“Elder Taniela B. Wakolo,” Ensign, May 2017
Elder Taniela Biu Wakolo has dedicated every day of his life since his baptism in March 1994 to serving the Lord.
Born in 1967 on the small island of Lomaloma, Lau, Fiji, to Taniela Vosa and Temalesi Buadromo Wakolo, Elder Wakolo was the youngest of six children. “I was raised in a very humble home, but we were rich in terms of the love we had for each other,” he said.
At age 12, Elder Wakolo left his parents’ home to attend boarding school with more than 500 young men, ages 12 to 19. “That was great training ground for me,” he said. “It is where I learned self-discipline.”
He dated Anita Herberta Moimoi, a recent convert, for more than a year. They married on August 22, 1987, in Suva, Fiji.
Conversion didn’t come overnight for Elder Wakolo, and over the first eight years of the couple’s marriage, he met with many missionaries. “I completed the [missionary] discussions four times in eight years,” he said. “I have 24 missionaries.”
It was a simple question from one of those missionaries about the name of the Church that changed his mind about baptism. “The Church needs to be named after its owner,” he said. “That was it for me.”
Elder Wakolo and his wife were sealed in the Nuku‘alofa Tonga Temple in 1995. They are the parents of two children.
Service opportunities quickly followed his baptism. Two weeks after his baptism, he was called to the ward Young Men presidency and to co-teach seminary with his wife. After less than a year, he accepted the call to serve as branch president. He later served as counselor in a stake presidency, stake president, and Area Seventy. At the time of his call as a General Authority Seventy, he was presiding over the Arkansas Little Rock Mission.
Elder Wakolo studied management and public administration and earned a master’s degree in management. Most recently, he was the manager at the Church’s Fiji Service Center.