Leaders, missionaries and other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently participated in a week-long Coronation celebration in honour of Their Majesties King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u.
Elder O. Vincent Haleck of the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Pacific Area Seventy, Elder Aisake Tukuafu, led the Latter-day Saint delegations at some of the events over the course of the week. Elder Haleck was accompanied by his wife, Sister Peggy A. Haleck.
Prince Ata, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was an honoured member of the Latter-day Saint party, offering a gift to his parents, the King and Queen, on behalf of the Church.
The King and Queen were presented with artwork created by artist Tevita Pola’apau. The work portrays the first King of Tonga, Tupou I.
In 1891, the first Latter-day Saint missionaries arrived in Tonga. They immediately held an audience with King Tupou I, who granted them permission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Church and the Tongan people continue to enjoy a strong relationship. Members and guests of the Church worship in more than 166 Tongan congregations each Sunday.
The Church also operates two high schools and five middle schools in the Kingdom of Tonga, as well as sponsoring a range of humanitarian and other community efforts.
The Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple was dedicated by former Church leader Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) in 1983.