News Release

Tongan Prince Visits Utah

His Royal Highness Prince Ata of Tonga, second son of His Royal Majesty King Tupou VI and HRM Queen Nanasipau’u, is visiting Utah, in the United States, in an unofficial capacity.

Baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just over a year ago, the Prince indicated that his desire is to visit important Church sites and operations in Salt Lake City and surrounding area.


He was welcomed to the U.S. and accompanied on his tour by local Tongan Church leaders, beginning with a dinner and dance.

The dinner guests included Elder John H. Groberg, general authority emeritus and Eric B. Shumway, former area seventy. Both are respected and much-loved former mission presidents in Tonga.

Prince Ata’s comprehensive tour took him to Church Headquarters in Salt Lake City. There he met with Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and with leaders of several Church departments. He visited the Church History Museum, Family History Library, and Bishop’s Central Storehouse also in Salt Lake City.

At the Mormon Miracle Pageant, in Manti, Utah, an annual production depicting Church history events, the Prince was accompanied by several Church leaders who participated in a dinner and devotional prior to viewing the show with a cast of over 500.

Utah's Governor, Gary R. Herbert, welcomed Prince Ata at his office in the Utah State Capitol Building.


While in Utah Prince Ata is attending Sunday services and devotionals with U.S. Tongan congregations and will also visit several of the LDS temples in the area.

At the Provo Missionary Training Centre he was pleased to greet missionaries currently studying languages there, including Tongan, as they prepare to go to their various places of assignment.


Prince Ata also toured Brigham Young University campus in Provo, Utah where he was greeted by university president, Kevin J. Worthen. He then was excited to visit with BYU football coach, Kalani Sitake, a fellow Tongan, and some members of his staff and players. While at BYU he also met with various administrators and faculty to discuss business and agricultural practices.


Concluding his tour with an evening of entertainment, Prince Ata will attend “America’s Freedom Festival at Provo,” an annual event attended by over 40,000 in celebration of America’s Fourth of July Independence Day. The sponsoring organization is a “private, non-profit, non-political foundation whose mission is to celebrate, teach, honor, and strengthen the traditional American values of God, family, freedom, and country.” The show concludes with one of the largest fireworks displays in America.




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