News Story

Open House in Vanuatu Gives Community Opportunity to Learn about Latter-day Saint Beliefs

Friends and neighbours invited to attend tour of meetinghouse and presentations on basic beliefs on Vanuatu’s National Unity Day

Nearly 300 people attended an event jointly organized by the Port Vila Vanuatu Stake and the Vanuatu Mission Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on National Unity Day, Monday November 29th, 2021.

“We couldn’t think of a better day to hold our event,” said Stake President Yvon Basil. “Unity Day is a public holiday in Vanuatu which was specifically instituted in 1977 to engender a spirit of national unity among Vanuatu’s very diverse population. Invitations were given to community and faith leaders and the general public.”

“People in Vanuatu are curious to know more about our church and what our temple will be like,” he said. “This was a chance to tell them why it means so much to us.”

A new Port Vila Vanuatu Temple was officially announced by Church president, Russell M. Nelson, during the April 2021 General Conference and is in the planning stages now at a site near Port Vila.

Community leaders and many friends of other faiths attended. Among them was the Lord Mayor of Port Vila City, Mr. Erick Puyo Festa. He was impressed with the friendly welcome he received and how well the event was organized. Some members of his family belong to the Church, and this was a chance for him to learn more.

“After attending this activity, I have a deeper understanding and knowledge about the core beliefs of the Church,” Mr. Festa said.

“There should be more activities like this in the future to enable the general public to learn more about the teachings of the Church. I think that other churches should organize similar programs to introduce their beliefs to the general public.”

During the Port Villa open house, guests received basic knowledge of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the use of temples and family history work. Vanuatu, November 20212021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Also attending were two traditional chiefs from the village of Erakor in the southeast area of the main island of Efate ─ Chief Leo Kalomtak and Assistant Chief Peris Kalopang. 

Chief Kalomtak said, “The teachings about the main beliefs were very clear and the answers to our questions during the question time in each booth were good. Today, we can say that we have a better understanding of the Church.”

Guests were invited to visit three areas in the Port Villa meetinghouse, each with a different topic: the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ; the Plan of Salvation; and the Temple and Family History.

The sessions in each area lasted about 35 minutes each with the help of four hosts who were full-time missionaries and local leaders of the Church. They answered questions and offered their personal feelings about the Church.

Mark Messick, president of the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission, said, “We were gratified that so many from our community came to our church building. This was a chance to explain to the community our faith in Jesus Christ and how it can bless the lives of the people of this beautiful country.”

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