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Loren C. Dunn Comments on First Mission of LDS Church in Australia

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Details Written by Mike Kennedy Published: 22 June 2012

My dear brothers and sisters, it is an honor to he at this conference. And it is an honor to serve as a missionary in Australia. This marks the 126th year that the Church has been in Australia. The two missionaries who introduced the gospel to Australia were John Murdock and Charles Wandell, who arrived in Sydney on October 30, 1851. Brother Murdock was fifty-nine years of age at the time and was one of the early stalwarts of the Church. He was in the first group to be ordained high priests by Joseph Smith. He was called on two of his missions by revelations which are in the Doctrine and Covenants. (See D&C 52:8D&C 99:1.) His wife died, leaving him twins only six hours old. These were the twins that the Prophet Joseph Smith received into his home to raise. For a time he lived in the home of Joseph Smith and relates this incident: “During the winter that I boarded with Brother Joseph … we had a number of prayer meetings, in the Prophet’s chamber. … In one of those meetings the Prophet told us, ‘If we would humble ourselves before God, and exercise strong faith, we should see the face of the Lord.’ And about midday the visions of my mind were opened, and the eyes of my understanding were enlightened, and I saw the form of a man, most lovely, the visage of his face was sound and fair as the sun. His hair a bright silver grey, curled in a most majestic form; His eyes a keen penetrating blue, and the skin of his neck a most beautiful white and he was covered from the neck to the feet with a loose garment, pure white: Whiter than any garment I have ever before seen. His countenance was most penetrating, and yet most lovely. And while I was endeavoring to comprehend the whole personage from head to feet it slipped from me, and the vision was closed up. But it left on my mind the impression of love, for months, that I never before felt to that degree.” (John Murdock, An Abridged Record of the Life of John Murdock, p. 26.)
Such was the man who opened the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Australia in this dispensation. Through the early years of the Church in Australia many joined the Church and then immigrated to either Canada or the United States. In 1955 President David O. McKay toured the country and advised  — Loren C. Dunn