News Release

Church and Government Leaders Discuss Preserving American Samoan Vital Records

Leaders and family history specialists from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga of American Samoa on 16 March to discuss the digitization and preservation of the territory’s vital genealogical records.

Leading the Latter-day Saint delegation to meet with the Governor were Elder O. Vincent Haleck of the Pacific Area Presidency and Elder Allan F. Packer, Executive Director of the Family History Department for the Church. 

Elder Packer was joined by his wife, Terri Packer, and family history specialists Dennis and Linda Brimhall, Steve Rockwood and Michael Higgins. Dennis Brimhall is the Managing Director of the Church’s Family History Department. 

Governor Moliga said he understood the concept of the Church’s interest in digitizing the records and also recognized the importance of preserving the territory’s historical documents that are currently on microfilm, microfiche and paper documents. 

James Hemphill, Director of the American Samoa Archives, said, “The Tsunami of 2009 damaged and destroyed some of the records.  Having the records digitized with high quality capabilities will assure records are preserved for many years to come.”

In addition to meeting with Governor Moliga, Elder Packer and those traveling with him met with Latter-day Saint leaders, members and missionaries. They also met with community leaders and media representatives.

While visiting American Samoa Elder Packer met with approximately 2,500 Latter-day Saint youth, parents and leaders during meetings held at Malaeimi on Saturday 14 March and Sunday 15 March. He spoke on the importance of family history research, strengthening family relationships and developing faith in Jesus Christ.

On Friday evening, 13 March, Elder Packer spoke to over 1,400 youth, parents and leaders at a special meeting held at Lotopa in Samoa. In addition, an estimated 2,500 youth, parents and leaders joined by way of satellite broadcast to other church meetinghouses across Upolu and Savai'i.






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