Restoration and Church History
Hawai‘i: Chronology

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Hawai‘i: Chronology

May 23, 1843 • Nauvoo, Illinois

Addison Pratt, Knowlton Hanks, Noah Rogers, and Benjamin Grouard were called on a mission to Hawai‘i but ultimately booked passage to Tahiti and preached in what is now French Polynesia instead.

June 22, 1846 • Hono‘lulu, O‘ahu

Latter-day Saint passengers on the ship Brooklyn became the first Church members to visit Hawai‘i. At least one member, Mary Addison Harris, returned and settled in Hawai‘i before missionaries arrived there.

December 12, 1850 • Hono‘lulu

Missionaries Hiram Clark, Henry Bigler, Hiram Blackwell, George Q. Cannon, John Dixon, William Farrer, James Hawkins, James Keeler, Thomas Morris, and Thomas Whittle arrived to preach in Hawai‘i.

February 10, 1851 • Hono‘lulu

The first native Hawaiian convert, a young man about 16 years old, was baptized by Hiram Clark. No record of the young man’s name can be found in existing records of the mission.

March 8, 1851 • Wailuku, Maui

George Q. Cannon, who had focused on learning the Hawaiian language, met Jonathan H. Nāpela, William Uaua, and K. H. Kaleohano, who would all become leaders in the Church.

August 6, 1851 • Kealahou, Maui

The first Church branch in Hawai‘i was organized in Kealahou, in the Kula area. Within two weeks, four branches were also organized in the Keanae area.

1852 • Pulehu, Maui

The first Church meetinghouse in Hawai‘i was built.

January 1852 • Wailuku

George Q. Cannon and Jonathan H. Nāpela began translating the Book of Mormon into Hawaiian. They finished the translation two years later.

April 9, 1853 • Wailuku

Jonathan H. Nāpela established the first training program for missionaries to study their mission’s language. The missionaries met to train and study in his home.

1853 • Hawai‘i

By the end of 1853, there were 4,000 Church members in Hawai‘i, with at least one functioning branch located on each inhabited island.

1853 • Hawai‘i

A smallpox epidemic killed an estimated 6,000 Hawaiians, including approximately 275 Saints.

1854 • Lāna‘i, Hawai‘i

Due to restrictions on emigration, Hawaiian Saints were unable to gather to join the main body of Saints in Utah. After corresponding with Brigham Young, the missionaries and Jonathan H. Nāpela established a provisional local gathering place in the Palawai Basin on the island of Lāna‘i for the Saints.

1855 • San Francisco, California

George Q. Cannon printed the Hawaiian translation of the Book of Mormon, which arrived in Hawai‘i in October. Later, lesson manuals, hymn books, the Articles of Faith, and instructions for Relief Society were also printed in Hawaiian.

February 1858 • Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

Missionaries in Hawai‘i were called home after receiving news of a federal army marching on Utah.

1861–64 • Hawai‘i

On his way to serve a mission in Japan, Walter Murray Gibson stopped in Hawai‘i and asserted control over the Church there. Members ultimately contacted former missionaries with concerns, and Gibson was excommunicated. However, he refused to relinquish the ownership of lands on Lāna‘i that he had purchased supposedly for the Church.

January 26, 1865 • Lā‘ie, O‘ahu

Brigham Young purchased land in Lā‘ie for a new gathering place.

August 2, 1869 • Salt Lake City

While visiting Utah for the summer, Jonathan H. Nāpela became the first Hawaiian Saint to receive his temple endowment.

1870 • Hono‘lulu

Hawaiian emigration regulations were relaxed, allowing some Latter-day Saints to relocate to Utah. Around 1884, the Hawaiian government ended its law against emigration.

July 6, 1875 • Lā‘ie

The first Relief Society in Hawai‘i was organized in the Lā‘ie Branch, with a woman named Kapo as president.

1876 • Lā‘ie

Mutual Improvement Associations for young men and young women were organized by Richard G. C. Lambert.

August 19, 1883 • Lā‘ie

The first Primary in the country was organized by Sarah L. Partridge. About 40 children were enrolled.

July 7, 1898 • Washington, D.C.

United States president William McKinley signed the Newlands Resolution, annexing the Territory of Hawai‘i.

February 1899 • Washington, D.C.

