Elder Faalogo confirms new temple details

Area Seventy for American Samoa, Elder Faapito Auapaau will preside over the 9 October 2021 ground breaking ceremony for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ new temple in Pago Pago.

This was confirmed in an email from Elder Sapele Faalogo, Jr., the Pacific Area Seventy for the Church of Jesus Christ to the Samoa Observer.

“Elder Faapito Auapaau, Area Seventy for American Samoa will be attending the groundbreaking ceremony,” Elder Faalogo said in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.

Elder Auapaau is a Samoa College graduate and a production manager for StarKist Samoa. 

He is one of 58 Area Seventies who were sustained in their callings during the 190th General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ held in April last year. 

At the time, he was President of the Pago Pago Samoa Mapusaga Stake. 

Elder Faalogo told the Samoa Observer that Latter-day Saints will no longer have to travel to Apia to attend the Temple in Pesega, following the commissioning of the new Pago Pago American Samoa Temple.

It will increase Temple attendance for members in American Samoa, he noted while expressing gratitude for the new temple.

“Temples are spiritually significant places for worshiping our loving Father in Heaven, for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day-Saints," he said. 

"I am deeply grateful to know that the people of American Samoa will soon have a temple close by.

“They will be able to attend the temple more often. Their families will be blessed. Their joy in Jesus Christ, our Saviour will increase.  

"They will have more peace in their lives. Once the sacred edifice is dedicated, the American Samoa saints will no longer need to travel to Apia.”

The groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Saturday 9 October and will be the first temple in the American territory.

The date set by the First Presidency in Salt Lake City, Utah was revealed in a 27 July news release issued by the Church of Jesus Christ.

More than 16,000 Latter-day Saints live in American Samoa and some of them travel to the Apia Samoa Temple to perform sacred ordinances. 

 The Pago Pago American Samoa Temple will be built on Ottoville Road on the site of the Pago Pago Samoa Central Stake Centre in Tafuna. 

The single-story structure will be roughly 17,000 square feet. The temple construction will also include housing for the temple President, matron and missionaries and a distribution center. 

Church President Russell M. Nelson ministered in the South Pacific in May of 2019 after announcing the American Samoa temple a month earlier. 

Attendance at the ground breaking ceremony will be by invitation only, though the ceremony will be broadcast to congregations in the two temple districts.

Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ from meetinghouses or chapels, where members meet for Sunday worship services. 

Each temple is considered a “house of the Lord,” where Jesus Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. 

In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to follow Jesus Christ and serve their fellow man.

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