News Release

Elder Rasband Discusses Education With Samoa’s Prime Minister

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles discussed education with Samoa Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa during a meeting in the capital of Apia, Samoa, on Friday, March 22, 2024.

“We discussed the opportunity that the Church has of bringing BYU Pathway [Worldwide] to Samoa, and she was very excited about that prospect,” said Elder Rasband.

He said the Prime Minister expressed concern that many young adults are leaving Samoa for job opportunities.

“We will now follow up with her and our local Church leaders to make sure that we continue to focus on education, particularly college and university level so that returned missionaries, young adults and young single adults will have a desire to stay here in Samoa,” said the senior Church leader.

The Apostle is on a 10-day ministry to four countries in the South Pacific, including Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Elder Rasband was joined at the government meeting by Elder Paul V. Johnson, a General Authority Seventy and his wife Jill; Elder Jeremy R. Jaggi, General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Pacific Area Presidency, and his wife Amy; and Elder Sapele Faalogo Jr., an Area Seventy.

“I think she responded positively, excited about the opportunity to be together with the Church of Jesus Christ,” Elder Faalogo added.

“She has a great respect for the Church and our people, and she said they are very good citizens,” Elder Rasband said.

Nearly 88,000 Latter-day Saints live in Samoa. One in four residents is a member of the Church.

Elder Rasband said the prime minister reminisced about her visit to Church headquarters in Utah last September.

BYU Pathway Worldwide is supported by the Church. The program offers spiritually-based degrees online.

Elder Rasband concludes his ministry in Fiji on Monday where he will meet with the prime minister of the island nation.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.