Hannah Kaaepa, a Hawaiian Latter-day Saint, gave an address—delivering a portion of it in Hawaiian—to the Third Triennial Congress of the National Council of Women. After her address, she presented leis to suffrage leaders Susan B. Anthony, May Wright Sewell, and Anna Howard Shaw.

December 12, 1900 • Hawai‘i

Hawaiian Saints celebrated the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first Latter-day Saint missionaries in Hawai‘i. George Q. Cannon, then a counselor in the First Presidency, and other Church leaders joined members in the celebration.

July 7, 1906 • Waikīkī (Hamohamo), O‘ahu

Lili‘uokalani, Hawai‘i’s last queen, was baptized.

June 1, 1915 • Lā‘ie

Church President Joseph F. Smith dedicated the site for the future construction of the temple. Construction plans were announced at the October 1915 general conference.

Laie Hawaii Temple

November 27, 1919 • Lā‘ie

The Laie Hawaii Temple, the first operating temple outside Utah, was dedicated by Church President Heber J. Grant.

1926 • Hawai‘i

Church membership in Hawai‘i exceeded 14,000 Saints.

June 30, 1935 • O‘ahu

Heber J. Grant organized the Oahu Stake, the first stake outside North America, with Ralph E. Woolley as stake president.

February 1937 • Hono‘lulu

To serve the high number of Japanese Americans in Hawai‘i and with the hope of one day re-establishing a Church presence in Japan, the Japanese Mission was created. Its headquarters were located in Hono‘lulu.

October 1940 • South Pacific

The Church evacuated missionaries from the South Pacific as global tensions during World War II grew. Some of the missionaries were transferred to Hawai‘i.

August 17, 1941 • Hono‘lulu

Church President David O. McKay, counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the Honolulu Tabernacle.

December 7, 1941 • Pearl Harbor, O‘ahu

The Japanese military bombing of Pearl Harbor temporarily ended formal missionary efforts in the islands. During World War II, members stepped into leadership positions in the Church, served as missionaries, and volunteered in many civic positions.

September 1944 • Hono‘lulu

Frank W. McGhie and his wife arrived to organize classes for religious education. Local Saints helped the McGhies teach seminary classes for the remainder of the war.

1946 • Hawai‘i

Following the end of World War II, missionaries returned to the islands in large numbers.

September 26, 1955 • Lā‘ie

The Church College of Hawaii opened.

August 21, 1959 • Washington, D.C.

After the United States Congress passed the Hawaiian Admission Act, Hawai‘i became the 50th state of the United States.

November 12, 1963 • Lā‘ie

President Hugh B. Brown, counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the Polynesian Cultural Center.

December 15, 1968 • Hilo, Hawai‘i

The first stake on an outer island was organized, with Rex Alton Cheney as stake president. In the 1970s stakes were organized on Maui and Kaua‘i.

September 30, 1973 • Lā‘ie

Joseph Freeman was baptized. He would become the first black man of African descent to be ordained an elder after the 1978 revelation (see Official Declaration 2).

July 1, 1974 • Lā‘ie

The Church College of Hawaii became Brigham Young University–Hawaii.

April 4, 1975 • Salt Lake City, Utah

Adney Yoshio Komatsu, who was born in Hawai‘i, became the first Latter-day Saint of Asian descent to be called as a General Authority.

March 31, 1990 • Salt Lake City

Chieko Nishimura Okazaki, who was born in Hawai‘i, was called as First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency.

September 11, 1992 • Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i

The island Kaua‘i was hit by Hurricane Iniki. Hawaiian Saints and missionaries helped in the cleanup and rebuilding efforts.

Kona Hawaii Temple

January 23, 2000 • Kona, Hawai‘i

The Kona Hawaii Temple was dedicated by Church President Gordon B. Hinckley.

October 3, 2004 • Lāna‘i City, Lāna‘i

A stone marker commemorating the settling of the Palawai Basin, the original gathering place for the Hawaiian Saints, was dedicated in Lāna‘i.

November 21, 2010 • Lā‘ie

The Laie Hawaii Temple was rededicated by Church President Thomas S. Monson following two years of extensive remodeling and refurbishment.

April 28, 2012 • Hawai‘i

Hawaiian Saints participated in the North America West Area’s Mormon Helping Hands 2012 service project by cleaning local beaches.

May 2018 • Pāhoa, Hawai‘i

In response to evacuations caused by the Kīlauea volcano lava flow, members of the Hilo Hawaii Stake donated food and clothing to those who were displaced.