About 2 weeks prior to the Conference, we prepared a formal invitation to invite the Prime Minister to the meeting. Through a tender mercy from the Lord and minor miracles we met and shook hands with the PM as we entered the building to deliver the invitation. We proceeded to leave the invitation with his executive secretary and left thinking that was the end of it. A couple of days later his secretary called to announce the acceptance of our invitation and followed that with an official written acceptance. During the week of preparations for the conference we met with the PM's security detail and the members prepared every needful thing, flowers, decorations for the chapel, lei's etc. We contacted Elder Vinson and asked if it would be appropriate to present a nice set of scriptures to the Prime Minister during the meetings. He agreed and said he would bring them from Australia.
President and Sister Brewer arrived on Thursday afternoon and Friday held a Zone Conference for the missionaries. We picked up Elder Vinson Friday afternoon and the conference sessions began Saturday at noon. First a RS, Primary, and YW leader training meeting was held while the Priesthood leaders held their training meeting. Then a new member meeting, followed by the Adult session at 3pm.
|Prime Minister Gordon Darcey Lilo arrives for the conference and is introduced to Elder Vinson and President Brewer by Elder Mitchell|
During the Sunday session Ken was released as District President. Matthew Sauseru was sustained as the new District President, with Peter Rimou as 1st counselor, Michael Mani as 2nd counselor, and John Kwanafia as clerk.
|Elder Mitchell conducting the District Conference|
|Pres. Mani, Pres. Sauseru, Pres. Rimou, the new District Presidency|
The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Gordon Darcy Lilo, spoke for over 10 minutes during the meeting and gave an excellent talk.
Following his remarks Elder Vinson of the Seventy, who presided in the meetings, presented the Prime Minister with a leather bound scripture quad.
A Primary Children's choir provided music.
Prime Minister leaving after the meeting
Elder Vinson was here last year for the conference when the District was organized and Ken was called as District President. We felt it a great blessing to have him assigned to this conference as well.
It was a busy whirlwind weekend
Newspaper Article and pictures printed in Solomon Star and Island Sun:
Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo addresses LDS Conference
Primary Children’s Choir
Prime Minister Lilo and PS Anga singing with Congregation
Elder Vinson presents LDS scriptures to Prime Minister Lilo
Prime Minister visits LDS Church Conference
The Honorable Gordon Darcy Lilo, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, attended the Honiara Solomon Island District Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday 18 November 2012. The Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister, Barnabas Anga, accompanied the Prime Minister.
Visiting authorities from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were, Elder Terence Vinson of the Seventy, who presided, and the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission President, Larry Brewer, accompanied by his wife Maryanne. More than 200 Solomon Island members of the Church attended the meetings.
During the service on Sunday, Prime Minister Lilo, spoke to the assembled members of the Church. He stated that he knew that the members of the Church were a law abiding, God fearing, freedom loving people, and he commended them for this. He spoke of the Children’s Choir and the song they had sung in English and in Pijin, “I am a Child of God”, and how important it is for all people to understand that we are all children of God. He stated that the freedom we have in the Solomon Islands is a gift of God. He emphasized the importance of standing together as a nation, as one country, and one people. He expressed his belief that it is the role of government to create a stable environment for the people, that provides freedom of religion. Members of the Church felt honored and blessed by his comments and presence at the conference.
President Brewer encouraged members to follow the doctrines of the Church including the 13 Articles of Faith. He emphasized that “we believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” He also reminded members that “we believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”
Elder Vinson’s message included stories from the Old Testament and their meaning and significance in our lives today. He taught of Aaron and Hur who held up the hands of Moses so that Israel could defeat Amalek. He spoke of Joshua and Caleb and of their remarkable faithfulness to the Lord. He reminded the congregation of the widow of Zarephath who through her faith in the Lord and service, was blessed that her barrel of meal never wasted and her cruse of oil never failed. He encouraged all members to be faithful and serve the Lord with all their hearts.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages members to study the scriptures daily. LDS scriptures include the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon which both testify of the Savior Jesus Christ. During the meeting, Elder Vinson presented a leather bound set of scriptures to Prime Minister Lilo.
During the Conference a new District Presidency was sustained. Called were; Matthew Sauseru as President of the Honiara Solomon Island District of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Peter Rimou as 1st counselor, Michael Mani as 2nd counselor, and John Kwanafia as district clerk.
Prime Minister Lilo, Elder Vinson, Pres. Brewer