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Fiji Latter-day Saints Excited About Temple Re-opening

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prepare to tour newly renovated temple with members of the public

Vito Mitchell Qaqa Mitchell is one of thousands of Fiji members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who is eagerly anticipating the upcoming re-dedication and re-opening of the faith's Suva Fiji Temple.

Mr Qaqa was born and raised in Dreketi on Qamea Island near Taveuni. He was known as the local “tough guy.”  At age 12 he was sent off to a disciplinary boarding school in Taveuni, and was respected by other students because of his family reputation. There he boxed and played rugby.  

At 14, with an athletic scholarship at Ratu Kadavulevu School, Vito’s brain was as strong as his brawn, excelling in his classes and in rugby. He played for his secondary school, Fiji Colts, Fiji Minor Union, and was a Fiji Rugby national player. He then went on to study at Nasinu Teacher College (now FNU). 

Vito headed back to Taveuni to teach—a time, he says, when Christ entered his life. He and his wife, Unaisi, joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1985. 

In 1991 Vito travelled to Australia to worship in the Sydney Australia Temple and learn more about his relationship with God. 

After his trip to Australia, Unaisi and Vito were “sealed” in the Nuku’Alofa Tonga Temple—a ceremony in which a couple is married for this life, and the next. They are now the parents of 11 children.

While there are many Latter-day Saint chapels or meetinghouses in Fiji where people gather each Sunday for worship, there is only one temple for Fiji, Solomon Islands, Rotuma, Marshall Islands, Kiribati and Vanuatu.  In the temple, Mormons believe, we learn of Christ’s saving ordinances for ourselves and for the entire human family. This central Latter-day Saint belief reflects a love and respect for all mankind. 

The upcoming free public open house for the newly renovated Suva Fiji Temple is a rare opportunity to see the beautiful interior of the temple and learn about the ordinances given by Jesus Christ for the salvation of all. 

The open house will begin on Monday 25 January and extend through Saturday, 6 February. Public tours will be conducted every day in the two-week period except for Sunday, 31 January.

The temple is located at 2-20 Lakeba Street, Samabula, Suva.

Tours, consisting of a 10-minute video presentation followed by a 30-minute walking tour through the temple, will begin at the adjacent Fiji Service Centre.

Normally, only Latter-day Saints in good standing can enter the Church’s temples. However, during this special open house period the general public is invited to tour the building before it is officially rededicated on Sunday, 21 February 21.

To mark the occasion of the open house and rededication, the Church will host a cultural celebration on Saturday, 20 February, at 3:00 p.m., at ANZ Stadium.

Re-dedicatory sessions will be broadcast to meetinghouses in the Suva Fiji Temple district. The three-hour block of meetings normally observed by members each week will be cancelled for that Sunday to allow them to participate in the rededication services.

Former worldwide leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008), originally dedicated the temple in June 2000.

Mr Qaqa heads up the Church’s Temple Open House and Rededication Committee in Suva. He has been working with hundreds of other volunteers as the Church prepares to open the doors of the temple to the public later this month.

View short introductory videos about Latter-day Saint temples and other teachings and practices of the Church:

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