Statue unveiling, dedication pay tribute to two Pacific pioneers President Hinckley speaks of early missionaries in Hawaii

While in Hawaii for the "Pioneers in the Pacific" celebration, President Gordon B. Hinckley participated Oct. 10 in the unveiling and dedication of a statue of Elder George Q. Cannon and Hawaiian native Jonathan Napela.

President Hinckley offered the dedicatory prayer and spoke about the two men, who were both instrumental in the spreading of the gospel in Hawaii and jointly translated the Book of Mormon into the Hawaiian language.The statue, sculpted for the celebration by BYU-Hawaii assistant professor Viliami Toluta'u, depicts the two men standing back to back.

"Their coming together was an inspired thing," said President Hinckley. "There isn't any doubt in my mind that the Lord brought them together for His great, eternal purposes,"

BYU-Hawaii Pres. Eric Shumway also spoke of the two men at the dedication. "Although they were both faithful to the end, the lives of Jonathan Napela and George Q. Cannon took very different paths after their close-companioned service together concluded in 1854.

"Anchored by his profound spiritual experiences in Hawaii, Elder Cannon returned to Utah where he was soon called as an apostle in the Church. He rose in leadership opportunities to become a member of the First Presidency and one of the most influential men in the Church.

"Napela died a leper on the forsaken shores of Kalaupapa (Hawaii's famous leper colony). But in those poignant moments of the Church's beginnings in Hawaii, these two men, their hearts knit together in love and duty, were the ones Heavenly Father raised up to lay the foundation of all that we see and enjoy in the Church in Hawaii today."

The statue is near the main doors of the George Q. Cannon Activities Center on the Laie campus of BYU-Hawaii.

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