News Release

Tony Abbott, Former Prime Minister of Australia, Meets Mormon Apostle

The Hon Tony Abbott MP, member for Warringah and former Prime Minister of Australia, met with Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Melbourne, Australia on Friday 16 March.

Elder Andersen invited Mr Abbott to speak to missionaries that were gathered at the Maroondah Stake Centre for a special conference, coinciding with Elder Andersen’s visit to the Area.

Mr. Abbott took the time to discuss his Christian faith, and related his experience studying in the Catholic Seminary.

“As a much younger man," he said, "I spent three years trying to become a priest. I discovered the humility and patience and the depth of faith that goes into that vocation.”

Mr. Abbott added, “I admire very much when someone will stick with their friends. Loyalty is a wonderful, wonderful quality. If you have goodness and grace you have loyalty. It’s one of the outward signs of goodness and grace. It’s one of the qualities of Jesus that is deeply embedded in our theology.”

In counsel to the missionaries that were present, Mr Abbott observed, “No great cause is unworthy of great effort and great sacrifice. The cause you have is worthy of that great effort. Every sacrifice and effort you make is an example of your commitment.”

During the meeting, Elder Andersen presented Mr Abbott with a small Christus statue as a token of the Church’s appreciation for his friendship and their common belief in Christ.

Elder Andersen remarked, “We know you’re a man that believes in Christ. This statue symbolizes the Christ of the universe.”

Tony Abbott then presented a signed jersey to Elder Andersen as an expression of appreciation for the Church’s involvement in his charity, Pollie Pedal.

Accompanying Elder Andersen were his wife, Kathy Andersen; Elder O. Vincent Haleck, the Church's Pacific Area President, and his wife, Peggy Haleck; Elder Danny Hamilton of the Seventy, and his wife, Cindy Hamilton; and Elder Robert Dudfield, Area Seventy and Australian Public Affairs Director.

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