“South Pacific Area Conference Reports,” Ensign, May 1976, 138
It was a massive undertaking. The South Pacific area conferences encompassed more than 20,000 miles of traveling; some forty conference sessions and numerous special meetings, involving together more than 40,000 Church members; press interviews; and radio and television coverage, including one session viewed by an estimated three million people. The conferences were a new experience for the members of the Church in Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Australia, and Tahiti—an experience they will never forget. Making the occasion so memorable was President Spencer W. Kimball and nine other General Authorities who went forth to meet the members in the South Pacific, to bear testimony, and to urge them to greater efforts in carrying the gospel to their neighbors.
With President Kimball were President N. Eldon Tanner, first counselor in the First Presidency; Elder Bruce R. McConkie and Elder David B. Haight of the Council of the Twelve; Elder Marion D. Hanks, Elder William H. Bennett, Elder Robert L. Simpson, and Elder Robert D. Hales, Assistants to the Council of the Twelve; Elder Loren C. Dunn of the First Council of the Seventy; and Bishop Victor L. Brown, Presiding Bishop of the Church. Elder Simpson also serves as area supervisor for the Pacific area.
The impact of the conferences was felt not only by the Saints, but also by the nonmembers. The media coverage of the Brethren and of the conference sessions and the cultural presentations made in each country was extensive. The television broadcast of the Sunday morning session from Sydney, Australia, brought hundreds of inquiries from nonmembers who wanted to hear more of the Church and its message.
In this issue of the Ensign are the reports from Tonga; Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, Australia; and Tahiti. The April 1976 Ensign carried the reports of the Samoa, New Zealand, and Fiji conferences.
The reports in this issue were prepared with the assistance of J. William Harris, Tonga; Garry P. Mitchell, Sydney; and Malcolm Rea, Melbourne.