Pago Pago church breaks ground on temple

A ground breaking ceremony for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' all new temple in Pago Pago, American Samoa will be held on 9 October.

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.

“Leaders will break ground for the Pago Pago American Samoa Temple on Saturday, October 9, 2021. The event’s presiding Church leader will be determined based on travel requirements related to COVID-19,” the statement reads.

The ceremony’s presiding Church leader, Area Seventy Elder Sapele Faalogo, did not respond to an email query. 

More than 16,000 Latter-day Saints live in American Samoa. It will be the first temple in the American territory. 

Residents of American Samoa 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. As part of his Pacific ministry tour, he visited the Apia Samoa Temple and the Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple.

President Nelson announced both temples in April 2019.

A ground breaking ceremony for the new Neiafu, Tonga Temple has been scheduled for 11 September; it is the second temple to be constructed in the country. 

Elder ‘Inoke F. Kupu of the Quorum of the Seventy will preside at the event.

Attendance at the ground breaking ceremonies will be by invitation only. 

The ceremonies will be broadcast to congregations in the two temple districts.

The Neiafu Tonga Temple will be built at the site of the Church-owned Saineha High School. The single-story structure will be about 17,000 square feet. 

The temple follows the construction of a temple at Nuku’alofa, Tonga

Tonga is home to more than 66,000 Latter-day Saints — roughly 60 per cent of the nation’s population.

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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