Suva Fiji Temple open house: ‘Windows of heaven are open again’

Credit: IRI
Credit: IRI
Credit: © 2016 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved
Credit: IRI
Credit: IRI
Suva Fiji Temple Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Suva Fiji Temple The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Credit: IRI


As the public open house for the renovated Suva Fiji Temple began, President Vito M. Qaqa described the sentiment of Latter-day Saints in the Pacific island nation: “It feels like the windows of heaven are open again,” he said.

President Qaqa, chairman of the local temple committee and president of the Suva Fiji North Stake, added Latter-day Saints in Fiji feel “excitement and happiness” as the rededication of the temple approaches.

The Suva Fiji Temple — which serves more than 35,000 Latter-day Saints in Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands — was originally dedicated in June 2000 and was closed in October 2014 for renovation. The public open house for the temple began Jan. 25 and will continue through Feb. 6.

The colors and design motifs of the renovated temple were inspired by the flowers, beaches and jungles of Fiji. The interior of the temple features original art glass and a hand-painted mural depicting the landscape and flora of the islands.

President Qaqa said visitors to the temple admire the features of the 12,755-square-foot building, which stands 65-feet high. But they also feel something inside the temple. “The spirit they felt was real,” he said. “The importance of families was felt by all.”

President Qaqa said many visitors to the temple were expecting to see a large open room, but instead found individual rooms with different purposes. “Even our government leaders were touched as they went through.”

The Hon. Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Rear Admiral J.V. Bainimarama, toured the temple on Jan. 20. He was accompanied by other senior governmental leaders and hosted by members of the Pacific Area Presidency and other Church leaders. A number of Cabinet ministers and other senior leaders attended the special temple open house tour along with the Prime Minister.

“There was a great feeling of peace and comfort expressed by many,” said President Qaqa. “One government official said that he ‘did not want to lose that feeling and wished he could just lie down under a tree here to rest, not to be disturbed.’ ”

Latter-day Saints are excited to once again have a dedicated temple in Fiji, he added. “There is a drive now for those who have not been through the temple yet, to better their lives to attend. … Members want to rush to the temple to feel the spirit of peace and calm.”

President Qaqa said the open house is providing an opportunity for local Church members to teach those who visit the temple about the Church. “People are amazed at the good news that God loves us all,” he said. @SJW_ChurchNews

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