The location of a new temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Auckland, New Zealand, has been announced by President Russell M. Nelson during a Tuesday evening devotional in the country’s largest city. “Today I am pleased to announce that the new temple will be built in Auckland on Redoubt Road," said President Nelson. The temple will be on a hill between the Missionary Training Center and the Redoubt stake center. President Nelson said the temple will be a '"two-story building with a granite exterior. Its light and beauty will be highly visible."
President Nelson addressed 12,000 Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith in Spark Arena, passing the midway mark of his nine-day ministry visit to the South Pacific.
Prior to the devotional, the prophet met with local leaders, including Auckland Mayor Phil Goff who spoke briefly at a reception. "President Nelson I have to say that your Church is a very important faith organization in New Zealand. The Church performs a very important role in the values that you teach and in the community service that you give us."
He continued, "I have a special thanks for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that was for your response after the tragedy that affected New Zealand on March the 15th in Christchurch with an attack on two of our mosques resulting in 51 people being killed. And your Church was one of the first churches to come out to condemn the act, to express your solidarity with people of the Muslim faith." He added, "your missionaries in Christchurch helped at the community center. Your ladies in Dunedin helped set up a women's support center."
Other dignitaries who met with President Nelson included fellow Latter-day Saints the Honorable Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples, and Dame Valerie Adams, a New Zealand two-time Olympic gold medalist shot putter. Latter-day Saint Vuyiswa Tulelo, South African High Commissioner to New Zealand, also attended the devotional.
The global faith leader is visiting New Zealand, an area known for its indigenous people and picturesque scenery, as he continues his Pacific ministry visits to seven countries.
On Monday, President Nelson met with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Wellington and offered support to help rebuild two mosques in Christchurch following terrorist attacks in March.
In a meeting with Muslim leaders in Auckland, the prophet donated $100,000 on behalf of the Church for the rebuilding effort. The Muslim leaders in attendance included Dr. Mustafa Farouk, president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, and Imam Alabi Lateef Zirullah, leader of the Linwood mosque, one of the two mosques that were attacked.
Tuesday morning, the senior Church leaders spoke to more than 2,600 missionaries in a broadcast to the Pacific Area originating from a chapel located next to the Missionary Training Center in Auckland.
“Take a look at who you really are,” President Nelson encouraged the missionaries. “Every day one can becomes a little bit more like Jesus wants us to become. It’s a lifetime project. Practice it every day.”
Elder Gong reminded the missionaries of the prophecy the prophet Joseph Smith recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants 122:1 that states, “The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name.” He continued, “Did you ever think that when you share your testimony, told by who you are and by what you say, and by kindness, that you are fulfilling that prophecy? That you uniquely can fulfill that prophecy where you are serving? … You have the opportunity, the blessing and even responsibility to do so.”
On Wednesday, President Nelson heads to Fiji for a devotional meeting with Latter-day Saints in Suva.
The Pacific ministry runs May 16–25, 2019. So far, President Nelson has visited Kona, Hawaii; Apia, Samoa; and Sydney, Australia. Other scheduled stops include Nuku‘alofa, Tonga; and Papeete, Tahiti, where the prophet will attend a 175th anniversary cultural program celebrating the arrival of the first missionaries to French Polynesia.
The Church, headquartered in Salt Lake City, has more than 16.3 million members worldwide and more than 200 temples either in operation, announced, under construction or being renovated around the world.
New Zealand is home to nearly 115,000 Latter-day Saints.
Since President Nelson became our prophet in January 2018, he has traveled to Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, South America and now the geographic area of Oceania, which includes Australia, to minister to Latter-day Saints and meet with government and religious leaders as well as the media.