RICH LDS HISTORY IN AMERICAN SAMOA SHARED
The Pacific Area Church History Advisor for the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) Brett Macdonald has collected, preserved and shared the history of the LDS Church in the Pacific by showcasing displays about the history of the church in the Pacific, which includes Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga. Last Saturday he shared his work on display for viewing at the LDS Church in Aua.
“The Mormons have a very rich history in the United States. But what a lot of people do not realize is that they have a very extensive, rich history here in American Samoa, too, when the first Mormons came as Hawaiian missionaries in 1863,” said Macdonald.
He explained that he is married to a Samoan and when his children were born he wanted to be able to do something to help contribute to their understanding of who they are. That is when he started to collect stories and history and began to do research in Hawaii, the mainland, New Zealand and Samoa.
Speaking of the displays and information showcased in his work on Friday, he said, “What we see here today is some of that research—some of the stories of the Latter Day Saints in American Samoa and Samoa. It started as a gift I wanted to give my children, but now it is a gift that can be shared with all people in American Samoa. This is part of their story, whether they are part of the Methodist Church or the LMS Church or whichever church, they share a common Christian background and our stories can strengthen each other. These are stories for all people no matter what faith they are,” he said.
Macdonald wishes for anyone who might have journals, photographs or documents that could be part of the church’s history to contact him through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email Vernetta Heem at, email@example.com.