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President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, rededicated the Suva Fiji Temple on Sunday, February 21, 2016.
In spite of the damage to the city of Suva caused by Cyclone Winston, members arrived safely at the temple after the cyclone had passed to participate in the Suva Fiji Temple rededication sessions. They traveled along the debris-strewn roads and some were delayed by check-points, but still they came. President Eyring arrived excited to join with the Fijian Saints in anticipation of this very sacred event.
Fiji Suva Mission President LaMar L. Layton reports that all missionaries are safe and that they spent the day participating in the Suva Fiji Temple rededication. Cyclone Winston with winds as high as 184 miles per hour hit Fiji at about 7:00 p.m. local time Saturday night.
The day before the temple was rededicated 1,300 Latter-day Saint youth performed in a cultural celebration that honored the pioneers of the Church and the early pioneers of the Pacific in helping the worldwide faith to grow.
“I join with you,” said President Eyring, “in celebrating the great contributions of so many who have built up the kingdom of God in these islands. You will touch hearts that will transform those in this audience with feelings of love for the Lord and gratitude for all that Heavenly Father has done for us.”
The cultural celebration was moved up from the evening to the afternoon, and the program was shortened due to the impending cyclone. The program had been scheduled for the outdoor venue in the ANZ Stadium in Suva but was moved across the street from the stadium to the enclosed Vodafone Arena.
The temple exterior features Italian granite. The building stands 65 feet high and is crowned with a gilded statue of the angel Moroni, who is significant to Latter-day Saints for his role in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The colors and design motifs of the temple were inspired by the flowers, beaches and jungles of Fiji. The interior of the temple features original art glass and a hand-painted mural depicting the landscape and flora of the islands.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from churches where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where the teachings of Jesus Christ are reaffirmed through baptism, marriage and other ceremonies that unite families for eternity.
Additional information about the Suva Fiji Temple is available on http://mormontemples.org.