Public Issue

President of Kiribati Meets with Latter-day Saint Leaders

His Excellency Taneti Maamau, president of the Republic of Kiribati, met with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tarawa last week.

The occasion was a leadership seminar for local lay leaders, conducted by John Larkin, president of the Church’s Marshall Islands/Kiribati Mission.

This was the first time that congregational leaders from the outer islands of the republic have gathered for training.


Latter-day Saint leaders are volunteers with full-time jobs and other family responsibilities. Their service to their fellow members of the Church is offered on Sundays and other times throughout the week outside work hours.

Recognising the significance of this event for the people of Kiribati, President Taneti Maamau provided a welcome address.

He stayed for lunch and accepted questions from those attending.

He later commented on the quality of the questions and was clearly impressed with the attendees as well as the organisation of the gathering.

President John Larkin also provided opening remarks and training during the seminar.

Additionally, President Iotua Tune, first counsellor in the mission presidency, and Elder Hansen, a senior missionary serving in Kiribati, provided training and were both instrumental in the organisation of the leadership seminar.

Among other topics, the Church leaders discussed the role of the LDS Kiribati Service Centre; preparing for and conducting sacrament meetings (held each Sunday for Church members and guests); Church teaching materials; meetinghouse facilities; missionary work; preparing to worship in a Latter-day Saint temple; preparing to serve as a missionary; increasing personal and family self-reliance; and managing financial and membership records.

At the conclusion of the seminar, testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ were shared and each attendee was given a certificate of participation.

Mormons believe that when we serve the Lord and His children, He in turn blesses us.

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