Exterior renderings showing the planned design for the Neiafu Tonga Temple and the Pago Pago American Samoa Temple were released on Aug. 14.
Neiafu Tonga Temple
The Neiafu Tonga Temple — a single-story edifice of approximately 17,000 square feet — will be built on Tu’I Road at the site of the Church-owned Saineha High School, Neiafu, Vava’u, Tonga. Housing for the temple president and missionaries and a distribution center will also be constructed on the site.
This will be the second temple in Tonga where more than 66,000 Latter-day Saints reside.
Tongan Latter-day Saint and Utah resident Taniela Fauloa told the Church News shortly after the temple’s announcement that his fellow Latter-day Saints living in Neiafu are well-known as temple-loving people.
“They work so hard to travel to the temple in Nuku’alofa,” he said. “We are all very excited and humbled, and full of gratitude. We understand and know this is the right time for the Lord in fulfilling our dreams of the people of the island. We understand we now have to do our part, and the Lord fulfills (His work) in His time.”
Pago Pago American Samoa Temple
The Pago Pago American Samoa Temple is also planned to be a single-story, 17,000-square-foot building, and it will be located on Ottoville Road on the site of the Pago Pago Samoa Central Stake Center in Tafuna. Plans also call for housing for the temple president and missionaries and a distribution center.
This temple will be the first in this U.S. territory, where more than 16,000 Latter-day Saints reside.
Mitzie Jessop Taase, speaking to the Church News shortly after the Pago Pago temple announcement, said traveling to the temple from Pago Pago to Apia has long been “a huge undertaking” for her family.
“We must plan months in advance, saving up money and taking time from work,” she said. “Knowing a temple will be built here is a truly humbling experience. We are so very grateful. I’m absolutely humbled, but thrilled to know a temple will be built on my island.”
A temple was originally announced for Pago Pago in 1977. However, in 1980, when President Spencer W. Kimball announced temples for Nuku’alofa, Tonga, and Papeete, Tahiti, he also announced a change of location of a Samoan temple from Pago Pago, American Samoa, to Apia, Samoa, according to a Church News article.