News Release

First Fijian Cultural Fireside in the UK

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints host a cultural fireside

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted an evening cultural fireside to honour the legacy and traditions of members of the church from Fiji.  With an emphasis on strengthening families and their faith, Fijians throughout the UK gathered for a feast of Island delicacies, traditional dance, and music.

Fijian members of the church were invited to address the group on the theme of the evening, “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. therefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” 2 Nephi 31: 20

Jane Ratu and her younger sister, Josephine Snow Qio were in the UK visiting their grandchildren from Fiji.  They shared the miracles of the Lords’ hands in their lives and how blessed they were as a family in the early years of the church in Lautoka, Fiji.   Their nine-year-old granddaughter, Nunia Vatubua baptized in 2023, joined her grandmother and shared her feelings about following Jesus Christ into the waters of baptism. 

Rynav Prasad a young man, recently moved to the UK with his family from Canada quoted Alma 7:11-12.And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”

Brother Saimoni Bogi Talevinukuleka spoke of his recent conversion after seeing the example and faithfulness of his member wife and three children for 11 years.  His youngest daughter Olanea wanted her Father to baptise her, which encouraged him to join the Church.  

Brother Wame Volavola served for 24 years in the British Armed Forces. He is the son of a former Stake President in Fiji. Referring to "My Covenant Path” on the Gospel Library app, he explains how the gospel of Jesus Christ will help us become steadfast in following the covenant path, which is the great plan of happiness.

Fiji and the United Kingdom have close military ties, with Fiji being a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. For several generations, Fijians immigrated to the UK and served in the British Armed Forces. They fought alongside the British in the Second World War, and later in Malaya, Borneo, Oman, and Iraq.  Among them, were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who settled in the UK with their families.

Concluding remarks were given by Stake President Peter Cope. 

Church dignitaries present were, England Bristol Mission President, Kevin E Gallacher and his wife, Janine D. Gallacher, who have been serving in the UK since July 2021.

After the successful event, Tema Kauvesi Raratabu, one of the organizers said, “We hope to have more engagements, especially for those who could not attend and extend invitations to other island nations that have made the UK their home”.

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