News Release

Hundreds Gather for Education Weekend in Sydney

Hundreds of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others in the Sydney community gathered at the Hebersham Stake (diocese) centre for a bi-annual Education Weekend.  Based on the theme, “Come Follow Me” (2 Corinthians 5:17), the weekend was comprised of workshops on strengthening marriage and family relationships, child and youth development, and self-reliance.  Saturday also included an Art & Story Expo that displayed artworks, photography and poetry by talented individuals from different areas of Sydney.


Elder Johnny Leota, Area Seventy, shared the Church’s vision of providing an opportunity for education to everyone wherever the church is organised.  He shared the example of a Fijian young man who travelled twelve hours on boat and bus each Thursday to attend his studies through Pathway, and “he goes home the same way on Friday.” Elder Leota encouraged the audience, especially the youth, to make the choice to seek an education now. 

Brother Kendall Peck, Dean of Online Programs for BYU-Idaho and BYU-Pathway Worldwide, reminded attendees at the Saturday session that, “Education goes hand in hand with the gospel of Jesus Christ… education is not merely a good idea, but a commandment.”  He emphasised that the education of one’s mind is sacred. 

The importance of PathwayConnect in offering higher education to as many as possible, including “those who have been invisible” to educational institutions, was emphasised by Brother Gene Hayes, Director of International Operations for BYU-Pathway Worldwide.  

Elder Steve Havea, a Pathway graduate and current Pathway Church Service missionary, bore his testimony of the miracles that have come into his life through PathwayConnect and hard work.

Echoing the counsel of Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Brother Hayes taught that the ultimate goal of education is to make us better parents and servants in God’s kingdom.  

Mr Stephen Bali, Member of Parliament and Mayor of Blacktown, added that education is part of “fulfilling one’s life and one’s knowledge,” because education allows individuals to be better participants in society. 

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