“The Samoa Temple,” Ensign, Aug. 1978, 80
Climate and Church growth influenced the design of the Samoa Temple. Church Architect Emil B. Fetzer has planned a roof that will function “like a giant umbrella” to drain off the heavy rainfall. The roof is also nearly soundproof, minimizing disturbance from the torrential tropical storms. The site is elevated as a protection against flooding. And the floor plan will make possible, future expansion relatively easy.
The ground for the temple in American Samoa will be broken later this year, with construction completed in 1980. The temple will serve the 50,000 members in Samoa, Tonga, French Polynesia (Tahiti), and Fiji, who must currently make the expensive and long trip (as much as 2,544 miles) to the New Zealand Temple. The Tahitian Saints, who have the .farthest to travel will still be about 1,400 miles from the temple.
Missionaries from the Church first came to Polynesia in 1842—from Nauvoo. Today, an estimated ten percent of the population of some of the islands are members of the Church.