Restoration and Church History
Kiribati: Chronology

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Kiribati: Chronology

1972 • Eita, Tarawa, Gilbert Islands

Waitea Abiuta, principal of Auriaria Kokoi Ataria School (AKAS), wrote letters to Church-owned Liahona High School in Tonga, inquiring about opportunities for his students to further their education there. As a result, 12 students were selected as the first of several groups from AKAS to attend Liahona High School.

April 6, 1973 • Nuku‘alofa, Tonga

The 12 I-Kiribati students attending Liahona were baptized as members of the Church.

October 20, 1975 • Tarawa

Shortly after the first six Latter-day Saint missionaries arrived in Kiribati, Kenneth M. Palmer, president of the Fiji Suva Mission, dedicated Kiribati for the preaching of the gospel. Within six weeks, the missionaries had baptized 20 people.

1976 • Eita

The first I-Kiribati branch was organized, with Waitea Abiuta as president.

1977 • Eita

AKAS was acquired by the Church and renamed Moroni Community School.

June 29, 1977 • Gilbert Islands

The Church received official government recognition.

July 12, 1979 • Gilbert Islands

The Gilbert Islands became the independent Republic of Kiribati.

1981 • Kiribati

Baitika Toum became the first of many Church members elected to parliament. He went on to serve as a cabinet minister for 13 years.

1985 • Eita

Of the 65 students in the first graduating class of Moroni High School, 63 served missions. Four of them became the first I-Kiribati to serve foreign missions.

January 30, 1988 • Apia, Samoa

Twenty-eight Saints from Kiribati participated in their first organized temple trip.

May 1, 1988 • Eita

Church members viewed recorded sessions of general conference for the first time in Kiribati.

August 10, 1996 • Betio, Kiribati

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles rededicated Kiribati for the preaching of the gospel.

August 11, 1996 • Tarawa

Elder L. Tom Perry organized the Tarawa Kiribati Stake, with Atunibeia Mote sustained as president.

Church Members: Kiribati

May 23, 1999 • Kiritimati Island, Kiribati

The Kiritimati Island Branch was organized.

January 26, 2000 • Tarawa

Church President Gordon B. Hinckley visited the Saints on Tarawa during a tour of the Pacific.

2002 • Salt Lake City, Utah

The Book of Mormon was published in the Kiribati language.

June 19, 2003 • Kiritimati Island

President Gordon B. Hinckley visited the Saints on Kiritimati Island.

June 20, 2014 • London, Kiritimati Island

The Kiritimati Island Kiribati District was organized, with Naitinua Teitikai Tokinteiti as president, and included branches on Kiritimati and Tabuaeran.

October 2014 • Tarawa

Church members volunteered to help construct a seawall to protect the community from flooding.

September 28, 2017 • Salt Lake City

The Church announced the publication of the triple combination of the scriptures in the Kiribati language.

February 7, 2018 • Eita

A memorial service was held at Moroni High School to honor victims of the sinking of the MS Butiraoi. The service was attended by government officials, Church leaders, and the victims’ family members.