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Nuku’alofa Tonga

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“A forest on the island” originalmaja

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Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple Wiki

Description

The Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple (formerly the Tongan Temple) is the 25th constructed and 23rd operating temple. Tonga has more Mormons per capita than any other nation in the world. Forty two percent of the population are members of the Church. The Nuku’alofa Temple serves more than 45,000 Mormon members in the Tongan islands.  It is located in the middle of Tonga’s main island Tongatapu near Matangiake. The area where the temple is located is commonly known as Liahona, after the name of the church-owned high school there. The temple is several miles south of its namesake city, the capital Nukuʻalofa. The Tonga temple is very busy, staying open six days a week and even all night on the last Friday of every month so that all who want to attend have the opportunity. This is in part because of the Tongan people’s respect for their ancestors and interest in family history work.

History

Tonga’s deeply spiritual people have a long history of religious dedication, partly rooted in local legend. In 1839, King George Tupou I dedicated his country and its people to God, throwing soil into the sky to signify giving his land to heaven. To this day, Tongans credit God for allowing them to retain independence from Western colonizers; Tonga is the only Pacific nation to have done so. Their national motto conveys their continued faith: “God and Tonga Are My Inheritance.”

Tongan Latter-day Saints consider the Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple to be part of their inheritance. It provides a tranquil place of respite and a reverent atmosphere where they can rededicate themselves to God.

Announcement

On April 2, 1980 the Mormon Church announced that a temple would be built in Nuku’alofa Tonga.

Groundbreaking

A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication were held on February 18, 1981. President of the Church at the time, Spencer W. Kimball presided at the ceremony and gave the dedicatory prayer. Tonga’s king, Tauga’ahau Tupou IV attended the ceremony. Labor missionaries who volunteered their time from New Zealand and other South Pacific Islands did most of the construction of the temple.

Open House

The Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple was open to the public for tours July 19th through the 30th 1983.

Dedication

Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the temple in 7 sessions held during 9-11 August 9-11 1983.[1] [2], almost a century after the 1891 arrival of the first Mormons in Tonga. In his dedicatory prayer, President Gordon B. Hinckley mentioned these missionaries and others when he said,

“We are grateful for the strength of Thy work in these friendly islands. We thank Thee for the missionaries who for many years have come here to bring the glad tidings of the restored gospel.”[3]

Dedicatory Prayer

Dedication Order

It is the 23rd temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the fourth in the Pacific.

Renovation

The temple was closed for renovation in July 2006. [4]

Open House

After completion, an open house was held September 29 to October 20, 2007. Approximately 40,000 people, or nearly 40 percent of the country’s population, toured the temple during the 19 day open house, an average of 2,105 per day.

Rededication

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles rededicated the Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple on 4 November 2007 over 2 sessions.[5][2] In his dedicatory prayer he said,

“We thank Thee for the growth of Thy work here, for the many wonderful and devoted Latter-day Saints who comprise the membership of Thy Church, for their faithfulness, their leadership, and their love for Thee and for Thy Beloved Son.”[6]

By the time the temple was renovated and rededicated, Latter-day Saints had grown to include over 40 percent of the country’s population, making Tonga the nation with the highest percentage of Mormons per capita in the world. Today there are over 61,000 members of the Church in Tonga.

Presidents

Temple PresidentYears Served
President Taniela A. Langi2016–
President Samisoni Uasila’a2013–2016
President Pita F. Hopoate2010–2013
President Eric B. Shumway2007–2010
President M. Veuki Kaumatule2001–2007
President Sione M. Fineanganofo1998–2001
President ‘Uiha Tu’ikolouatu1995–1998
President Tevita Ka’ili1992–1995
President Patrick D. Dalton Jr.1990–1992
President Semisi N. Tonga1987–1990
President Tonga T. Paletu’a1983–1987

Details

Designed by Church architect Emil B. Fetzer, the Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple bears aesthetic similarities to other Pacific temples he designed, such as the Sydney Australia Temple and the Papeete Tahiti Temple.

Location

On a Pacific island blanketed by lush vegetation and dotted with small villages, the Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple occupies 1.2 tropically landscaped acres.

The temple was built on a 5-acre (20,000 m2) plot, has 2 ordinance rooms and 3 sealing rooms, and has a total floor area of 14,572 square feet (1,353.8 m2).

Loto Road, Liahona
Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu
Tonga

Width

Official
Meters  35.05[calculated]
 Feet  115
Estimated
[Sat Image measuring tools]
 Meters  
Feet  

Length

Official
 Meters  60.96[calculated]
 Feet  200
Estimated
[Sat Image measuring tools]
 Meters  
 Feet  

Official Area

Meters  1968.06
Feet  21,184
[Sat Image measuring tools]
Latitude  -21.162842
Longitude  -175.272449

Elevation

[Sat Image measuring tools]
Meters  15.00
Feet  49.2

Exterior


Cladding

Windows

Symbolism

Inscriptions

Cornerstone

Spires and Moroni

Spire

A single spire graces the Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple’s symmetrical structure

Moroni

and is topped by a life-sized statue of angel Moroni, an ancient prophet whose teachings are recorded in the Book of Mormon.

Sculptor
Version
Placed
Faces
Height
Feet
Meters

Interior

Baptistry, two ordinance rooms, celestial room, three sealing rooms

Those who toured the 14,572 square foot temple were able to see the exterior, walk the grounds of the five acre temple site, and see the interior which includes two ordinance rooms, three sealing rooms, the Celestial room, and baptistery, as well as other facilities needed to carry out ordinances according to Mormon beliefs. The temple is the only one in Tonga, and has a floor plan similar to other southern Pacific temples, including the Apia Samoa (rebuilt in 2005) and the Papeete Tahiti temples.

The temple originally contained 14,000 square feet but now has 21,000. Inside the temple are instruction rooms; sealing rooms, where weddings take place; a baptistry; and a celestial room, which represents heaven on earth.

Individuals and Contractors

Architect   Emil B. Fetzer
Project Manager   Richard Westover and Richard Roley
Contractor Utah Construction & Development.
Architect 2005 Naylor Whentworth and Lund Architects
Project Manager 2005
Alan Rudolf
Contractor 2005
 Cabella Construction

Sources and Links

External links

  • LDS.org(official)
  • MormonTemples.org (official)
  • MormonNewsroom.org (official)
  • LDSChurchTemples.com
  • LDSChurchNewsArchive.com
  • Wikipedia

Additional Articles

Sources/Citation

  1. [1] “Utah’s People of Color; Significant Events in the Ethnic Communities of Utah”. Salt Lake Tribune. 27 December 1998. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  2. [2] “LDS church rededicates Tonga temple”. Salt Lake Tribune. AP. 5 November 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  3. [3]“Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple: We Thank Thee for Thy Many Sons and Daughters of Tonga Who Have Similarly Served with Great Devotion,” Church News, Aug. 14, 1983.
  4. [4]“Press release”, Newsroom, LDS Church, 2007-07-10, retrieved 2012-10-07
  5. [5]Weaver, Sara Jane (2007-11-05), “LDS Tonga Temple rededicated”, Deseret Morning News, retrieved 2012-10-07
  6. [6]“Nuku’alofa Tonga: ‘Smile upon It,’” Church News, Nov. 4, 2007.

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