News Release

Elder Ardern and President of Fiji Discuss Family History

Elder Ian S. Ardern, General Authority Seventy and president of the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, met with the president of Fiji, Ratu Wiliame Maivalili Katonivere, in his office in Suva this week.

Elder Ardern presented a Christus statuette to President Katonivere as a gift from the members of the Church in Fiji and the Pacific.

The President shared his gratitude for the gift and to the Church for assisting the people of Macuata with food and other items after Cyclones Yasa and Winston destroyed many crops.  

“I want to thank your church for helping my people out during such difficult times,” he said. 

The discussions were primarily about families and the work of the Church in preserving the genealogical records of families in Fiji and around the world. President Katonivere expressed interest in visiting the Church’s Family History Centre in Suva so he could learn more about his ancestors.  

Elder Ardern showed his family tree to President Katonivere by accessing on an app on his phone. Elder Ardern was able to discuss different generations of his family using the app. He showed the President how to get the app on his own phone and to see his own family records.  


His Excellency shared that he was going to London and will be interested in finding out if he could see a copy of the treaty Fiji signed when it ceded Fiji to Great Britain in 1874 as he is a direct descendant of one of the two chiefs who signed the Deed of Cession. 

Elder Ardern was accompanied by several local Church leaders including Paul Whippy, Lote Qoroya, Ned Taito, and Sulueti Kama.

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