News Story

Education is a Religious Responsibility: Online Education Gathering

In Sydney, individuals overcame the challenge of social distancing and gathered online for a weekend of educational workshops. 


The Education Gathering is a ministering event planned by the Sydney Welfare and Self Reliance Services Team and the Sydney Liverpool Stake (diocese). They had no idea at the time of planning that the use of church meetinghouses would be suspended due to COVID-19. Running it as an online event provided an unexpected opportunity for those living further away, and some from the wider Pacific Area, to also participate. Senior Australian Church leader Elder Johnny Leota, in his opening devotional, reminded the participants that “home-centred learning will unleash the powers of families, whatever that family may look like.”

Another senior Church leader, Elder Carl Maurer, taught that during this time of uncertainty, 'maintaining spiritual pace' is one of the lessons from the Book of Mormon.  He counselled that we have to make 'slowing down' a part of our lives and not have so much 'clutter' to confuse our priorities.

Participants were also enlightened by workshops such as "Business Bootcamp," "Emotional Intelligence," "Pornography Prevention," and "Recovering from Depression."  Each session, or virtual gathering, was a comforting experience for each attendee. 

Commenting on Dr Lili Anderson’s session on "The Goodness of God," Melissa Katoa shared, “It has been such a blessing to have Dr. Lili Anderson talk to us over two days. Her online workshops were uplifting and inspiring … My favourite quote from Lili is ‘fear and faith can’t co-exist.’ What a wonderful reminder for us all especially at this time.”

Family Services Manager of Welfare and Self Reliance Losa Patterson concluded, “Learning by the Spirit was key to the weekend. Getting the gospel deeper into the hearts of all who participated, enabling them to lead their families during a global pandemic was truly a wonderful blessing for many.”

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