Follow Me Now
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“Follow Me Now,” Ensign, Apr. 1985, 68

“Follow Me Now”

Sita Mataele Lomu wanted nothing more than to raise her fifteen children in Tonga to be strong Latter-day Saints. But her husband, Samiu, wasn’t a member and often he would say, “You go to too many meetings; you stay home.” He didn’t understand the help she received in those meetings and the strength she gained from others who attended.

Sita had her own vegetable garden and often sold a few vegetables to help out financially. From her small income she always paid tithing. She taught her children the value of work, the value of an honest tithing, and the value of attending their church meetings.

“Follow me now,” she would tell them. “Some day you can follow your father.” But it was very hard trying to keep harmony and peace in the home when Samiu didn’t feel the same way about the Church. “Many times the tears came,” said Sita. “I knew things weren’t right in our home. I needed help.”

Sita had grown up in a family of eleven children, and her parents were faithful Latter-day Saints. When the Church was first organized in her village, her Grandfather Mataele had offered his home to the missionaries as a chapel until one could be built. It was used for that purpose for many years. Sita grew up with a testimony.

When Moses, her second son, was called to labor as a missionary in Tonga, he and Sita had a long talk about their home and his father’s feelings about religion. They decided that every Monday they would fast and pray, asking the Lord to help Samiu understand the gospel.

Sometimes on Mondays Samiu would notice that Sita wasn’t eating and he would say, “Why don’t you eat, too?” She would tell him, “Things are not right in our home. We need the Lord’s help. I am fasting and asking him to help us.”

Time went by, and one day after some serious thought Samiu said to Sita, “I know you always pay tithing on the money you make. You can pay mine, too.” Joy filled Sita’s heart as she paid not only her own tithing that month, but also her husband’s.

For a year Sita and Moses fasted every Monday, and one day Moses told his mother he wanted to talk to his father about the Church that night. So after dinner, Moses talked to his father alone and said, “You know, Father, I am a missionary and I go around and preach to people, but I feel I would like to baptize you because you are my father. Then I can teach others.”

Tears came to Samiu’s eyes. “Many, many years I sit and think about the Church, and I know this is the truth. The Lord blessed me and your mother. We have many children, and you are all strong and healthy. I am a lucky man. I want to be baptized.”

A big feast was held in Tonga that weekend when Samiu Lomu was baptized into the Church. Since that time the Lomu family has moved to Hawaii, where they attend the Kailua Second Ward, Kaneohe Hawaii Stake. Often Sita’s words to her children are, “Follow your father! He is a good man.”

  • Kathryn H. Ipson, an elementary school teacher and mother of three, is the Sunday School in-service leader in the Cedar City Utah West Stake.

Illustrated by Scott M. Snow