News Release

Vanuatu Latter-day Saints Share Feelings of Love for God, His Temple, and Their Nation

Port Vila Temple groundbreaking date announced by First Presidency


The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced today that the Port Vila Vanuatu Temple groundbreaking will be held on 4 March 2023, signalling the start of its construction.

In October 2020, Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church, announced plans for a temple in Vanuatu.

A number of local members of the Church share why the temple is important to them and their communities, in the comments below:

Yvon Basil: Stake President from Port Vila

“A temple in Vanuatu will bless the lives of the people and bring them closer to the Saviour, when they perform sacred ordinances for themselves and for their ancestors. People will feel the joy of serving in the Lord's holy temple and will feel closer to Jesus Christ as they make covenants with Him and keep them. This is the Lord's Holy house on earth, where His presence can be felt. My experience in the past weeks, in the temple in Suva Fiji, has brought me closer to the Saviour and I felt the love He has for us, by giving us the temple where we can worship Him away from the worries of the world.”

Paul Hillman: Pioneer Latter-day Saint from Port Vila

“One of my dreams is to have a temple beside our doorstep, so that we don't need to worry about the fare travelling to another country, [to do] our ordinances and receiving a blessing for the temple. I am so grateful to hear the temple will be built here, in our own country to bless us and our nation. I know that the temple is the House of the Lord, when we prepare spiritually and enter the temple we will receive all blessings from on high.”

Boehula Willam: Church leader from Luganville

“When I heard the announcement from President Russell M. Nelson about Vanuatu having its own temple, I was very surprised and very, very happy. Immediately, I started messaging my friends to share the wonderful news. I felt strongly the love of the Lord for the people of Vanuatu.”

Lorenzo Massing: Young adult from Etas

“I’m so happy that we are going to have a temple in Vanuatu so that I can attend often, when I need to. I remember attending the temple in Fiji, inside was very clean and quiet and I felt the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I felt like I want to stay more in the temple. I know that they live and they are always by our side to support us in times of need. I know that Heavenly Father loves each of us, that's why He is bringing this salvation to us. It helps me to make better choices every day. The temple will bless the people in Vanuatu.

Norma Velly: Mother and a member of the Relief Society presidency from Black Sands

For me, having a temple in Vanuatu means increasing attendance to gaining spiritual strength, so I can bear daily challenges and be sustained in unknown journeys with peace and comfort. This temple will be a testimony of eternal blessings to my families yet to receive theirs, and a beacon to the people of Vanuatu that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and that there is life beyond the grave.”

Young adults, Louisette Waiane, Dack Tivles and Eunice James shared the excitement and joy they felt when the temple was first announced with reporters from the ‘For the Strength of Youth’ Church magazine. You can read their comments here.

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