News Release

Niue Latter-day Saints Experience Joy Worshipping in the Temple After Nearly Three Decades

“I felt as if all my troubles and cares disappeared”

For the first time in 27 years, members of the Lakepa -Toi Niue Branch, a small congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, travelled 2,484 kilometres away from their island home to worship together at the Hamilton New Zealand Temple in January 2023.

Niue Saints gather at the Hamilton Temple in January. Hamilton, New Zealand 2023.2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Individuals and families saved, raised funds, offered many prayers and fasted to make the trip possible.

They also participated in family history research, gathering information for 120 deceased loved ones.

In the temple, the Niue members acted in the place of their loved ones to receive baptism and other sacred temple ordinances.

The Church’s temple website states: “The doctrine of vicarious ordinances (acting in place of) has always been part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, His Atonement is the greatest vicarious act in the history of the world. Through His sacrifice, He did for all people what we cannot do for ourselves. Because of Him, all people will be resurrected. All will hear the gospel, and all will have the chance to return to our Heavenly Parents.”

President Timothy Wilson, lay leader of the Lakepa-Toi Niue Branch, said, “It was great to see so many of our Branch members… doing sacred work for those who have passed on…”

He added, “We felt so close to our Saviour Jesus Christ in the temple. It was spiritually uplifting for me, for the members of the Branch who have been away from the temple for so long, and for our youth who were experiencing the temple for the first time.”

13-year-old Mereoni attended with her sister, Karis, and her grandmother, Tapu Pihigia.

“When I walked up to the front of the temple, I felt as if all my troubles and cares disappeared,” Mereoni said. “I felt peace.”

Her grandmother added, “My granddaughters have not stopped talking about the trip since they have returned home. We will never forget this trip to the temple.”

Latter-day Saints consider temples to be the most sacred places on earth where they seek to come closer to the Saviour and where cherished family relationships are made eternal.

Niue family, the Jacksons, participated in sacred temple ordinances. Hamilton, New Zealand 2023.2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

President Alan Leuluai, a member of the New Zealand Auckland Mission Presidency, met with the youth before they started their journey back to Niue.

He counselled them to “remember the feelings [they] felt in the temple.”

President Leuluai likened the temple to the Star of David that led the wise men to the Christ child and encouraged the youth to be wise and “let the temple be their star, to guide their path to eternal life."

11 young people who were part of the group, also attended FSY, For the Strength of Youth, a Church-sponsored youth conference held in Auckland, New Zealand in early January.

Niue is situated in the South Pacific between Tonga, Samoa and Cook Islands. Its land area is 260 square kilometres and its population is around 1,700. There are 312 Latter-day Saints in Niue and two branches.

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