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The Apia Samoa Temple is the 22nd operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is located adjacent to the sprawling campus of the Church College of Western Samoa (a combined elementary, middle, and high school), on the western outskirts of Apia in Pesega. Numerous other Church buildings occupy Pesega including mission headquarters, Church administrative buildings, and a meetinghouse. The breathtaking grounds—open to the public—feature a wide variety of healthy foliage and a striking water feature at the entrance to the building.

Temple History

The Apia Samoa Temple was the first temple built in Samoa and the third built in Polynesia, following the Laie Hawaii Temple (1919) and the Hamilton New Zealand Temple (1958).

The Apia Samoa Temple was the second temple to be completely destroyed and rebuilt. (The other is the Nauvoo Temple.)

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Apia Samoa Temple was held just one day after the groundbreaking ceremony for the Nuku'alofa Tonga Temple, marking the first time that groundbreaking ceremonies were held on back-to-back days. The two buildings were built at the same time and were nearly identical in appearance until the Apia Samoa Temple was rebuilt in the mid-2000s.

The Samoa Temple—as it was originally called—was to be constructed in Pago Pago, American Samoa as a regional temple to serve the saints of Samoa, Tonga, French Polynesia (Tahiti), and Fiji.

On April 2, 1980, President Spencer W. Kimball's landmark announcement of 7 new temples suddenly tripled the number of temples planned for Polynesia. The Samoa Temple would be relocated from Pago Pago, American Samoa to Apia, Samoa, where most members lived. And additional temples would be built in Nuku'alofa, Tonga and Papeete, Tahiti.

2003 Temple Fire

Tragedy struck the Apia Samoa Temple on a Wednesday evening, July 9, 2003, when fire engulfed the temple in a 45-minute blaze that granted the arriving 3 fire trucks and 100 volunteers too little time to save the building—though flames that threatened adjoining Church buildings were successfully extinguished. The next morning, overwhelmed citizens found courage in the sight of the angel Moroni standing dignified atop the remaining steel-and-concrete skeleton. The temple had been closed for an expansion and renovation project—the likely origin of the fire—and was scheduled for rededication later that year. No one was injured in the fire, and no records were destroyed, having been removed prior to renovation activity.

A week after receiving the devastating news of the fire, President Gordon B. Hinckley sent a letter to the Area Presidency, dated July 16, 2003, announcing the temple would be rebuilt. A grateful congregation gathered on the hallowed site just months later to join in the groundbreaking services, held Sunday, October 19, 2003. Elder Dennis E. Simmons of the Seventy presided at the ceremony. He expressed the deep feelings of emptiness felt by the Samoan saints who also rejoiced in the temple's reconstruction. To create a larger site for the temple and to afford a better view for passers-by, a dated meetinghouse that shared the site was razed, and a replacement chapel was built across the street.

On January 25, 2005, the same angel Moroni statue that had survived the fire reclaimed its place atop the spire of the new temple. The statue was retrieved from the remains of the original building on July 24, 2003, and kept in storage until its reinstallment.

The original 14,560 square-foot building followed the same design used for other temples built in the South Pacific in the 1980s: "R-wall" masonry exterior finish over concrete block and a split cedar shake shingle roof.


Temple District

Samoa

  1. Apia Samoa Stake
  2. Apia Samoa Central Stake
  3. Apia Samoa West Stake
  4. Pesega Samoa Stake
  5. Savaii Samoa Stake
  6. Savaii Samoa Fagamalo Stake
  7. Savaii Samoa Pu'apu'a Stake
  8. Savaii Samoa Sagone Stake
  9. Savaii Samoa South Stake
  10. Savaii Samoa West Stake
  11. Upolu Samoa Aleisa Stake
  12. Upolu Samoa East Stake
  13. Upolu Samoa Faleasi'u Stake
  14. Upolu Samoa Malie Stake
  15. Upolu Samoa North Stake
  16. Upolu Samoa Nu'umau Stake
  17. Upolu Samoa Saleilua Stake
  18. Upolu Samoa South Stake
  19. Upolu Samoa Tafuaupolu Stake
  20. Upolu Samoa West Stake

American Samoa

  1. Pago Pago Samoa Central Stake
  2. Pago Pago Samoa Malaeimi Stake
  3. Pago Pago Samoa Mapusaga Stake
  4. Pago Pago Samoa Stake
  5. Pago Pago Samoa West Stake

Presidents

  1. Beaver T. Ho Ching 2017–
  2. Douglas W. Jessop 2014–2017
  3. Alema S. Fitisemanu 2011–2014
  4. J. Phillip Hanks 2008–2011
  5. Suau'upaia K. Pe'a 2005–2008
  6. Daniel A. Betham 2000–2003
  7. R. Wayne Shute 1997–2000
  8. Harold R. Johnson 1995–1997
  9. Percy Syddall 1992–1995
  10. Burton H. Price 1989–1992
  11. Tufuga S. Atoa 1986–1989
  12. Charles I. Sampson 1983–1986

See Also

References


Apia Samoa Temple

Apiatemple2.jpg

The Apia Samoa Temple is the 22nd operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. t is located adjacent to the sprawling campus of the Church College of Western Samoa (a combined elementary, middle, and high school), on the western outskirts of Apia in Pesega. Numerous other Church buildings occupy Pesega including mission headquarters, Church administrative buildings, and a meetinghouse. The breathtaking grounds—open to the public—feature a wide variety of healthy foliage and a striking water feature at the entrance to the building.

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