News Release

Kiribati President Visits Church Headquarters

Meets with the First Presidency and other leaders

After addressing the 74th Session of the General Assembly of the U.N. in New York City, Kiribati President Taneti Maamau, along with his wife and delegation, stopped in Salt Lake City recently to meet with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


President Maamau and others in the party have many family and community connections with the Church in Kiribati, where one in five citizens is a member.

At the U.N., President Maamau spoke of the importance of helping people, strengthening the marginalized, and the importance of education.

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with President and Mrs. Maamau and two members of his delegation, Dr. Naomi Ataueu and Mrs. Peniita Garisau.

President Maamau thanked the First Presidency for the Church’s humanitarian efforts in Kiribati.

On Sunday night, President and Mrs. Maamau were honoured at a potluck dinner by the local Kiribati community.

The women received quilts at the Church's Humanitarian Center and the delegation toured the Bishops’ Central Storehouse.

They toured Brigham Young University, were luncheon guests of university vice-president, Sandra Roberts, and enjoyed meeting returned missionaries for a fun program of song and dance.

At the Missionary Training Center, the President saw newly called missionaries practice their foreign language skills.

Elder Carl B. Cook, a General Authority of the Church, spoke about the Church's focus on self-reliance and BYU’s on-line educational programs.

While on the BYU campus, President Maamau stopped the touring cart to stand in front of a large bronze frieze engraved with a scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 88:77-78. “…ye shall teach one another…and my grace shall attend you…”

He and his wife later stopped at a famous Carl Bloch painting of Christ blessing a man in need.

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.