Liahona
Our Joy for a New Temple in Vanuatu
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Digital Only: Young Adults

Our Joy for a New Temple in Vanuatu

Young adults in this island nation share their joy and excitement over the announcement of a temple in their country.

Emmalee Bazar picture

Louisette Desire Waiane of Vanuatu

Photograph by Emmalee Bazar

He Remembers You, Me, and All the Isles of the Sea

I remember hearing the word temple for the first time when I was eight years old and being taught by the missionaries. I had been raised with different beliefs, and while I didn’t understand the whole meaning of the word temple in the context of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I later learned what temples are, why they are so important, and how we can prepare to perform the ordinances inside.

I have always loved reading in the Church magazines about so many wonderful and miraculous experiences from members of the Church who have been able to attend the temple. Their experiences have strengthened my desire to live worthily, even though I do not have a temple on my island nation. I also have empathy for others who, like me, do not have close access to a temple. But it’s so very dear to me that no matter where you live, the blessings of the temple will always come in the Lord’s own due time.

I’ve always known that the Lord won’t stop pouring His blessings on us when we are faithful to Him, regardless of if we have a temple nearby. And I am beyond grateful for the simplicity of a tiny step of faith—that we can learn faithfully and wait patiently for the Lord “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30). I acknowledge and praise the Lord’s timing and His great work that He wants me to be a part of.

When our beloved prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, announced during the October 2020 general conference that Port Vila, Vanuatu, would have a temple, I felt so much peace.

I won’t forget the tears of joy I shed. Because He loves and is aware of His children, He still “remember[s] those who are upon the isles of the sea” (2 Nephi 29:7).

I bear my testimony that the Lord has unique purposes and plans for all countries around the globe. He knows the desires of His children to receive all the blessings of the gospel, including those that come from the temple. For those who do not have temples yet, I invite you to wait patiently, keep being faithful, and look forward to the blessings that are on the way for you. I love this gospel so very much because of its fulness of holiness and light.

Louisette Desire Waiane, Port Vila Stake, Vanuatu

The Lord Is Hastening His Work, and I’m Here to Help

It was an indescribable feeling and a moment that I will cherish for a lifetime when President Nelson announced that a temple would be built in Vanuatu. It was unexpected news, but I trust in the Lord, His timing, and His work.

I came to realize that the Lord is hastening His work in His own wisdom.

When the announcement was made, all I could think of was my family, friends, leaders, and everyone else who had sacrificed to help build the kingdom of God in Vanuatu. I gained more appreciation for our own pioneers who cleared the path. I know some of them have left this mortal life and are now rejoicing on the other side of the veil. To them I say thank you!

I am humbled to know that my family can now partake of the blessings and the ordinances of the temple. Right now, members of the Church in Vanuatu sacrifice a lot just to get to the temple in Fiji or New Zealand. Some get to attend only once in their lifetime. Now we are blessed to have the Lord’s house built in our own land. For that I am eternally grateful.

I want to invite us all to prepare spiritually for when we will welcome houses of the Lord into our own lands. We are going to make eternal covenants and participate in the work of salvation on both sides of the veil. I know that as we strive to be worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, we will be better prepared to enter the holy house of the Lord.

Right now I am serving as a district clerk. I am motivated to help our district president and the children of God whom Heavenly Father has entrusted to our care to prepare for that great day when the Vanuatu Temple is open. And I pray that that same Spirit I felt the moment the announcement was made will be a motivation in helping me moving forward.

I appreciate the opportunity to express my thoughts and feelings about this great historic announcement. All I can say is thank you to Heavenly Father, and to President Nelson for being the Lord’s mouthpiece on earth today.

Dack Tivles, Luganville District, Vanuatu

The Temple Gives Us a Glimpse of Heaven

Everyone searches for something to inspire or heal them, both spiritually and temporally, in this mortal life. For me, being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that something. Since I joined the Church 12 years ago, I have never regretted my decision. It has blessed my life in a huge way.

When I got baptized, I started hearing a lot about the temple. Other members would always talk about how important it was to them. It was something that always brought peace to my heart and motivated me to move forward. I knew that I wanted to go there one day and experience the joy that they had felt.

Later, I chose to serve a mission and was called to the Australia Brisbane Mission. Entering the Hamilton New Zealand Temple for the first time was the best feeling ever. I will never forget that experience. The words I would use to describe how I felt are joy, peace, and happiness. I really felt Heavenly Father’s love for me, and the Spirit was strong. It motivated me to always stay strong throughout my mission and afterward.

As members of the Church in Vanuatu, we had always dreamed of having a temple in our nation, but then, when President Nelson announced it, it was like our dreams were becoming a reality.

Having a temple here in Vanuatu means that our lives will be much busier, but in a good way, because we will have the ability to do more temple and family history work.

I remember hearing a general conference talk about always having the temple in your sights.1 When you do, you have that ensign—you will always have something to look forward to.

The temple helps us keep the perspective that life is not limited by problems. The eternal perspective there can give us the motivation to keep on trying, keep on believing, keep on exercising faith, and keep on trusting. For me, having a temple here in Vanuatu is a great blessing—it’s a glimpse of heaven.

Eunice Hoiesi James, Port Vila Stake, Vanuatu