News Release

‘Respecting the Past and Investing in the Future’

Church and community leaders gather to break ground for new stake centre

Mayor Julie Hardaker told guests at Saturday’s ground-breaking service for a new Latter-day Saint stake centre in the Hamilton suburb of Temple View, that “today is about respecting the past and the journey you have gone on, but also about investing in the future and where you are going.”

Mayor Hardaker, who was one of several governmental, community and Māori leaders who attended the service, said the new stake centre would be “a place for community to come together, and people to build together, to share family time, and to worship God — and that’s an important thing.”

Among leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in attendance were Elder Kevin W. Pearson, Elder O. Vincent Haleck, Elder S. Gifford Nielsen — of the Church’s Pacific Area Presidency — and Bishop Dean M. Davies of the Church’s Presiding Bishopric. 

Elders David J. Thomson and Paul R. Coward, of the Seventy, also attended.

The Church leaders were accompanied by their wives: June Pearson, Peggy Haleck, Wendy Nielsen, Darla Davies, Susan Thomson and Julie Coward.  

Watch a video about the ground-breaking service:

Bishop Davies told guests: “I have prayed God’s blessing upon you every day. Thank you for blessing my life, thank you for blessing this land, thank you for honouring your heritage. The Lord truly smiled upon us then and He does today.”

“Although much has already been accomplished in the renewing of Temple View and what was previously the Church College of New Zealand, today is another step forward in the continuing growth and lifelong development of this very important community.”  

Reflecting on years gone by, Bishop Davies said: “Perhaps many decades ago this was farmland, a quiet place, a reverent place, where only a few families may have lived. Eventually, community and Church leaders had a vision of what was needed and what it could become. A temple was built and a school emerged as a result of the love of the Church and faithful Church members.

“Those early labour missionaries and many others who followed them were educated here, developed skills, and their lives were lifted. As a result, when they completed their time in this special location they took with them not just an education but expanded love, faith, and devotion to God and family. Your lives, your learning, and your faith have blessed the lives of thousands and tens of thousands of people. I commend you, I love you and I give thanks for your legacy. Not a legacy of simply bricks and mortar, but a legacy of family, a legacy of community, a legacy of country, a legacy of faith.”

He said that those who have helped build faith, families and communities over the generations should be “remembered with love, fondness and respect. At the same time, we see change and improvement all around us. The stake centre that will be built on this site will be of higher quality and better engineering and will consist of better materials than what was available 50 years ago.

“As we prepare today for the future by breaking ground, I give gratitude,” he said. “Gratitude for those who preceded us, gratitude for those who live today, and gratitude for those who will follow tomorrow and will build upon what we have built. I give thanks to you faithful Church members in this community and all over the world, who, because of your faith and their faith and devotion, have provided the resources and vision that will help Temple View continue to be a place of peace, of place of family, and a place of prosperity.”

Elder O. Vincent Haleck, of the Pacific Area Presidency of the Church, also spoke at the ground-breaking service.

“We gather together today to break ground on a stake centre that’s purpose will be a place of worship of Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ,” he said.

Elder Haleck said the new stake centre would be “a place of refuge from the storm and from the philosophies of men that often bring challenges to our lives and cause us to lose our way. Indeed it will be a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, even a house of God.

"It is fitting that this new stake centre’s activities will revolve around the things of a spiritual nature, and the strengthening of families. It will be built on ground which historically has been peaceful and considered sacred to those who lived here many years ago.

“There is a special mana in this place to which we now gather for this occasion. It is no wonder that Heavenly Father inspired his prophet to select the location of His holy temple near here.  And we will build a stake centre, which we break ground for today, within the shadow of the sacred temple of God.  This is all consistent with the very nature of this land.”

Elder Haleck continued: “I acknowledge further, the many whose prayers have brought this day to pass. I acknowledge the many who have lived here and maintained its quiet and special qualities of peace and tranquillity.

“I am grateful for the missionaries — both those who were labour missionaries, many who are represented here today—and others who taught the gospel to the people. We are all the beneficiaries of the great faith of our forefathers who have preceded us. Today is a renewal of the Church’s commitment to spiritual development in the lives of the people of Hamilton and particularly the members of the Temple View New Zealand Stake. Let it be a renewal for all of us as well.”

Local Latter-day Saint leader, John Kendall, told guests that there are over 2,100 members in the Church’s Temple View Zealand Stake, with four congregations in Temple View itself. There are several other congregations in other parts of Hamilton and in surrounding towns.

He said, “The Lord’s people have always expanded. The Lord’s people have always been an industrious people. This is a place that has been dedicated by a prophet of God, a place of peace, a place to be nourished, a place to look at those who have gone before, a place to prepare for future generations to build testimonies of Jesus Christ.”

Read more at the Waikato Times.

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