News Story

Church Representatives Meet with French Polynesian Mayor

They discuss ways to build society while taking spirituality into account

During a recent visit of a delegation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Mr Édouard Fritch, President of French Polynesia, Manea Tuahu, welfare and self-reliance manager for the Church in French Polynesia, had the opportunity to present the self-reliance resources and training courses available to members and friends of the Church.

His presentation caught the attention of Mr Tearii Alpha, Minister of the Green Economy and Mayor of Teva I Uta, who was also attending the individual meetings of every religious denomination organized by President Fritch.

Thus, contacts were made and a meeting was organised a week later (Friday, 19 June).


On this occasion it was as the mayor of the municipality of Teva I Uta that Tavana (Mayor) Tearii Alpha received Manea Tuahu with the aim of better understanding the concept of self-reliance advocated by the Church and how it is implemented.

From the outset, Mayor Alpha set the stage for the meeting: "We cannot act alone. We need to work with all the forces of the community, including the religious forces."

Convinced of the importance of spirituality in the holistic development of the individual and the family, he made the choice with his town council to build a societal project by openly integrating spirituality and religious truths and practices.

In his town council project, the creation of the Family Life Preparation Centre is at the top of priorities. It will be installed in a disused municipal school, especially rehabilitated for this purpose.

After Mr Tuahu’s presentation, the Mayor said: "It was the answer to my expectations. I want to take this project forward in cooperation with the Church. I have always admired what the Church does, particularly the central place of the family in its teachings.”

Mr Alpha recalled how he always responded to the invitations of the late Elder Jean Tefan who was the first to invite him to Church meetings. He attended them whenever his agenda allowed. He shared that Elder Tefan invited him to Salt Lake City but due to a hectic schedule, he was unable to make the visit.

As part of the Family Life Preparation Centre project, Tavana Tearii wants to learn more of the Church’s teachings and programs, with a view to improving local skills in the field of self-reliance.

Discussions also focused on globalisation and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tavana Tearii said we must rethink the societal project around two pillars--nature and cultural identity. "This change of mentality begins with families, and religions have their place in this construction," he said.

Before delivering the Church materials, Mr Tuahu shared the importance of the individual and the family, who are at the centre of every program of the Church.

Then, he underlined the place of spirituality along with intellectual, physical and emotional dimensions, in the overall development of each individual.

He also emphasized the will of the Church to be a force for good in our societies.

“We are here to bring our expertise and willing to share the educational resources of the Church at the service of the community, respecting everyone's faith," Mr Tuahu said.

Tavana Tearii is now planning to attend a worship service of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Papeari and to meet with other Church leaders to identify ways to work together.

Reflecting on the meeting, Mrs Noelline Parker, national communication director for the Church, said, “Undoubtedly, this very fruitful meeting heralds long-term perspectives of cooperation around this project of a Family Life Preparation Centre of the Municipality of Teva I Uta, and beyond.”

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