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BYU Religious Studies Center releases volume on Pacific Isles

The Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center has published “Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: The Pacific Isles,” the eighth volume in its series on the regional history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The book will be available in the BYU Bookstore beginning in May at a cost of $14.95.

Topics discussed in this volume include the introduction of the gospel to Tubuai, the influence of Jonathan Napela in Hawaii, the Tongans’ receptivity of the gospel, the Oahu Tabernacle, the contributions of educational missionaries to Kiribati, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s performances in the Pacific Islands and the destructive fire in the Apia Samoa Temple.

Unlike the earlier volumes in this regional studies series, contributors were asked to research and write on the peoples and places of Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia and Australasia prior to the BYU Church History and Doctrine Department’s official tour.

Years before Brigham Young declared the Salt Lake Valley as the site of future gathering in 1847, Church members had already pushed even further west into the Pacific Basin frontier. William Barratt made his way to Australia on a mission in 1840, and Addison Pratt and his evangelizing companions arrived in the Society Islands in 1844, the year Joseph Smith was martyred in Illinois.

During the early 1850s, when Saints in the Utah Territory were struggling for their physical survival in America’s Great Basin, missionaries enjoyed success in sharing the gospel among the native Sandwich Islanders in today’s Hawaii.

Previous volumes in this series include “The British Isles,” “Ohio and Upper Canada,” “The New England States,” “Europe,” “New York and Pennsylvania,” “Western Canada” and “California.”

For more information, contact Stephanie Wilson at (801) 422-3293.

Writer: Marissa Ballantyne

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