Faith and Family Inspire New Caledonians’ Temple Visit

  • 16 March 2011

Article Highlights

  • Nearly 150 members of the Church in New Caledonia made sacrifices to attend the temple in New Zealand.
  • The Hamilton New Zealand Temple is more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) away.
  • Many of the members make the effort to come every year.

“We don’t have a temple in New Caledonia and most [members come from] very humble families. The parents work all year long to save the money for the trip.”   —Georgie Guidi of New Caledonia

In January, 147 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from New Caledonia spent a month in Hamilton, New Zealand, to attend the Hamilton New Zealand Temple.

For many it was the first time they had worshiped in a Latter-day Saint temple. For others it was an annual event that takes a year to prepare for.

“We don’t have a temple in New Caledonia, and most [members come from] very humble families,” said Georgie Guidi, a member of the group. “The parents work all year long to save the money for the trip.”

He said the reason they are so willing to go to New Zealand is that the experiences they have strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ and bring their families together.

Gerard Mou-Tham, president of the Noumea New Caledonia District, which covers the entire territory, added that “coming to the temple is an opportunity for many to increase their faith and to grow closer to God.”

“The spirit of the temple remains with them after they return to New Caledonia,” he said. “This spiritual strength is also felt by others at home who were not able to visit the temple. We feel our unity grows stronger, and we become more humble.”

President Mou-Tham said that financial difficulties are always a challenge as families prepare to go to New Zealand, but the benefits are overwhelming.

Latter-day Saints in New Caledonia worship each Sunday in meetinghouses across the territory, but temples in the area are less numerous. The Hamilton New Zealand Temple is the nearest—more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) away.