News Release

President Russell M. Nelson's 2019 Pacific Ministry

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited Latter-day Saints and others in the Pacific from May 16, 2019, to May 25, 2019. He and Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles ministered in Hawaii, Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Tahiti. 

A summary of their visits is below.

Historical information: See lists of previous visits to the Pacific made by President Nelson and past Church presidents.

Kona, Hawaii

Hundreds of Hawaiian Latter-day Saints greeted the Nelsons and the Gongs at a meeting with young single adults, a reception with community leaders, and an evening devotional. Read more.

Downloadable video from Kona: B-roll | SOTs


Apia, Samoa

President Nelson counseled Samoans to “please protect your children. Help them to know the Lord and love Him and keep His commandments and be free from the shackles of addiction and bondage.” He also met with Samoan community leaders, including the prime minister and the head of state. Read more.

Downloadable video from Apia: B-roll | SOTs


Prior to the devotional in Apia, President Nelson sat down for an interview with Mata‘afa Keni Lesa, editor of the Samoa Observer.


Sydney, Australia

President Nelson reminded a capacity crowd of 8,000 Latter-day Saints at the International Convention Centre in Sydney of the power and importance of the Book of Mormon in their personal lives and in the growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Australia. Read more.

Downloadable video from Sydney: B-roll | SOTs


Wellington, New Zealand

President Nelson met with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as he reached the midway point of his nine-day Pacific ministry visits to seven countries. Read more.

Downloadable video from Wellington: SOTs


Auckland, New Zealand

President Nelson announced the location of the Church's newest tempel in New Zealand during a Tuesday evening devotional in Auckland. The Auckland New Zealand Temple, announced in October 2018, will be the country’s second temple. The Hamilton New Zealand Temple is currently closed for renovation. Read more.

Downloadable video from Auckland: B-roll | SOTs


Prior to the devotional, the prophet met with local leaders, including Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, who spoke briefly at a reception.


Suva, Fiji

In Fiji, President Nelson reminded Saints of their divine potential. “What does [God] want [from us] for Himself?" President Nelson asked. "Fortunately, He has given us the answer. He said, ‘what I want most of all is for my children to be immortal and to have the gift of eternal life.’” Elder Gong encouraged the Fijian Saints to stand strong against the rising tide of illicit drugs entering their country. Read more.

Downloadable video from Suva: B-roll | SOTs


Nuku‘alofa, Tonga

President Nelson arrived in Nuku‘alofa, Tonga’s capital, to minister to Latter-day Saints and to meet with government and interfaith leaders in the Pacific nation, where more than 60 percent of the population claims Church membership. Read more.

Downloadable video from Nuku‘alofa: B-roll | SOTs

President and Sister Nelson visited the king and queen of Tonga, His Majesty King Tupou VI and Her Majesty Queen Nanasipau‘u, in the Royal Palace in Nuku‘alofa. Elder Gerrit W. Gong and his wife, Susan, and Elder Vincent O. Haleck and his wife, Peggy, also met with the king and queen.


The Church leaders' spouses spoke about meeting the queen.


President Nelson, Elder Gong and Elder Haleck also shared their thoughts about meeting the king and queen.


Papeete, Tahiti

“There’s trouble ahead. … Prepare for attacks from the adversary. Please protect yourself from Satan's traps, including harmful drugs and pornography,” warned President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as he concluded his nine-day Pacific ministry in Papeete, Tahiti, the capital of French Polynesia.

President Nelson met with French Polynesian president Édouard Fritch prior to the 175th anniversary cultural program celebrating the arrival of the first missionaries to French Polynesia. Read more.

Downloadable video from Papeete: B-roll | SOTs


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