Church Leader Sees Gospel in Action, Lifting Families in Tonga

Bishop Gérald Caussé meets Tongan couple who are applying self-reliance principles to strengthen their family

News Release

Bishop Gérald Caussé, the presiding bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, met with a couple in Tonga on Saturday 18 February who exemplify the benefits of self-reliance principles and resources as provided by the Church.

          

‘Oto Hamani Tuitupou first heard about the Church through Self-Reliance Services, which offers individuals information and opportunities to help them become economically independent.

Tuitupou approached Latter-day Saint Latu Timote Tuiasoa (who would later be Tuitupou’s bishop, or congregation leader) about enrolling in a self-reliance course. At the time there were no active courses in their community so Bishop Tuiasoa acquired the necessary materials and taught the class himself.

After becoming acquainted with the gospel of Jesus Christ through participation in this class, Tuitupou decided to be baptized into the Church. His wife, Suliana, who also became interested in the Church through the self-reliance class, also chose to be baptized.

            

In a discussion with Bishop Caussé, both ‘Oto and Suliana expressed that the most valuable lesson they had learned from the self-reliance class was the ability to manage their time wisely.

Another local Latter-day Saint leader, Bishop Tuiasoa of the Ha’Alalo Ward (or congregation) agreed. “I think that if everybody in the world will use their time wisely, budget their time, everybody would have enough in their hands to feed their family,” he said.

Bishop Caussé shared with the couple that time is a resource given to us by a loving Heavenly Father—a resource meant to be applied towards doing good.

“Life is short and we need to use it in a meaningful way,” he said.

Suliana works as a health promotion officer at Tonga’s Ministry of Health. In the past, she says, she lacked confidence in herself and her ability to change for the better. Now, she feels differently.

“Since I joined the self-reliance [class] I feel free…since I have been through the Church I can do anything, and I’m really proud of myself,” she said.

Her husband, ‘Oto, a farmer, says he feels the same.

This weekend marks Bishop Caussé’s first visit to Tonga. “I spend a lot of time at Church Headquarters and we have our meetings and we talk about all those programs and the people who build the programs,” he said to the couple.

“But just to come here far away from headquarters, from Salt Lake, and just to see the difference [self-reliance principles] make in your life—it’s very practical.”

Bishop Caussé also emphasized the responsibility the Tuitupous now have to teach what they have learned to their children.

“They have six children. It’s a large family,” he said.

“Just imagine the impact on future generations. It’s humbling to see the impact that self-reliance principles can have on the lives of people. This program is really the gospel in action. This is what we are looking for.” 

Watch videos about individuals talking about self-reliance growth in their own lives.

Watch a 2103 speech Bishop Caussé delivered to faculty and students at Brigham Young University.

         

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.