Groundbreakings scheduled for Latter-day Saint temples in Tonga and American Samoa

Groundbreaking dates are scheduled in September and October for a pair of temples in the South Pacific, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced in a news release Tuesday.

The Neiafu Tonga Temple groundbreaking will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11. Elder ‘Inoke F. Kupu, an Area Seventy, will preside at the ceremony.

The Pago Pago American Samoa Temple groundbreaking will take place on Saturday, Oct. 9. A presiding church leader will be named later based on travel requirements related to COVID-19, the news release said.

Attendance at both groundbreaking ceremonies will be by invitation only.

What do we know about the Neiafu Tonga Temple?

President Russell M. Nelson announced the Neiafu Tonga Temple during the April 2019 general conference.

An exterior rending of the temple was released in August 2020.

The temple will be a single-story structure of approximately 17,000 square feet.

The temple will be built on Tu’l Road at the site of the church-owned Saineha High School, Neiafu, Vava’u, Tonga.

Housing for the temple president and missionaries, as well as a distribution center, will be constructed on the site.

The Neiafu Tonga Temple will join the Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple as the island nation’s second temple.

There are more than 66,000 Latter-day Saints attending 173 congregations in Tonga, according to President Nelson visited Tonga as part of his global ministry tour in the South Pacific in May of 2019.


Photo supplied Deseret News  Caption: A rendering of the Neiafu Tonga Temple. A temple groundbreaking is scheduled for Sept. 11, 2021. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints