CultureGrams Worldwide Saints

Part 12: President Hinckley's 1997 Visit, Series Conclusion

Read previous parts at:,2626,New%20Zealand,00.html  


In May 1997, President Gordon B. Hinckley toured the South Pacific
including New Zealand, accompanied by Sister Hinckley, Elder Henry B.
Eyring and his wife, and Elder Bruce C. Hafen and his wife. Touring New
Zealand as President of the Church brought President Hinckley full circle.
In 1958, just three weeks after being called as a General Authority,
President Hinckley visited New Zealand to participate in the dedication of
the temple near Hamilton.

On May 10-11, 1997, in Hamilton, President Hinckley presided at a regional
conference attended by nearly 10,000 Church members from 13 stakes and 5
districts from throughout New Zealand. As a part of the conference, a
priesthood leadership meeting attended by nearly 1,400 leaders was held in
the David O. McKay Auditorium on the campus of the Church College of New

An "LDS Church News" report on the prophet's visit includes the following:

  Calling attention to the fact that the first stake organized outside
  of North America (or Hawaii) occurred in New Zealand in 1958, President
  Hinckley rehearsed how the Church has grown to its current position
  today, with a burgeoning membership of nearly 10 million in more than
  160 nations.
  The Church is now the sixth largest religion in New Zealand - "a vast
  congregation" now numbering more than 84,000 in 25 stakes in this
  nation. "The Church is a miracle," said the prophet.
  ("Pres. Hinckley Visits New Zealand," LDS Church News, May 17, 1997.)

During that same tour, President Hinckley also presided over a multistake
fireside held outdoors in the North Harbour Stadium in Auckland. More than
12,000 members from 12 stakes in the greater Auckland area attended the


The following almanac information on the Church in New Zealand today comes
primarily from the "Deseret News 2001-2001 Church Almanac." A link to
purchase this information-packed volume is included at the end of this

The Church in New Zealand

Members: More than 90,000
Stakes: 25 (Auckland Harbour, Auckland Henderson, Auckland Manukau,
Auckland Manurewa, Auckland Mount Roskill, Auckland Panmure, Auckland
Papakura, Auckland Papatoetoe, Auckland Tamaki, Auckland Waterview,
Christchurch, Gisborne, Hamilton, Hamilton Glenview, Hastings, Hastings
Flaxmere, Kaikohe, Palmerston, Porirua, Rotorua, Tauranga, Temple View,
Upper Hutt, Wellington, Whangarei)
Wards: 145
Districts: 5
Branches: 66
Missions: 2 (Auckland, Wellington)
Temples: 1 (Hamilton)


If you wish to know more about the history of the Church in New Zealand,
the following list is recommended. Many of the sources were used in
preparing this series. The links given provide access to either purchasing
or viewing the referenced material.

Britsch, R. Lanier, "Unto the Islands of the Sea, A History of the
  Latter-day Saints in the Pacific," Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book
  Company, 1986. (Out of print. Included in "GospeLink 2001")

Church magazine articles - all of these articles are available in the
  gospel library portion of the Church's Web site at
  * Britsch, R. Lanier, "Church in New Zealand: Roots of Faith," Ensign,
       September 1989.
  * Britsch, R. Lanier, "The Church in the South Pacific," Ensign,
       February 1976.
  * Cowley, Matthew, "Classic Discourses from the General Authorities:
       Miracles," New Era, June 1975.
  * Dil, Tina, "Church in New Zealand: New Zealand," Ensign,
       September 1989.
  * Dykes, Mervyn, "The Church in New Zealand," Ensign, February 1976.
  * Hinze, Brent and Sarah, "Faith and a Loving Heart: The Story of Elva
       Taylor Cowley," Ensign, August 1983.
  * Rudd, Glen L., "Keeping the Gospel Simple," Ensign, January 1989.

Cowley, Matthew, "Matthew Cowley Speaks," Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret
  Book Company, 1954. (Out of print. Included in "GospeLink 2001")

Deseret News, "2001-2002 Church Almanac," Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret
  News, 2000.  

"Ensign to the Nations" (video cassette), Salt Lake City, Utah:
  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

"LDS Church News" articles - published by "Deseret News," Salt Lake City,
  Utah are available online.
  For more information see
  * Hart, John L., "Disabling Accident Led to a New Career as Landscape
       Artist," LDS Church News, August 28, 1993.
  * Malouf, Pat, "Celebrating Anniversary of New Zealand's First Stake,"
       LDS Church News, July 18, 1998.
  * "Pres. Hinckley Visits New Zealand," LDS Church News, May 17, 1997.

Rudd, Glen L., "New Zealand: A Short Collection of Items of History to
  Add to Our Memories and Appreciation," Utah: New Zealand Missionary
  Society, 2001.

NEXT WEEK: New Series! The History of the Church in Ghana

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A great source for information on the worldwide growth and history of the
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CultureGrams and GEMS are grateful to Brad Olsen, whose efforts on this and
the previous two Worldwide Saints series (Japan and Korea) have been
tremendous. Brad's research, gathering, writing, and distribution of these
messages have made a difference to many people. Thanks, Brad!

GEMS is grateful to R. Lanier Britsch for his support of this series.
Brother Britsch's book "Unto the Islands of the Sea, A History of the
Latter-day Saints in the Pacific" (Deseret Book, 1986) is available on
"GospeLink 2001." You can buy "GospeLink 2001" online at  

If you speak a foreign language or are interested in the worldwide
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