News Release

Latter-day Saints Thank Archbishop Julian Porteous For His Teaching on Marriage and Family

“Marriage and family is God’s way. A stable environment grounded in mutual love for one another enables each child to flourish”

The Most Rev Julian C. Porteous DD, Catholic Archbishop of Hobart, received a Family Values Award on 6th June at a special combined faith youth meeting in Hobart.

The award is presented by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to individuals who make a substantial contribution to strengthening marriages and families. Archbishop Porteous was a notable recipient of this recognition.


Phil Smith, stake president of the Hobart Stake (group of congregations) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, opened the evening, explaining that the Family Values Award recognizes civic, faith and other community leaders who have made outstanding contributions that support marriage and family, and the importance of the family unity in society.

“It was our great pleasure to make the recommendation for His Grace, Archbishop Porteous to receive this award,” Smith said. He is a wonderful man and I am pleased to call him my friend.”

Mr. Thomasz Juszczak, director of youth evangelisation for the Archdiocese of Hobart, introduced the Archbishop and shared some examples of his long service to the people of Australia over many years.

Archbishop Porteous established the offices of Marriage and Family, Youth Evangelisation (Evangelism) and the office for Justice and Peace. He is the author of several books and travels widely encouraging members of the Catholic faith to pray and to celebrate their hope in God. Read more of his biography here.

“The Archbishop is not afraid of the tough stuff and is not afraid of a good fight,” Juszczak said. “He especially loves young people and loves to share with them the goodness of God.”

Addressing the congregation, Archbishop Porteous graciously remarked how honoured he was to receive the award. He quoted the scriptural passage, John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

“The scriptures are for all of us,” he said. “The Book of Genesis contains vital truths about marriage and family. The complementary union between a man and a woman allows for the procreation of human life. Marriage and family is God’s way. A stable environment grounded in mutual love for one another, enables each child to flourish. Deviation from God’s good plan just doesn’t work.”

He declared, “Professing this truth enables others to learn this truth. Sadly, the culture around us appears to be going in another direction. Receiving this award gives awareness that we need to share ways in which God’s good plan for marriage and family gives true happiness.”

Elder Robert J. Dudfield, Area Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, quoted some passages from The Family: A Proclamation to the World and indicated how similar its message was to Archbishop Porteous’s comments, and how important youth are to the interfaith dialogue.

“I am grateful for this evening which brings us together in our beliefs and strong Christian values,” Elder Dudfield said.

“There are a number of things I know. The sanctity of marriage and family being the foundation of society. I also know Jesus Christ is our Saviour and Redeemer, and that as we seek to emulate Jesus Christ we will be a great force for good in the world.”

Youth, parents and youth leaders participated in the event. At its conclusion, many commented about their feelings about the combined Catholic and Latter-day Saint gathering.

Catholic guest, Edwina Matuszek, said, “I was really touched tonight by how friendly everyone was and how we can unite in our faiths. It was nice to see the Archbishop being honoured for what he’s done. He is a great man.”

Another Catholic attendee, Jemille West, said, “When I heard that the Archbishop was being honoured, I was like, wow, this is amazing that everyone’s coming together, and the fellowship I feel. With marriage on the threat at the moment it’s just such a wonderful witness to unite and advocate to the values of marriage and family.”

“I thought it was beautiful to see this night specifically dedicated to His Grace and that the Latter-day Saint Church recognises his contributions,” Jacqueline Rochecouste said.

“It’s kind of like a gesture of open arms taking away the barriers between Christian denominations and uniting us together with our core beliefs,” she added.

A Latter-day Saint youth from Glen Huon Ward (congregation) shared his thoughts. "It was good to know that other faiths have beliefs about the family that our similar to ours,” Ethan Jury said. “I enjoyed hearing the beliefs of other faiths.”

Mormon youth leader, Rachael Sayers, said, “I thought it was lovely to have our youth hear that there are other youth that have the same values, that they are not alone.”

Lynda Vertigan, Tasmanian LDS director of public affairs, presented the award to Archbishop Porteous. She remarked, "It was an important evening for youth and adults of both denominations to stand for truth and righteousness.”

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