News Story

President of Kiribati Welcomes Outer Island Leaders

At a recent training meeting for lay leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from across the Republic of Kiribati, the nation’s leader, President Taneti Maamau, expressed his deep appreciation for the positive influence of the Church and its members.

President of the Republic of Kiribati, Taneti Maamau, with President John F. Larkin and Sister Robyn Larkin of the Marshall Islands/Kiribati Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


He particularly highlighted the impact of the Church’s health, education and humanitarian services.

The occasion was a three-day training workshop for leaders from the Marshall Islands / Kiribati Mission of the Church, held on the main island of Tarawa. Leaders came from a number of congregations on 14 Kiribati outer islands.

President John Larkin, Mission President, welcomed the 51 participants who serve in a variety of volunteer positions in church congregations.

He led a discussion-based training on the role of full-time missionaries in teaching individuals about the Church, and supporting returning members. He also emphasised the role of Church members in helping friends and neighbours learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Iotua Tune, First Counsellor in the mission presidency, and local stake and auxiliary leaders also provided discussion-based training to the leaders.

Topics included ministering, effective branch councils, performing priesthood ordinances, finance and membership records, temple preparation, missionary preparation and self-reliance. There was also a half-day health session addressing diabetes prevention, vegetable gardening and healthy cooking.


Elder and Sister Skibbe, a humanitarian missionary couple, provided hands-on instruction and training. In addition, as a qualified diabetes nurse, Sister Skibbe assessed the blood-sugar level of each participant and provided healthy living recommendations.


The Moroni High School principal, Banririe Nenebwati, outlined the entrance standards and enrolment process for students living on outer islands. The school currently supports over 700 students, a number of whom originate from the 14 islands represented at the workshop.

Several managers and staff from the Church’s Kiribati Service Centre also presented information on Church meetinghouse qualifications, financial management and materials ordering.

Currently there are over 22,000 Church members in Kiribati (21% of the total population), in two stakes and two districts. There are also over 100 missionaries serving in Kiribati.

The Republic of Kiribati is now ranked sixth in the world in terms of the number of Church members per capita.

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