Anchored In Faith: President Nelson Shares ‘Tender Moments’ With Church Members In Tonga

Oct 4, 2019, 7:41 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2023, 2:27 pm

NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga — On a Sunday morning in the capital city of Tonga, everything shuts down as the sound of church bells and singing can be heard ringing through the air. This is not a day for work or play but for worship, which is why this country is considered to be a nation of great faith.

According to records from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nearly 60% of Tongans are Latter-day Saints. That’s why the Church reports this country has the largest number of Latter-day Saints per capita of any nation in the world.

Decorations filled the streets to welcome President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Wendy, to the island nation on a sunny and humid day in May.

It had been 20 years since a president of the Church had come to Tonga and KSL TV was there to witness the anticipation building for the special visitor.

“It’s a very rare opportunity,” said The Honorable Samieula ‘Akilisi Pohiva, prime minister of Tonga. “[The Church] has been contributing so much to the overall reconstruction of the country in many areas.”

Konisenisi Lautaimi, 16, and her family had a chance to meet the prophet after recently losing their mother.

“From all these people in Tonga, he chose us to meet with him. It’s a great blessing for us,” Lautaimi said of the tender moment.

Tonga was just one of seven countries President Nelson visited during his nine-day, seven-country South Pacific Ministry in May.

KSL TV traveled to three of those countries — Tonga, Samoa and New Zealand — capturing stories of hope, courage, and adventure. Finding a people truly anchored in faith.

Watch Anchored In Faith with Dan Rascon on Sunday, Oct. 6 at noon on KSL 5 TV or on the KSL TV app.

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Anchored In Faith: President Nelson Shares ‘Tender Moments’ With Church Members In Tonga