee the orderly progress and development of the global Church.

Just as their counterparts in ancient times were sent throughout the world, the apostles today travel the world to strengthen and encourage Church members, to organize new congregations and to conduct the business of the Church.

To learn more about modern-day apostles and their message about Jesus Christ, click here and here.


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