News Release

Eighth Mormon Stake Created in French Polynesia

The eighth stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized in French Polynesia earlier this month, to accommodate growing numbers of members in the territory.

The new stake (a ‘stake’ is a group of Mormon congregations in a geographical area) is called the Mahina French Polynesia Stake.

Elder F. Michael Watson of the Church's First Quorum of the Seventy and a member of the Pacific Area Presidency presided at the stake conference and made the announcement of the new stake.

Elder Watson was returning to the Pacific Area, having attended the worldwide conference of the Church in Salt Lake City, United States. He was  accompanied on his visit to French Polynesia by his wife, Sister Jolene Watson.  

Also with Elder Watson was Elder Marama Tarati, Area Seventy, and his wife Christiane.  The Tarati's live on the Island of Moorea.

The leader of the new Mahina Stake is President Emile Tama. Prior to his call as president of the new stake he was serving as president of the Arue French Polynesia Stake.

President Tama's counselors in the new stake presidency are Emile Aumerand and Fernand Tetuanui.

President Aumerand previously served as bishop of the Matavai Ward (congregation). President Tetuanui was serving as bishop of the Mahina Ward at the time he was called as a member of the new stake presidency.

As a result of the organization of the Mahina Stake, the Arue French Polynesia Stake Presidency was re-organized. The new stake presidency of the Arue Stake are President Henri Estall, President Temarama Varney and President Torea Mau.  

Elder Watson noted that on the Friday evening, prior to the conference, a special cultural event was held.

"The young people of the Arue Stake performed exceptionally well and exemplified the love they have for the Church," he said. "They are truly faithful young people who are becoming the leaders of tomorrow."

Speaking of the leaders of the Church in the Mahina and Arue stakes, Elder Watson said, "We are grateful for these men and for the service they have given to the Lord and the members of the Church for many years. They are men of faith and good works, and are kindly and strongly supported by their wives and families."

"There is much to be done, moving forward," he added. "These leaders and the members of the Church in French Polynesia are part of a great work, in bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to adults, families, youth and children."

"As they continue to serve with humility, dedication and kindness, lives will be lifted and families fortified."

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