Summarized by 'Randall Larsen'
Hawaii Regional Conference Talks by Elder Packer and Pres. Hinckley
Randall Larsen 23Jan00 D1
President Hinckley to dedicate KONA Hawaii temple. Pres. Packer to
accompany. From there they go to the Gilbert Islands, then to
Indonesia. They were invited to stay in the Palace in Indonesia but
they will stay in a Hotel. "I want to keep our free agency" (he
still uses the term). He is then going to Northern Australia,
Singapore, then back to Guam. (I may have left out a few stops).
Pres. Hinckley challenged members to take up the slack to maintain
the same level of activity in the Laie temple now that Hawaii (Big
Island) members are going to attend the Kona temple.
The full story:
Just returned from Laie. Heard talks of Elder Packer and President
Hinckley. [From memory].
Elder Hallstrom regional representative started the conference with a
talk in which he mentioned the importance of acquiring the character
attributes of the Savior and emulating him. He also spoke of the 150
year anniversary of missionaries coming to Hawaii.
Sister Hallstrom talked about Jesus appearance to the brethren on the
road to Imaes. She bore strong testimony.
Elder Packer spoke. He mentioned the Saturday session held for
Priesthood leaders. He complained that when that session was opened
up for questions the brethren only asked for hints on how to get
their reports in on time. No one asked about repentance or the
atonement. I got the impression that the success of the UH
football team had been mentioned by the locals (several players are
Elder Packer said we should keep a balance in life and not place too
much emphasis on athletic events.
Elder Packer spoke of coming to Hawaii just before the end of WWII.
He hitched a ride on a plane from Kaui to Honolulu and walked around
the temple grounds. He was in Honolulu when the end of the War in
the Pacific was announced.
He recounted events of his visit to Hawaii to supervise the start of
seminary programs here. He mentioned the generosity of the Hawaiian
He also spoke of being called by President McKay to be an assistant
to the twelve. He was told by President Mckay that as an
assistant to the twelve he would have to bear special witness of the
Saviour. Could he do that. He answered yes. Well give us your
testimony. Elder Packer felt good that he had that special witness
since his mission. He told the story of a missionary who in answer
to his prayer received the special witness of the Holy Ghost.
Sister Packer then spoke of the joys of working in the primary.
Sister Barnes, Pres. Hinckley's daughter then spoke. She called her
mother to the stand "to express her love." Sister Hinckley said I
looked around for a familiar face. I don't know any or you. Yet I
love you all.
Then President Hinckley talked. He once again stressed the blessings
that would come from paying our tithes and offerings.
He hates to hear of a returned missionary that has gone inactive.
He told us to keep the faith. He recalled a former acquaintance, a
Sister Toma who lived through WWII in Okinawa. She lost her
husband and was left with four small children. At one point she was
about to give up. She prayed. She heard the voice of God telling her
to persevere. She went on to join the church and settle in Hawaii.
President Hinckley mentioned that he brings his daughter (or son)
along to take care of his companion. She took care of her daughter
when she was small. Now her daughter takes care of her when she is
small. (laughter). Apparently there is some good natured kidding
going on between President and Sister Hinckley though I don't think
she appreciated the reference to her diminutive stature.
President Hinckley told the story of J.F. Smith who had a dream that
he had an appointment with the Prophet Joseph. In the dream JFS was
running through the Cane fields trying to get to the spot where the
two were to meet. He noticed that he was dirty he had been working.
He saw a building along the path. He went in there were clean
white clothes there. He washed and put on the white clothes. [the
change into the Heavenly Garment is a familiar motif in Apocalyptic
He arrived and was greeted by Joseph. "You are late." Yes Joseph,
I am late but at least I'm clean. President Hinckley stressed the
importance of being morally clean, honest.
President Hinckley's last trip was to Michigan to dedicate another
temple. While there he was shown the grave of his great grandfather,
who joined the church in Canada and later traveled to Kirtland.
President Hinckley told a story of his boyhood summers on the farm.
He mentioned trying to pull down a dead tree with his tractor. He
put the chain around it. When he revved up the engine on the
tractor the chain broke. There was a weak link. He went to the
hardware store and got a replacement link. He was able to pull
down the tree.
He thought of this story at a recent gathering his family in the
celestial room. He had daughter, sons, granddaughters, and great
grandchildren. He thought to himself that he was in the middle. 2
generations before him in the church and 3 generations born of his
President Hinckley said he did not want to be a weak link. He wants
keep the faith of his fathers.
President Hinckley mentioned that he was 90 years old. He did not
know if he would make it to Hawaii again. He prays for us and is
glad we pray for him. He hopes he can endure the present trip he
I have seen President Hinckley here in Hawaii on two other occasions.
This was by far the most inspiring meeting.