Indigenous Members Embrace the Gospel in Darwin

News Release
 

With joy and conviction, Elyssa Djurududuku Cameron sings “I Am a Child of God” since becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Darwin, Northern Territory in May 2018.

“Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way,” are not just words from this beloved Latter-day Saint hymn to Elyssa and his family. They inspired Elyssa to produce an original adaptation of the music reflecting his journey of faith to find the restored gospel of Christ. He was led and guided even though there were many challenges along his path. He was helped to find the way by trusting that what he felt and taught were true principles.

Missionaries from the Adelaide Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elders Tate Syme and Samuel Davison walked with Elyssa as they taught him and his family about the love that the Saviour has for them. Whenever they were with the Cameron family they felt a deep spiritual influence.

Though habits are difficult to change, Elyssa determined to quit smoking and received a priesthood blessing to help him. Through his faith, the cravings for these things has entirely ceased. 

Reliable transportation and enough petrol to meet his family responsibilities during the week and drive to Church each Sunday were challenges for Elyssa. He knew however, that this was where he could partake of the Sacrament and feel the love his Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ have for him and his family.

He was helped to “find the way” to Church each Sunday through his faith and action, the kindness of others and tender miracles. Because of his mechanical skills, Elyssa was able to rebuild a car that they now use to transport the family to Church each week.

The Book of Mormon has also played a powerful role in Elyssa’s conversion. He remarks, “I love to read the Book of Mormon each day. We also watch the Book of Mormon videos as a family.”

As the Cameron family grew in their understanding of this important gospel principle, they were invited to be baptised. The words from I am a Child of God, “to do all that I must do” beckoned the family forward.

President Matthew Chick, local leader of the Darwin Branch (congregation) indicated how inspired he felt watching the family embrace the gospel even when small roadblocks continued to test the faith of Elyssa.

Obtaining the dates and names for necessary records proved to be difficult in the week before the scheduled baptism. After much thought, fasting, and prayer, the Elders were able to obtain the important information the day before, and the baptism took place as planned.

The baptism of Elyssa’s children Narelle, Duron and his niece Jaylin were a landmark experience in the journey of the Cameron family.

According to Elder Syme, “Their baptism had a massive effect on everyone and brought so many members closer to the Aboriginal culture. The love was immense and unified as three of our Heavenly Father’s children were able to enter His fold.”

Elyssa expressed his joy at the baptism of his children and niece and waited faithfully for his own. After his marriage to Irene on the 11th of May, Elyssa and his wife were finally baptised on 12th of May along with another son Jaseph. Feeling profoundly of the spirit after his confirmation, Elyssa testified, “It felt like fire in my whole body.”

Elyssa has since received the priesthood and recently baptised his daughter Karly. When asked how he felt, he said, “It was a joy to baptise her, and happy for the blessings that have come to my family. By exercising my priesthood in baptising Karly, I know my family will be blessed.”

“I felt joy to see my husband baptise my daughter,” shares Irene.

Being able to use the priesthood to bless others is important to the Cameron family.

“I enjoyed passing the sacrament today. It brought me joy and happiness to be able to use the priesthood to bless others,” reflects Elyssa.

Being active member missionaries, the Camerons also love to share the gospel with their community. They have referred their entire family to the missionaries and teach together with Elyssa speaking in his language for his family’s clarification. There are three members of his family that are currently being taught.

Elder Syme says, “Elyssa is a remarkable member missionary and goes out into the bush to spread the true gospel to his family in Maningrida.”

“The Church has been a great blessing to our family,” testifies Elyssa. “The missionaries came to our home and shared the Book of Mormon, sharing stories and teachings."

He adds, "Coming to church has brought much happiness to our family. We love following Jesus Christ.”

President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency of the Church states, ”The only single quality that should characterise us is that we are a son or daughter of God.”

The understanding of this principle is clearly evidenced by how Elyssa and his family have embraced the teachings of Christ.

"God loves His children and He wants them to have joy," exclaims Church President Russell M. Nelson.

One can feel the joy that Elyssa has in his new-found knowledge of the gospel and of his divine parentage when he sings:

“I am a child of God, and He has sent me here,

Has given me an earthly home, with parents kind and dear.

Lead me, guide, me, walk beside me, help me find the way.

Teach me all that I must do, to live with him someday.”

Text: Naomi W. Randall and Music: Mildred T. Pettit

To listen to Elyssa's version of "I am a Child of God", click here.

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