‘This shows what people are made of’: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leaders visit Maui wildfire scene

Aug 20, 2023, 10:13 AM | Updated: Aug 21, 2023, 6:28 am

Elder Bragg speaks on a beach outside of Lahaina. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)...

Elder Bragg speaks on a beach outside of Lahaina. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

LAHAINA, Hawaii — Elder Mark A. Bragg with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with members of the Lahaina community and government leaders in the area. He led them on a tour of the temporary shelter in a church meetinghouse.

Elder Bragg, president of the Latter-day Saints Church’s North America West Area, visited Friday. The tour he gave briefed Hawaii Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke and State Sen. Lynn DeCoite on the services of one of two shelters that were set up by the church in Lahaina.

Both shelters are providing places for people to sleep, as well as a source of food, personal hygiene products and community connection.

“We are just so grateful for the outpouring of support. This shows what people are made of. In a time of crisis, in a time of devastation, it’s people, it’s community, it’s the Church that steps up,” said Luke.

Similarly, the senator had comments of thanks and enlightening recognition.

“I think the state can learn from something like this,” DeCoite said. “This is something I feel we need to take in and prepare ourselves. I have learned a lot here — more about people that are there for the community. I want to say thank you so much.”

Church members joined together on a beach near Lahaina to hear Elder Bragg speak during his visit.

“I would hope that everyone, Church members and those who are not members of our faith, that they feel hope,” said Bragg. “That there is a purpose in this.”

In an updated press release, the Church announced its donation of $1 million to the American Red Cross. The funds will go to shelters, meals, bedding, hygiene kits, medical and mental health, and family reunification services.

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‘This shows what people are made of’: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leaders visit Maui wildfire scene