News Release

Church Supports Catholic Efforts to Relieve Hunger in Tahiti

Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presented to French Polynesian Catholic leaders on Friday 25 August a donation of food from the Church that will be given to individuals and families going through difficult times.


Elder Stevenson was accompanied during his visit with Catholic Archbishop of Papeete, His Grace Jean-Pierre Cottanceau, by Elder O. Vincent Haleck, president of the Pacific Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Elder Benjamin Sinjoux, Area Seventy.

Elder Stevenson, Elder Haleck and Elder Sinjoux were warmly welcomed by Monseigneur Cottanceau and some of his colleagues. They discussed issues relating to homelessness in Tahiti and the need to provide food to those in desperate circumstances.

Elder Stevenson affirmed the support of the Church to the very worthwhile efforts of the French Polynesian Catholic Church to feed the poor and support them in other humanitarian ways.

The Church reaches out worldwide to help the poor and needy with partners including Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities and Caritas.

The donation of food, valued at $9,000USD, was made possible by the contributions of Latter-day Saints and others in French Polynesia and around the world to the Church’s humanitarian fund.

Read more at Salle de Presse Pacifique and CathNews New Zealand.

Mormon Newsroom states that: “A respect for the diverse beliefs and unique contributions of all the world’s faiths is one of the hallmarks of Mormonism. From the earliest days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith elevated the principle of religious liberty and tolerance: ‘We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may’ (Articles of Faith 1:11).”

The article continues: “The spiritual and physical needs of the world require goodwill and cooperation among different faiths. Each of them makes a valuable contribution to the larger community of believers. In the words of early Church apostle Orson F. Whitney, ‘God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of his great and marvelous work. The Latter-day Saints cannot do it all. It is too vast, too arduous, for any one people.’ Thus, members of the Church do not view fellow believers around the world as adversaries or competitors, but as partners in the many causes for good in the world.”

Elder Stevenson is also meeting with French Polynesian members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this weekend. Over the last several days he and his wife, Lesa Stevenson, have met with members and friends of the Church in Adelaide, Australia and Port Vila, Vanuatu.

A focus of Elder Stevenson’s visit to the South Pacific has been meeting with Latter-day Saints who are improving their lives and family situations through participation in Church-run self-reliance courses. These courses assist people to become more spiritually and temporally self-reliant, often leading to finding a job, a better job, or starting a small business.


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