News Release

Responding with Love and Service Connects Families Across Generations

French Polynesians celebrate their ancestors on All Saints Day

Dia de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead, is a Mexican cultural holiday that honours loved ones who have passed away.

Across the Pacific Ocean, the people of French Polynesia also pay tribute to their deceased loved ones, as part of a tradition known as “All Saints Day,” which is held annually on 1st November.


Young adults of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Faa, on the island of Tahiti, participated in a two-part project to honour their ancestors.

First, they beautified graves by cleaning, weeding and decorating with beautiful bouquets of flowers.

Then they gathered at the local Church Family History centre to add memories, including photos and anecdotal stories, about their family members to, an online tool that helps people connect with their family across generations.

On Takapoto, an island nearly 600 kilometers from the capital city of Pape’ete, families including young children responded to an invitation from the Mayor to clean and paint the graves in the local cemetery.

Gathering at the graveside is an important part of the All Saints Day tradition for the families of French Polynesia.

Moea Mariteragi Jourdain, from Arue, Tahiti, said, "It is a special moment…all the generations meet at the cemetery, grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren.”

After cleaning her father’s grave, teenager Mihiau Jean said, "It felt good and soothing to come here. It made me think about the Prophet, Russell M. Nelson's recent invitation to go to the temple more often. Because I am sealed to my parents, I know that I will be reunited with my father. I am so happy to know that we are an eternal family."

Daisy Maraetefau shared about her niece, who passed away just over a year ago. "We miss her so much, but our loved ones never leave us. They are remembered in the depths of our hearts.

Latter-day Saints believe that the soul of a person includes both the physical body and a spirit in the likeness of the physical body. At death, the spirit “return[s] unto that God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7) and awaits the resurrection, the reuniting of the spirit with a new physical body. They believe that every person born on earth will be resurrected because Jesus Christ overcame death for all (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).

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