Regional Church News


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) was established in the Hawaiian Islands in 1850 following the Edict of Toleration promulgated by Kamehameha III, giving the underground Hawaii Catholic Church the right to worship, and at the same time allowing other faith traditions to begin establishing themselves.

File:LDS Laie Hawaii Temple front view.jpg

The first LDS Church missionary to have success among the Hawaiians was George Q. Cannon. Among his earliest converts were men well-versed in the Hawaiian language, such as Jonatana Napela and Uaua. After the construction of the Hawaii Temple, the Latter-day Saints founded the Church College of Hawaii, now Brigham Young University-Hawaii (BYU-Hawaii), along with the associated Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC), the state's largest living museum, and an entertainment center;[1] which draws a million visitors annually. The Mormon population in Hawaii continued to increase, and the Kona Hawaii Temple, a second LDS Church temple for the islands, was completed in Kailua Kona on the island of Hawaii in 2000.

As of January 1, 2011, there were 69,872 Latter-day Saints organized into 15 stakes, 124 wards, and 10 branches, in Hawaii, and there was one mission. In addition there were 25 Family History Centers, used for genealogical research and study.[2] Hawaii has the highest concentration of Latter-day Saints of U.S. states that do not border Utah.


The first ten Mormon missionaries departed San Francisco for Hawaii during the California Gold Rush on the ship Imaum of Muscat, arriving on December 12, 1850, in Honolulu Harbor of what was then known as the Sandwich Islands.[3] With Hiram Clark presiding, the missionaries included Elders Henry Bigler, Hiram Blackwell, George Q. Cannon, John Dixon, William Farrer, James Hawkins, James Keeler, Thomas Morris, and Thomas Whittle. A day after their arrival the group climbed a hill above Honolulu (Pacific Heights), constructed a small, makeshift altar and said a prayer. A week later, the ten missionaries received their assignments: Farrer and Dixon headed to the island of Kaua'i, Cannon, Keeler, and Bigler to Lahaina on the island of Maui, Blackwell and Hawkins to the Big Island of Hawaii, with Morris, Whittle, and Clark staying behind in Honolulu. This group formed the basis of the Sandwich Islands Mission.[4] The first church congregation in Hawaii was established on the island of Maui in 1851.[5] Among the early converts of Cannon were three prominent native Hawaiians: Napela, Uaua and Kaleohano who would later serve as prominent missionaries and leaders in the LDS Church.[6]

Missionaries lead a group of Hawaiian Latter-day Saints in establishing a colony on the island of [[Lanai|LānaTemplate:Okinai]] in 1854.[7] In 1857 the American missionaries left due to the Utah War. No new missionaries came until Walter Murray Gibson arrived in 1861. Gibson instituted irregular activities such as selling the priesthood. Some local leaders, such as Napela, sent letters to Salt Lake City asking for Gibson to be replaced. In response, Ezra T. Benson and Lorenzo Snow of the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were sent to take over the leadership of the mission, with the assistance of Joseph F. Smith, who had been a missionary in Hawaii for much of the 1850s. Most of the membership followed Benson, Snow, and Smith, but in the process ownership of the property on Lanai was lost. A new colony for Hawaiian Latter-day Saints was established in [[Lā'ie, Hawai'i|LāTemplate:Okinaie]].[8]

In 1889, Iosepa, Utah was founded as a colony for Hawaiian Latter-day Saints. This colony functioned until 1915 when the saints there were encouraged to return to Hawaii in anticipation of the building of a temple there. The first stake in Hawaii was organized in 1935.[9]

In 1937, the Japanese Mission was organized in Hawaii to focus on teaching the ethnic Japanese in Hawaii. This mission existed until 1950 when it was merged into the Hawaiian mission.[10]



Laie Hawaii Temple

The Laie Hawaii Temple is located on the northeast shore of the Hawaiian island of [[Oahu|OTemplate:Okinaahu]]. The temple sits on a small hill a half-mile from the Pacific Ocean in the town of Laie, Template:Convert from Honolulu. Along with BYU-Hawaii and the PCC, the Laie Hawaii Temple plays an important role in the town of Lā'ie,[11] with the temple Visitors' Center attracting more than 100,000 people annually.[12]

The Hawaii Temple was the first LDS Church temple built outside of the continental United States. The temple is also the oldest to operate outside of Utah, and the fifth-oldest still in operation. The site of the temple was dedicated by church president Joseph F. Smith on June 1, 1915, and the completed structure was dedicated by church president Heber J. Grant on November 27, 1919. The Laie Hawaii Temple was formerly known as the Hawaiian Temple or the Hawaii Temple until a standard naming convention for LDS temples was adopted in the early 2000s.


Kona Hawaii Temple

The Kona Hawaii Temple became the church's seventieth temple, announced on May 7, 1998. Located in the town of Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawai‘i, the site of Kona Hawaii Temple was dedicated on March 13, 1999. The structure itself was constructed in concrete, white marble and some native materials. Architects used a simple classical design featuring a single spire. The completion and official dedication was celebrated on January 23, 2000 by church president Gordon B. Hinckley.

Template:LDS Temple list top Template:LDS Temple/Laie Hawaii Temple Template:LDS Temple/Kona Hawaii Temple |}

See also






Further reading

External links


  1. Polynesian Cultural Center Official Site. Retrieved on 2010-12-22.
  2. USA-Hawaii, Country/State profiles, LDS Newsroom, LDS Church
  3. Template:Harvnb.
  4. Template:Harvnb
  5. Template:Harvnb.
  6. LDS Church Almanac 2010 Edition, p. 331
  7. Template:Harvnb.
  8. LDS Church Almanc 2010 edition, p. 331
  9. LDS Church Alamanc, 2010 edition, p. 331
  10. LDS Church Almanac, 2010 edition, p. 331
  11. Template:Cite journal
  12. Template:Cite news
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.