News Story

VIDEO: Vanuatu Church Members React with Joy to New Temple Announcement

On Sunday, 4 October, as Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, addressed members and friends of the Church, his remarks were being simultaneously interpreted into dozens of languages around the world.

This included a team of interpreters gathered in a Church building on the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, whose interpretations into the native Bislama language were being broadcast onto the internet.

During his remarks, President Nelson announced the locations for the construction of new temples around the world.

When he said, "Port Vila, Vanuatu" there was a gasp of excitement that went around the room. These faithful members were very emotional as they expressed thanks for the great blessing of having a temple right in their own country.

Read some of their reactions:

“This is very exciting news that we’ve been waiting [to hear] for so long, and this is a day of joy that will always be cherished in our hearts. All morning, everyone has been shedding tears of joy. I can’t describe the feeling that we are all have in Vanuatu.  It is such a blessing.” 

Katimal Kaun (Bishop of the Port Vila 3rd Ward)

“When I heard the news, my heart was full of joy to have a temple right here at our doorstep and also for us to do the work for our ancestors that are waiting on the other side of the veil.”

Raizza Tapi

“I’m so very excited and am looking forward to go to the temple to get married!”

Jimmy Felize

“I think of what Elder Stevenson said: 'You are never lost when you can see the temple.' I hope and pray that the people of this nation can see the Lord through this temple.”

Esron Vano


This announcement starts the process of site selection, design, permitting and construction of a new temple in this beautiful country.

Today, there are ten temples in the Pacific with four more announced or under construction in Auckland, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, American Samoa and Tonga.

President Nelson also announced that a temple would be built in another Pacific location, Tarawa, Kiribati.


Temple worship is an important part of the faith of Latter-day Saints, as it gives members in good standing a chance to perform sacred ordinances that cannot be done in a regular church building.

These include eternal marriages, baptisms for deceased ancestors and other important ceremonies. A short video explanation of the history and purpose of temples can be found below.


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