The New Zealand Kaniva Pacific Newspaper reported that Prince Ata of Tonga, the youngest son of His Majesty King Tupou VI was scheduled to be baptized into the LDS church near the first of September, but the king sent the Prime Minister and soldiers to persuade his son to change his mind.
The baptism was scheduled to be held at the Havelu Stake Center, but first the soldiers came and then the Prime Minister to stop the baptism. Prince Ata would not agree, saying he wanted to be baptized.
According to unconfirmed reports delivered to Kaniva News, His Majesty warned his son, who is fourth in line to the throne, that “he could have some of his princely privileges revoked if he was baptized.”
Semisi Sika,, a Latter-day Saint who is also a member of Parliament, said that when the Prime Minister arrived and asked him to postpone the baptism, the prince again refused and told Mormon leaders to go ahead and baptize him.
The Prime Minister finally asked the prince and LDS leaders if they could wait as he wanted to go back and inform the king that Ata wanted the baptism to proceed.
When the Prime Minister returned, he asked if the prince would just agree to postpone his baptism until Their Majesties returned from a trip to the United States and Europe. The Prime Minister said Their Majesties said they wanted to attend the baptism.
Finally, the prince agreed to postpone his baptism, and now two months have passed and he still has not been baptized, though he attends the LDS church regularly.
According to Kaniva News, the growth of the Mormon Church in Tonga has been dramatic and it now the second largest in Tonga after the Free Wesleyan Church. Previously the Catholic Church was in second place.