News Release

Why the Port Vila Vanuatu Temple Matters

God remembers the people on the isles of the sea

On 4 April, 2020, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made a special announcement. A temple would be built in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Port Vila Vanuatu temple site on Saturday, 8 April 2023.


Here is what people attending the event said:

Lionel Patterson Lui: “I loved seeing our Prime Minister and President turn the soil. It was a great day. I felt the spirit [of the Lord] and joy, and I can just imagine Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ smiling. 2 Nephi 29:7 tells us that Heavenly Father remembers those who are on the islands of the sea. I am grateful that He remembers His children and is blessing us with a temple.”

Antolyn Kalpoi: “To me it was a miracle. The weather was fine and even though there was issue with the national airline, everything was fine in the end. The gospel is true, and the Saviour Jesus Christ lives.”

Sandrina Yunack: “I was so happy to be part of the dedication and groundbreaking. When Elder Nattress was offering the dedication prayer, I felt the spirit and the presence of Heavenly Father. I felt like I was already in the Holy Temple. I truly know this is the place that Heavenly Father has blessed for the temple to be.”

Rose Vano: “The temple is a big blessing to me and my family because it represents the presence of Heavenly Father and His love for us.”

Evana Vanva: “The temple is where we can find the doctrines of Christ and learn something from heaven. I loved it. I can’t wait for the temple be built. I can’t wait to serve in the temple.”

May Hilliman: “The temple is very important to me. Without the temple we don’t know who we are. We learn in the temple who we are and where we come from and where we will go. I love the temple. I am so happy today!”

Preston Thomas: “The temple teaches us the plan of salvation so we can prepare for God's Kingdom. We are saving our money to go to the Fiji temple as soon as we can, because we want our family to be sealed. We will be ready for our own temple and we won't have to go so far away.”

Asha Boehula: “My name, Asha, means hope. A temple also means hope. It means that I don’t have to travel so very far to be in heaven on earth. Even though we live in Santo Island, we will come to the temple often. We want to come more often. I want my family to understand and experience the blessings of the temple, the blessings of eternity, and the blessing of finding peace. There is a sacred feeling in the temple that you can’t get anywhere else.”

Estella Hilliman: “The temple will change our lives. When you come back from a temple, you come back with the power of God.”

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